Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
placeholder article
placeholder article

Volunteering in RVA During The Holiday Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

Now that Halloween has passed, the “holiday season” is right around the corner. Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hunakau and Christmas are just four of the major holidays that we get to experience in this season, and the best way to experience these holidays is with family and/or friends! For some people, though, the holiday season can be emotionally draining. People who have experienced loss, are battling homelessness, or are just lonely may be dreading this season and what it reminds them of. For me, knowing that there are people that don’t get to experience all of the love that I do this time of year breaks my heart. So, I try to volunteer as much as I can during the holidays. I feel that the holidays are the perfect time to find a program to volunteer and get involved with that you are passionate about. Giving back to the community makes the holiday season even brighter and my heart even fuller.

One way that I love to give back to the community is through food. Food is essential for everyone, but food insecurity is still a threat to our community. One organization that actively fights food insecurity is Feed More. Feed More is a Richmond based organization that provides food through several programs. Volunteers are essential to the operation of this organization (like most), and people are encouraged to sign up. Are you great at organizing? You can sign up to help organize the non-perishables in the warehouse. Do you prefer not to be in close contact with strangers? You can sign up to deliver meals contact-free through their Meals on Wheels program. Whatever your talents or restrictions are, there is a spot for you at Feed More. 

a glimpse inside a thrift store
Photo by Prudence Earl from Unsplash

Another organization in RVA is called Caring Clothes Closet. Caring Clothes Closet provides clothes and shoes to people in need at no cost. They are a volunteer-run organization. They have volunteer positions that range from sorting clothing to picking out clothes for children living in foster homes. CCC has been in operation since 2013 and has several programs that they provide. Don’t have time to volunteer? CCC is always looking for donations of gently used clothing and shoes. They accept summer and spring clothing April-August and accept fall and winter clothing September-March. They are always looking for men’s clothing, women’s plus-size clothing and children/toddler clothing, but if you have something else that you want to donate, they encourage you to email them to see if they need it at that time. That way, they don’t get overwhelmed with the same things!

The last organization that I want to talk about is called the Atlantic Outreach Group. This organization offers a program that provides gifts to children at Christmas time as well as financial support to families in need. One way to get involved with ACG is to donate a new toy for any age. They ask that the toys are not wrapped, but feel free to put them in a decorative holiday bag! Another way to help is to donate cold-weather gear (blankets, coats, gloves, hats, etc.) for them to distribute to those in need. ACG also offers more programs, so feel free to browse their website and reach out!

I believe in helping others all year round, but I feel that it is especially important during the holiday season. Helping people who are struggling can make them feel loved, seen and worthy, and I feel that this is most important around the holidays. So, step out of your comfort zone (or step into it) and sign up to help those in need in our community!

Kristen is a senior with a major in Elementary School Education. She loves to read, camp, and hang out with her two dogs and awesome husband.
Mary McLean (née Moody) is an avid writer and is the former Editor in Chief of Her Campus at VCU. She wrote diligently for Her Campus at VCU for two years and was the Editor in Chief for three years. You can find her work here! She double majored in Political Science and History at Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated in 2022. She loves her son, Peter, and her cat Sully. You can find her looking at memes all night and chugging Monster in the morning with her husband!