November 22, 2016
This festive time of year with the holiday lights, celebrations, yummy food, camaraderie, gifts and good will — all add up to special season of good times and treasured memories!
But for some, the holidays remind them that they’re without family, without friends and without some of the wonderful things that mark Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa for those of us in our new home lake community.
There’s no better occasion to volunteer our time, resources and holiday spirit to those who need a little cheer! (Here’s a touching video about caring and sharing that’s making the rounds again this season that should inspire us all!)
We combined some volunteering ideas from local charities and nonprofits near the Southshore lakeside community so you can make a difference this holiday season for someone in Aurora and beyond!
Basket of Joy
Over 1,000 Basket of Joy volunteers come together on Saturday, December 10 to assemble 5,280 holiday fruit baskets and deliver them to low-income seniors or seniors who might not have visitors for the holidays. Sign up to volunteer or find more information about Basket of Joy.
Childcare for Single Moms
Help out a single mothers and her children at Champa House by offering childcare. Volunteers are needed for Christmas breaks during the last week of December and first week of January. The minimum age is 16, although younger children can be accompanied by their moms and help from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Christmas Gifts for Meals on Wheels Clients
Bring joy to a home-bound senior by donating and/or delivering Christmas gifts for TLC Meals on Wheels clients (who love seeing children, by the way!) Contact TLC Meals on Wheels in Centennial to learn about all the ways you can volunteer.
Denver Rescue Mission
These are the folks who put a “turkey on every table” at Thanksgiving and serve meals year-round to people who would otherwise not eat! Find a time to help serve or contribute donations this holiday season to the Denver Rescue Mission.
Christmas Day Meals on Wheels Delivery
Bring a friend, a spouse or your entire family and spend an hour or two delivering hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors on Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25. Contact TLC Meals on Wheels to volunteer.
Spend Time with a Senior
More than 50 percent of elderly seniors never receive any visitors, so find someone in a nearby care facility and make their holiday season special! You can read to them or bring a gift (here are some fun and practical ideas).
And since many facilities offer memory care so if you have musical talent, research shows music can tap into the buried memories of persons with memory challenges. Here’s a list of time-honored Christmas carols and popular holiday tunes, as well as patriotic songs and hymns to practice playing and singing!
Peakview Assisted Living, 6021 S. Liverpool St., Centennial, 303-589-9962
Haven of Care, 5010 Duquesne St., Aurora, 303-690-5159
Christian Assisted Living, 22247 E. Hinsdale Ave., Aurora, 303-699-6693.
Volunteer with Vets
Find out how you can thank the veterans who put their lives on the line for our safety by visiting the VA Colorado Nursing Homes site, or calling the Colorado State Veterans Home at 1919 Quentin St. in Aurora, 720-857-6400.
Help Homeless Pets
Volunteer some time to befriend a lonely cat or dog this holiday season. The Aurora Animal Shelter needs dog walkers, cat cuddlers, foster care providers, shelter technicians and adoption liaisons. (Or, you could always adopt a pet!) Visit them at 15750 E. 32nd Ave., or call them at 303-326-8280. You can also email [email protected] for more information.
OTHER GIVING OPPORTUNITIES
The holiday bell ringers can always use your spare change, plus, here are a couple of more purposeful ways to give to causes that count.
The Salvation Army
Each holiday season, The Salvation Army amps up its fundraising efforts to help support the elderly, the homeless and other underserved populations. Find out how you can get involved with the Salvation Army’s work.
American Red Cross
“Give something that means something” when you get involved with the American Red Cross’s campaign. Check out the list of charitable opportunities, which include vaccinating a child and buying phone cards for troops.
Toys for Tots
Marines’ Toys for Tots Foundation collects gifts for children who come from economically disadvantaged families. If you don’t have a drop-off center near you, consider starting your own. Find out how you can get involved.
Resolution 5K on New Year’s Eve
Help ring in the New Year by volunteering to help out at the Resolution 5K race in Washington Park on New Year’s Eve, December 31. The race is family-friendly and benefits Volunteers of America. Shifts are available between 1:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Click here to sign up.
The Southshore Community Cares
We know how fortunate we are to live in the Southshore lakeside community that cares and shares their good fortune with others. This season, stop by for a holiday hello and let us show you around the Village Homes and Richmond American Homes in our new home lake community. Ranch and two-story new homes in Aurora, CO are priced from the $400s.