For youth in the area hoping to lend a hand to someone in need this holiday season, Young Achievers has compiled several volunteer opportunities available this month.
Urban Ministry Center
Soup kitchen: Open daily 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Serves more than 400 on weekdays and about 200 each weekend day.
Drink groups : Bring drinks, cups and ice for 450 drinks and serve during lunch 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Operation Sandwich: Make 100-500 sandwiches for lunch. These can be made at home and delivered at your convenience.
Holiday cookies: Bring 400-1,200 cookies, or other hand-sized treats, to give out during lunch.
Donate foo d: The center needs frozen turkeys, pies, cans of corn, peas, and green beans for holiday meals. To donate, email Christine Delia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before volunteering at the Urban Ministry Center, visit www.urbanministrycenter.org, for a copy of volunteer schedules and forms. Lists of additional needs can also be found online.
Angel Tree: Various organizations, retail stores and companies around Charlotte display these. Each holds ornaments with a child’s name, age, clothing size and gift wish list. You can pick an “angel” off the tree and purchase items for that child. For a list of participants, visit www.salvationarmycarolinas.org. Info: 980-297-0518.
Toy drive: You can participate in the Magical Toy Drive by dropping off toys for area youth at the Salvation Army Christmas Center (801 E. Arrowood Road) by Dec. 16. Toys can include, but are not limited to, board games, balls, dolls, craft supplies, infant clothing, and items for youth ages 11-14. Info: Shay Johnson at 704-621-6314.
Silver Bells: This program helps more than 600 senior citizens in the area by providing clothing, shoes, and toiletries, among other items. To donate, call 980-297-0518.
Fill a stocking: Grab a stocking and fill it with toys for children on the Angel Tree. Pick up a stocking at the Salvation Army Christmas Center and drop it off at the same location by Dec. 16.
Coats for kids: Have a new or gently used coat in your closet? Donate it to a child in need this winter. For drop-off locations, visit www.salvationarmycarolinas.org.
Red kettle: You’ll see the Army’s red kettles and iconic ringing bells all around town, for collecting spare change – or large contributions.
Room in the Inn
Room in the Inn is a ministry for the homeless sponsored by the Urban Ministry Center. The “inn” is hosted at various churches and facilities, such as the YMCA, December-March. The YMCA seeks volunteers to set up beds, cots, tables, and chairs; prepare and/or serve meals; pack lunches; donate food items; donate clothing items such as new undershirts, socks, or toboggans; and clean up Sunday morning. Info: www.ymca.net/volunteer.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross’s second annual “12 Days of Giving” runs through Dec. 21. Charlotte-area residents are can donate blood or platelets at the Charlotte or Huntersville Red Cross Donor Centers, or donate toys for patients at Hemby Children’s Hospital. Toy donation centers are: Charlotte Donor Center, 2425 Park Road; or the Huntersville Donor Center in the Calhoun building-Huntersville Business Park, 9800 Kincey Ave.