Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

The holidays are a perfect opportunity to give the gift of your time to organizations that need an extra hand. In this particularly challenging year, we know the needs are greater than ever while we work to maximize impact and ensure the health and safety of our entire community.  

We’ve compiled a list of volunteer opportunities from United Way partner agencies around the region that will allow you to give back safely while supporting the front-line organizations who have been helping our community this year. 

Decided to sign up for a holiday opportunity? Let us know! Send us an email at or tag us on social media with proof of your sign-up and we’ll give you a Steps to Success t-shirt.

Literacy Kits

Remote Opportunity, Ongoing

If you are interested in donating Literacy Kits this year from home, watch our video tutorial on how to create a United Way Literacy Kit below, or read about the decorating process here.

If you or your organization are interested in finding out more on how to become involved with United Way Literacy Kits, contact Emily Watkins (

Cards of Encouragement

Remote Opportunity, Ongoing

In addition to making a donation to the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, United Way volunteers can pass along their care and encouragement to the critical front-line organizations and individuals helping others through the ongoing effects of COVID-19.

Email with your name, the name of your group (if applicable) and the anticipated number of cards to be created to get started.

Boys & Girls Club of Metro Richmond

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond develops young people who are “life-ready” and empowered to use their voices.

Clubhouse Restock

Where: 2409 Bainbridge Street, Richmond, VA 23225
When: Ongoing

Boys & Girls Club of Metro Richmond is looking for volunteers to help restock their clubhouse with the following items:

  • Frito Lay (Bold Mix, Variety Mix, Flavor Mix)
  • Oreo Variety Pack
  • Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Rice Krispie Treats
  • Hefty Supreme Foam Plates
  • Lysol Spray
  • Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
  • Bottled Water

Items can be dropped off at the address above.

For more information about this opportunity with Boys & Girls Club of Metro Richmond, email Lynee Berkness (

HandsOn Greater Richmond

Where: 1010 North Thompson Street, Richmond, VA 23230
When: Saturday, December 4th, 2021

HandsOn Greater Richmond supports an inspired network of passionate people and powerful causes to make meaningful change in the community.

Holiday Box Assembly

Join us on Saturday, December 4th, as we assemble “Family Engagement Holiday Kits” for our students!  Volunteers will assemble and fill boxes with lots of goodies for our students and families.  The boxes will include items such as hot cocoa, art supplies, card games, and a small stuffed animal for each of our students.  The boxes will be distributed by our CIS Site Coordinators before our students are out for Winter Break.

For more information about these opportunities with HandsOn Greater Richmond, email Wendy Lively, (

Health Brigade

Health Brigade–formerly FAN FREE CLINIC– carries on a 50-year legacy as Virginia’s oldest FREE and CHARITABLE clinic offering a growing array of medical, mental health, community outreach and care coordination services for low-income and uninsured persons. Health Brigade is known as a safe place to seek care for those who need it the most. We are committed to serving the most marginalized populations in the community–not only those with few resources, but also those most oppressed and stigmatized.

Spanish Interpreter

Where: 1010 North Thompson Street, Richmond, VA 23230
When: Ongoing

Health Brigade serves many individuals with Limited English Proficiency. Bilingual volunteers provide interpretation for Medical appointments, Mental Health appointments, and during other interactions between Health Brigade representatives and clients as needed. This position enables us to provide quality care to all of our patients and clients, regardless of language barriers.

Position Requirements

  • Spanish proficiency
  • 18 years or older
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Comfortable discussing sensitive or personal issues
  • Able to understand and present information of a medical or technical nature
  • Position is virtual, requires reliable internet connection and private workspace
  • 6 months minimum commitment
  • Weekly 4 hour shift(s) 

Job responsibilities 

  • Volunteer accurately interprets the conversation between patient/client and Health Brigade representative.
  • Volunteer acts as broker to navigate cultural differences between the patient/client and Health Brigade representative as needed.

For more information about these opportunities with Health Brigade, email Kelsea Jeter, (


Supply Drive

Host a supply drive in your local community during the month of December. Request and gather cleaning supplies (i.e. – Lysol, hand soap, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, etc.), personal hygiene supplies (deodorant, feminine hygiene products, body soap, shampoo and conditioner, razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc.), canned goods, non-perishable food items, warm blankets and bottled water.

Coat Drive

During the month of December, host a coat drive on behalf of HomeAgain. HomeAgain recipients are in need of coats for children of all ages, women and men. Donated coats should be new.

Warm Meals

Prepare a meal or have one delivered to our Family Shelter or Men’s/Veteran’s Shelter any day of the week. Currently the Family Shelter has 33 residents and the Men’s/Veteran’s Shelter has 30 temporary residents. There are no know food allergies.

For more information about these opportunities with Peter Paul Development Center, email Mandy Herbert, (

OAR of Richmond

As the community leader in reentry services, OAR of Richmond provides evidence-based and person-centered approaches to empower those impacted by incarceration to find individual success.

Adopt-A-Family Gift Wrap

Where: 3111 West Clay Street, Richmond, VA 23230
When: Thursday, December 16, 2021, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Volunteers will help OAR Staff wrap gifts for recipients of our Adopt-A-Family program. Adopt-A-Family is a program that targets our clients who are currently incarcerated and will not be with their families for the holidays. We collaborate with community partners  and donors alike to provide a warm outfit, and gifts for each child as well as a small gift for the caregiver, whoever is fulfilling that parental role.

Refreshments and wrapping supplies will be provided. Additional wrapping supplies donations will also be accepted.

For more information about this opportunity with OAR of Richmond, email Latifah Holman, (

Peter Paul Development Center

The Peter Paul Development Center supports the neighbors of the East End and educates its students, equipping them to serve as positive contributors to their families, community and society.

Winter Resource Distribution

Where: Robinson Theater – 2903 Q Street, Richmond, VA 23223
When: Thursday, December 9, 2021, 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Winter is approaching, and our neighbors will need extra support to make it through the cold season ahead. Come help the Peter Paul Development Center’s Family and Community Engagement team share winter resources with community members and hand out support bags to those in need!

For more information about this opportunity with Peter Paul Development Center, email Joy Gilchrist (

The Salvation Army of Central Virginia

Christmas Center Volunteers

Where: The Salvation Army of Central Virginia
When: November 15 – December 17

Volunteer at The Salvation Army Christmas Center and help sort, process and distribute gifts to Angel Tree recipients this holiday season. Volunteers are needed weekdays beginning November 15th through December 17th. To learn more and sign up, visit , click “How You Can Help,” and “Volunteer Opportunities. Returning volunteers can sign in through our volunteer database from that page, and new volunteers can create an account and sign up for opportunities.

For more information about this opportunity with the Salvation Army of Central Virginia, email Kathy Cundiff (

Ring at a Red Kettle

Where: Various Locations
When: November 12 – December 24

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles are an iconic part of the Christmas season. When you ring a bell at a kettle, you’re ringing for hope for those in needs. Funds raised through the Red Kettles support year-round social services and programs like our Boys & Girls Club, Emergency Shelter and Financial Assistance. Visit to sign up as an individual or group and ring at a kettle near you! Red Kettles will be out at participating retail locations, Monday – Saturday from November 12 – December 24.

For more information about this opportunity with the Salvation Army of Central Virginia, email Kathy Cundiff (

South Richmond Adult Daycare Center

South Richmond Adult Daycare Center helps families and individuals experiencing homelessness secure and maintain a Home, Again.

Where: 1500 Hull Street, Richmond, VA 23224
When: Ongoing

PPE Kits

Volunteer opportunity description: Volunteers can create PPE Kits to help older adults have a healthy and happy holiday season at South Richmond Adult Daycare Center. Volunteers can create PPE kits with the following:

  • Medical Masks
  • Disposable Latex Gloves
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • United Way Card of Encouragement (optional)

Kits can be dropped off at the location above between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please email or call 804-231-9306 to schedule your drop-off.

Other Ways to Help

Here are some ways you can put your holiday spirit to good use this year:

  • Make a resolution. Agencies that may not have an opening for volunteers this month would love to have you volunteer in the spring. Instead of volunteering this holiday season, make a resolution to do so in 2022. Some organizations may even have 2022 opportunities that you can sign up for now.  
  • Continue to support our region. Your local United Way always has great volunteer opportunities on the horizon. Check our volunteer pageemail to express interest in future events and signup for our volunteer newsletter. 
  • Create your own activity. There are plenty of ways to put your holiday spirit to good use, even if you aren’t volunteering through an organization. 
  • Sort through closets to collect clothes to donate. You will get organized and collect a pile of clothes to give to those in need. 
  • Lend a hand and share your time with those in need. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who could use some help picking up groceries? Or maybe you could offer free tutoring to students? 
  • Go beyond toy drives and turkey trots and consider projects that you can do at home with your family. You can decorate and assemble United Way Literacy Kits with your children. You will not only brighten a child’s holiday season, you will help empower families to continue the learning at home. 
  • Express appreciation. Take the time to thank the people who are working every day to make our community a better place. Maybe it’s the frontline workers who helped serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic or a teacher who has worked hard to engage with their studentsConsider taking some time to participate in our Cards of Encouragement initiative and show someone how much you appreciate their work. 
  • Check in on older adults. Studies have found that social isolation negatively impacts a person’s health. The holidays are the perfect reason to chat with older adults who live alone to provide some social connection and check if they may need more help throughout the year.