Holiday Volunteering | Five Ways to Bring Joy to Detroit This Christmas

Dec 5, 2019

At The Salvation Army, we rely heavily on our volunteers to help us #FightForGood. During Christmastime, we live out our mission in several ways that are vital to the communities that we serve year round. We like to get in the spirit of the season through helping our neighbors in need, and we would love for you to join us! Keep on reading to find out five ways you can volunteer with us during the holidays.

1. Bell Ringing

The bell ringing season starts each November and runs through Christmas Eve. Volunteers are the difference between a nearly empty kettle and one that raises about $30 per hour – enough to provide a family with two bags of groceries, or shelter an individual for a night. Volunteer bell ringers who are able to give of their time during the holidays help The Salvation Army's provide for our friends in need all year long. To volunteer as a bell ringer, visit Enter your zip code and then select a location and shift. If you want to participate with a radio station promotion, connect your shift with one of the following promotions: Ring for Bling, Ring with WRIF, Battle of the 'Burbs East, Battle of the 'Burbs West, or Battle of the 'Burbs Downriver. If you need any tips as a first-time bell ringer, click here!

2. Toy Shop

Volunteers for the toy shop get the amazing opportunity to become the personal shopper for parents who come to pick out Christmas presents for their children. Toy shop volunteers give hope as they guide shoppers and take part in imagining Christmas morning for countless families who rely on The Salvation Army during the holidays. Volunteers will also help set up, tear down, and restock the toy shop. Click here to sign up to volunteer for your local toy shop.

3. Food Pantry

Volunteers for the food pantry have the privilege of helping our friends in need have a special Christmas meal and enough food for their families during the holiday season, when budgets come under extra strain. As a volunteer, you will be setting up the food pantry, cleaning the kitchen, and helping load   groceries into cars for anyone who needs assistance. Click here to sign up to volunteer for your local food pantry.

4. Bed & Bread Club Sandwich Making

Homelessness and hunger are problems many Detroiters must deal with day in and day out. That's why the Eastern Michigan Division of The Salvation Army is proud to run the Bed & Bread Club. We're dedicated to feeding the hungry residents of Detroit who are unable to make it to a soup kitchen and providing overnight shelter for those residents who have no place to sleep. Each day, no matter the weather, our Bed & Bread Club truck drivers make their way through all of Detroit, traveling multiple routes and making over 60 stops to feed the hungry. That even includes holidays and days when the weather may prove dangerous, because we understand that hunger doesn't take any days off. On days so cold that the postal service can't deliver mail and schools close, our trucks deliver hundreds of meals to people who otherwise would not eat at all.

Volunteers interested in the Bed & Bread Club will help serve meals to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Each day, our truck drivers manage a demanding, difficult job of navigating their route, efficiently serving dozens of people at each stop, prepping extra food before and after stops, and maintaining a neat, clean serving area in the truck. Volunteers on the truck have the amazing opportunity to lighten the driver’s load and build relationships with the people served. Click here to sign up to volunteer on the Bed & Bread truck. If you would like to learn more about riding along on the Bed & Bread truck, click here.

The other crucial part of Bed & Bread is volunteer sandwich makers. Every morning across metro Detroit, our trucks serve thousands of sandwiches prepared beforehand by volunteers in our kitchen at the Harbor Light center. Click here to sign up to make sandwiches for the Bed & Bread Club.

5. Get Involved At Your Local Corps Community Center

Each Corps Community Center in metro Detroit offers services specific to the community it is in, and while all Corps Community Centers run programs such as the Toy Shop and Food Pantry, there are always various ways to help out that are unique to each Corps Community Center. If you would like to fill a niche role at your local Corps, use our location search to find out how you can meet the needs of your Corps.

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