Whew! It has been a whirlwind of a December, my friends. I’m sure you’re just as busy this holiday season with juggling friends, family and work as I’ve been. I’m simultaneously amazing that it’s only been a week and shocked that Christmas is so close!
If you didn’t see my post last week, I’m doing my Second Annual Advent Giving Month. Hitting my goal of donating to a charity or volunteering once a day can be challenging but it’s also been incredibly rewarding. I’m reminded of the fact that even when life is hectic, we can still find time for the things that are important to us.
Giving Time with Volunteering
Possibly one of my favorite places to volunteer is at The Grotto’s Festival of Lights. The grounds are beautifully decorated and there are hundreds of kids every night who get so excited to see the baby camel and hear the choir sing. When I was volunteering in the petting zoo, I may have also snuck away to go get the woman running it a delicious waffle from a stand selling them. Sometimes giving can mean something personal for a stranger. 🙂
ChickTech is a national nonprofit organization devoted to helping get young girls and women interested in pursuing or maintaining careers in technology. Putting together project kits for making fun tech-based crafts took me back to my days in a physics lab in college (hello resistors and LEDs!).
Tonight I’ll also be volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank, an opportunity I found through a great website called Hands On Portland. They gather together a great calendar of opportunities to give back to your community year-round.
Giving Money with Charitable Donations
Like most other metropolitan cities in the country, Portland faces difficulties with caring for their homeless population. Central City Concern is an organization that helps connect those in need with housing, healthcare and employment opportunities. I’m always happy to donate to their mission all year, but it’s especially important in these colder months.
Every pet Mr Never Cooks and I have brought into our home has been from the Oregon Humane Society. They’ve given us so much joy over the years, and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to support them. After all, I need them to stick around for the next few decades so that we can build our little menagerie!
I personally listen to about…7 NPR podcasts or programs on a weekly basis, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to donate to them when one of my favorite hosts put the call out. This time around I gave to Oregon Public Broadcasting in honor of the Code Switch Podcast, which does a great job of talking about race and identity.
These are just a handful of the volunteer opportunities and places to donate that I’m highlighting this holiday season. I have so many more projects planned for the coming weeks before Christmas, so stay tuned if you’re looking for more ideas on how to give back to your community! If you have any ideas yourself, please let me know in the comments.