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Giving Back: 17 Seattle-Area Organizations That Need Your Help During the Holidays

Feed the homeless, do a clothing drive, donate funds and more

Published on: November 21, 2013

Children volunteersLooking to give back or volunteer as an individual or a family during this holiday season? There are  many great organizations in our area that could always use an extra hand in the kitchen, those old baby clothes stashed away in the closet or most of all, the community's support in helping others who are in need and struggling this year.

Below we've included local organizations that offer volunteer opportunities during the holidays, or opportunities to donate items for families and children.

See also our family volunteering guide and our guide to volunteering from home for more opportunities for giving back. Every little bit helps! 

No Child Sleeps OutsideMary's Place, located in Seattle, serves homeless women, children and families in emergency situations, providing practical tools and resources that help women find housing and employment, including day and night shelters, hot meals, workshops, resources and more. [SEATTLE]

Wellspring Family ServicesWellspring Family Services serves vulnerable individuals and families by providing social and mental health services that help strengthen families and address issues that can negatively affect their lives. Wellspring's Kids Helping Kids program is a great way for kids to get involved: kids can collect donations in a jar that Wellspring provides and then drop off the donation at Wellspring (they can even get a tour). [SEATTLE]

Seattle Children'sEveryone already knows and loves Seattle Children's for their outstanding excellence in children's healthcare, but did you know that they also have great volunteer opportunities, toy drives for patients and donation drop-offs available? Check out their "donate" and "volunteer" sections under Ways to Help on their website for upcoming holiday gift drives, volunteer openings and much more. Seattle Children’s encourages folks to attend a holiday fundraiser in the Puget Sound area, varying from luncheons to concerts and shopping events. [SEATTLE]

Westside BabyWestSide Baby offers various drop-off locations for children's clothes, diapers and car seats in North Seattle, West Seattle and Burien. WestSide Baby has helped more than 20,000 low-income children annually, and has distributed more than $10 million worth of clothing, toys, diapers and baby gear since 2001. It also has many opportunities for families to contribute, from hosting a donation drive to sorting through clothes at home, or helping onsite during weekdays, or — during November and December — most Tuesday evenings from 6–9 p.m. Kids ages 8-14 welcome with a parent, youth over 14 can volunteer without a parent. Find more volunteer hours here. You can also donate to WestSide Baby to help them offer help to struggling families. [SEATTLE, BURIEN]

Solid GroundFounded in 1974, Solid Ground, with locations in Wallingford and Magnuson Park, has been providing resources and care for the community and families struggling with poverty for decades. Solid Ground offers many volunteer opportunities, donation programs and special monthly events with proceeds going towards the fight against poverty within the community. Individuals and families can volunteer to support one of Solid Ground’s many garden projects, youth educations efforts, or information fairs. [SEATTLE]

HopelinkHopelink has been dedicated to serving low-income families, people with disabilities, children and seniors since 1971. With locations in Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Shoreline and Carnation, Hopelink offers various food banks and volunteer opportunities for families and individuals that are hoping to help give back. Volunteers are required to pass a background check and attend an orientation. An easy way to help during the holidays is to fund a gift package or set up a giving tree. [EASTSIDE, SHORELINE, CARNATION]

YouthCareKnown for being the first homeless shelter for youth in the Western United States, YouthCare has been committed to providing outreach and education, employment and housing options for low-income youth since 1974. There are many ways to contribute during the holidays, from donating needed items such as sleeping bags to funding their handy Amazon wishlist. YouthCare also offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, including meal preparation, housekeeping, tutoring, yardwork and more. you can donate urgently needed items (sleeping bags, blankets, socks, etc.). [SEATTLE]

TreehouseTreehouse is dedicated to providing foster kids with basic necessities, along with extracurricular activities, summer camps, educational support and other resources that help children lead normal and fulfilling lives. They have numerous volunteer opportunities available. Check the website for further information on how you too can help local children in the foster care system, from hosting a holiday donation drive to taking a spin on the holiday carousel in downtown Seattle (donations benefit Treehouse). [SEATTLE]

Rescue MissionThe Rescue Mission offers services, support and facilities for the homeless and others coping with difficult life challenges. The Rescue Mission accepts donations to help feed low-income children and offers a variety of sponsorships and volunteer opportunities that are both short- and long-term. Sign up now to help with an ongoing program at one of three Tacoma locations. [TACOMA]

Multi-Service CenterThe Multi-Service Center provides assistance, education, housing and employment services for individuals that are in need, the elderly and those with special needs. With operating the Federal Way Food Bank, the Multi-Service Center offers volunteer opportunities year-round and will be accepting food and clothing donations for this year's holiday and beyond. [FEDERAL WAY]

Youth Eastside ServicesFounded in 1968, Youth Eastside Services (YES) provides a lifeline for East King County children and families that are healing from violence, life threatening challenges, depression and drug, alcohol or sexual abuse. YES offers year-round volunteer opportunities and accepts donations that will go to benefit local children and families or the services they offer. [BELLEVUE]

Seattle Milk FundSince the early 1900s, the Seattle Milk Fund has been providing low-income families with childcare resources and tuition funding while the parents are going back to school. Seattle Milk Fund offers volunteer opportunities and accepts donations year-round. [SEATTLE]

Food LifelineFood Lifeline, located in Shoreline, is dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington by mobilizing resources and engaging local communities, and offers family-friendly volunteer opportunities year-round, with weekly work parties where volunteers as young as 6 years old help repackage bulk donations of food for delivery to food banks and shelters. Check out their calendar for upcoming food drives and fun events that will go to benefit the Food Lifeline services and recipients. [SHORELINE]

North HelplineNorth Helpline is a North Seattle food bank and a health care clinic for those in the community who are in need, with a baby and toddler-specific program, where they collect formula, baby food, diapers and supplies to help support low-income families. North Helpline as well offers short- and long-term year-round volunteer opportunities, including for families with children, and accepts food or money donations. [SEATTLE]

Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest is known for being Washington's own statewide hunger agency relief since its founding in 1967. Northwest Harvest operates the Cherry Street Food Bank in Seattle and partners with many other food banks throughout the state. Kids ages third grade and up can volunteer in the food bank (alongside parents). [SEATTLE, STATEWIDE]

Emergency Feeding ProgramSince 1977, the Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County (EFP), located in Renton, has been helping tens of thousands of citizens within the community that are in need. The EFP is always looking for volunteers to help pack food bags, staff distribution sites and host food drives. The EFP also accepts food or money donations. Check the website for upcoming food drives. You can also donate food in person or virtually through the Food of the Month program.

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