9 Ways to Volunteer in Northern Colorado This Holiday Season

Todd Sledge December 4, 2023

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to focus on creating your own wish list or fulfilling items on your friends and family members’ lists — but don’t forget about those in our community who are in need. There are many facing unbearable challenges, such as homelessness, food insecurity, addiction, domestic violence, and more.
There are several opportunities to give back throughout Northern Colorado this year, from toy and coat drives to monetary donations and volunteer opportunities. This time of year, the needs are great — but the overwhelming community support is even greater!
And time is of the essence, as today (December 5) is Colorado Gives Day! This is an excellent opportunity to start thinking about the ways you can support the amazing organizations in our midst.

Donate to a Local Charity for Colorado Gives Day on December 5

This annual holiday is focused on supporting non-profit organizations throughout Colorado through monetary donations. Since 2010, Colorado Gives Day has raised more than $415 million for important causes, ranging from housing to education and health care to civil rights. This is an excellent time to support your favorite non-profit — or discover a new one you’d like to support. When you set up a new monthly recurring donation on coloradogives.org, the Colorado Gives Foundation will match your second donation up to $100 — and up to $250,000 across all organizations. This will help your contribution go even further in helping your favorite non-profit thrive!

Celebrate Colorado Gives Day with Homeward Alliance

If you need a suggestion for who to support on Colorado Gives Day, you might consider Homeward Alliance, which has several programs and initiatives that work tirelessly to help Northern Colorado’s homeless and hungry population. This time of year, those needs are even greater! For Colorado Gives Day, Homeward Alliance has a goal of raising $75,000 to support their services in 2023 — and you can help them get there. Visit their donation page to help them reach their 2023 goal!

Participate in the Sweaty Sweater 5K (December 9, 2023)

Don your ugliest holiday sweaters and participate in the Sweaty Sweater 5K Run/Walk or the Kids’ 1-Mile, benefiting an Adopt-A-Family program in our local community. Adopt-A-Family is an outreach ministry run by Serve 6.8 that partners with local churches, businesses, and the community to help meet the tangible needs of local families at Christmas time. This fun and festive event is for everyone — whether you are casually walking, running for an award, or simply prancing toward the finish line for beer and hot chocolate!

Shop for the Realities for Children Santa’s Workshop (October 5–December 12, 2023)

Realities For Children’s Santa’s Workshop is a grassroots effort that has grown into a county-wide toy and winter gear distribution — so much so that it is now the single largest distribution of toys to children who have been abused or neglected in Northern Colorado. Through December 12, you can donate new, unwrapped toys purchased from their Amazon Wish List and drop them off at one of the many collection locations throughout NoCo. Then, these items are distributed to all 40 of Realities for Children’s partner agencies in Larimer County, who can then play Santa to the children and families they serve. You can also make a monetary donation to support this campaign; simply write “Santa’s Workshop” in the comments section.

Run in the Santa Catch 5K & 10K (December 16, 2023)

The Santa Catch 5K & 10K is another race supporting Adopt-A-Family, which will be serving thousands of local families in need this holiday season. And there are a few races to choose from — including the 10K, 5K and a free kids fun run, which means the whole family can join in! All 10K and 5K participants will receive a Santa Catch beanie and a finisher medal. Stick around for the awards ceremony and the free post-race hot cocoa bar, music, food and more! Register for Santa Catch here.

Shop for the Salvation Army Angel Tree

Recognizing that every child deserves to feel the joy of Christmas, The Salvation Army Angel Tree program provides new clothing and toys to more than one million children in need each year. Once a child is accepted as an Angel, donors can shop for their Christmas wish list.
You’ll visit one of the Walmart Christmas lists below to shop for the gifts you want to fulfill. Select “delivery” and Walmart will ship those items directly to your local Salvation Army. Or if you prefer, you can drop off items at a Walmart collection point or hand deliver them to your local Salvation Army. Once the gifts are received, The Salvation Army will distribute them to families in need for Christmas morning!

Salvation Army Angel Tree Wish Lists:

  • Angel Tree of Fort Collins
  • Angel Tree of Loveland
  • Angel Tree of Greeley

Shop From The Gift, a Christmas Catalog from House of Neighborly Service

House of Neighborly Service is a day center that offers advocacy and case management for homeless adults. They are open year-round in Loveland and Berthoud and provide everything from shower and laundry services to mental health assessments and substance abuse counseling. Each holiday season, HONS creates The Gift, a catalog with various opportunities to make contributions to help people in need and crisis, including older individuals, children, and hard-working families struggling to make ends meet. You can simply add these specific items to your cart, including pet food, a caring neighbors food basket, warm coats, or food for a family for a whole week. These are just a few of the many services offered at House of Neighborly Service!

Volunteer With Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels operates in nearly every community in America, including Meals on Wheels Fort Collins, which has served thousands of hot meals since it was established in 1969. Their mission is to provide nutritious, warm meals and social interaction to home-bound seniors and eligible clients five days a week in the greater Fort Collins area. While this is a year-round need, the holiday season can be an extra lonely time for these individuals. Consider volunteering to deliver meals on a weekly or biweekly basis to help fill this important need in our community.

Make No-Sew Blankets for the United Way of Larimer County

A small but impactful way to help meet basic needs in our community is by making no-sew blankets for the United Way of Larimer County. When people are unable to meet their basic needs — like warmth — it is difficult to focus on long-term goals, like employment, housing or education. Sign up as a volunteer in the upper right hand corner of this page, which has detailed instructions for creating these easy no-sew fleece blankets. You can then schedule an appointment to drop your blanket(s) off at the United Way of Larimer County! And if you’re looking for other ways to give back, NoCo Volunteers has an ongoing list of volunteer opportunities you can sign up for all year long.

Thank You!

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