As the holiday season approaches organizations, such as the Idaho Food Bank and Boise Rescue Mission, are looking for volunteers to help give back to the community. During Thanksgiving or Christmas break, Boise State students looking to give back to the less fortunate or spend their time spreading holiday cheer can check out a few opportunities around Boise.
With some Boise State programs such as the Holiday Help being discontinued, many families that relied on these Boise State giving programs will look for help through local organizations. Boise State students staying in town during this coming holiday break can give back though the many volunteer organizations around Boise.
Idaho Food Bank:
Powered by volunteers, this organization has a great need for community members to come and help out. Volunteers are responsible for repacking food into family-sized quantities, sorting donations by nutritional categories and placing stickers on unlabeled cans. To sign up or make a donation, visit their website at idahofoodbank.org.
Kid’s Holiday Shopping Spree:
This service opportunity gives Boiseans and Boise State students the change to brighten a child’s day by taking them shopping at Target. The shopping spree takes place Thursday, Dec. 21, at the Target on Chinden Boulevard and Eagle Road. The volunteers accompany the children into the store and are given a gift card to purchase gifts or personal items for the holiday season. To register, visit app.betterimpact.com.
Idaho Botanical Garden:
Those looking for a fun way to spread holiday spirit, can volunteer at the Winter Garden aGlow. Shifts start at 5 p.m. and run until 9:30 p.m from Nov. 23 to Jan . Volunteers can choose from a range of duties, including from greeting guests to being the Holiday Express train conductor or one of Santa’s elves. To sign up for a shift, contact Karen Christeson at Karen@idahobotanicalgarden.org.
Boise Rescue Mission:
The Rescue Mission is always looking for volunteers, but with several holiday events coming up, they have 1,000 volunteer slots available. These events include the Albertson’s Turkey Roundup, Christmas banquets, the Christmas Food Box Build and much more. To sign up, go online at boiserm.org/get-involved and fill out a volunteer form.
The Salvation Army:
With the added emotional and financial stress for community members during the holiday season, the Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to help out in the Boise area. Volunteers can choose from a range of duties, including raking leaves or being a kettle bell ringer. To sign up, go to volunteer.usawest.org and choose an event.
Book It Forward:
This organization is a joint initiative of Idaho Voices for Children and The Cabin Literary Center. They are dedicated to increasing access to books. The organization collects new and gently-used books and cleans them for distribution.
Volunteers are welcome to clean and sort books to donate to children and families in need in the Boise area. The warehouse is located at The Cabin Literary Center near the public library and is open open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To set up a shift just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Book It Forward is also always accepting book donations at The Cabin during opperating hours.
For students who can’t go home for the holidays, here are some opportunities to make another family feel at home. There are many more places to volunteer and give back in Boise. Even if it’s just giving a stranger a helping hand on campus, a little goes a long way this holiday season.