If your Christmas usually involves regretful food comas, a dwindling bank account, and crowd-filled shopping mania, it’s not too late to turn it around. Why don’t you make this year the one where you did something for someone else? Here are five ways you can give back as a volunteer this festive season.
It’s a wrap
If your idea of a good time is binge watching gift wrapping videos on YouTube (which is a thing – 15 million people and counting are obsessed with this one alone…), it’s time to put what you’ve observed into action. Multicap, a Queensland-based not for profit that supports people with disabilities, is on the hunt for Christmas gift wrapping volunteers in Brisbane to raise funds for their vital work. But it’s no worries if you’re not in in the area. Many organisations around Australia, from the Salvos to Royal Surf Life Saving, are also looking for volunteers who love nothing more than folding crisp corners and tying bows like a boss all day long, and it won’t be hard to find a wrapping role near you. Head to www.volunteeringaustralia.org for opportunities.
All over the shop
If you’re a lover of all things vintage, why not bring a little Christmas cheer to your local charity shop? Right now, Vinnies in Alfredton in Victoria is looking for volunteers, which could be a perfect fit for our Ballarat students. They’re after people who can create amazing customer experiences and assist with the sorting, pricing and displaying of their quirky and vintage donated goods. But there are plenty of charity shops around Australia that would appreciate your time this Christmas and beyond. Start your search with Vinnies.
Reach for the stars
If you’re a festive fanatic who puts your Christmas tree up before December has even begun (okay, let’s face it, you’re usually ready to go by late October…), this one is for you. The Starlight Children’s Foundation is after volunteers to work at Brisbane’s annual Christmas parade through the city. Volunteers are asked to bring the sparkle to King George Square and encourage parade-goers to buy their special Starlight star wands to support the charity. You can find out more here
With a simple mission of ‘putting smiles on dials’, the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia is hunting for volunteers all up and down our coast this Christmas – and for as long as the summer sun shines. If you love splashing about in the sea (don’t worry, you’re not required to have Mick Fanning’s moves to lend a hand), this is your opportunity to help people with a disability enjoy the waves and a day at the beach.
A full plate
A tip for next year: if you want to sign up to serve food at a charity event on Christmas Day, you need to get in fast. Think putting your name down in February… But don’t be disheartened if you haven’t been lucky enough to nab a spot this year. Sydney’s Wayside Chapel still needs your help. By contributing money to their Donate a Plate fundraiser (as little as $5 is more than welcome) you’ll be shouting Christmas lunch with all the trimmings for a homeless person at their annual event that draws a crowd of more than 1000 people each year.