Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published November 21st 2013
Bring a little joy to someone less fortunate this Christmas
Christmas for most of us is the busiest time of year with our calendars full of social events for work, schools, kindergartens, friends and family not to mention Christmas shopping, decorating and everything else that's going on.
In the rush of Christmas it can be difficult to stop and reflect on people that don't have the same busy schedule or family and friends to celebrate Christmas with, or for those who can't afford to buy their kids presents, or for the sick and injured who will spend Christmas alone in hospital.
We can all do something this Christmas by volunteering at one of the many charities around Australia. Not only will you be helping people in their time of need but you will also get a lot of personal satisfaction of making somebody's Christmas a little bit brighter.
Christmas day in the special care nursery with a hand made knitted teddy that was made by volunteers
The Smith family require volunteers to help pack and distribute Christmas gifts and help with venue set ups between the 26th of November - 13 of December and for deliveries on the 15th of December. You can register to volunteer here.
MS Australia are looking for volunteers to wrap gifts in centro shopping centres in Mornington, Cranbourne, Oakleigh and Brandon Park. For more details and to apply click here.
Wesley Mission needs help to collect donated food from supermarkets around Victoria for their Food for Families program. To find out more or to register your interest click here.
The Basket Brigade fund raise throughout the year to supply Christmas baskets for those in need. You can help by packing, sorting and delivering baskets. Everyone is welcome to come along and help on the 15th of December at Xavier College from 11am. You can register your interest here or register on the day.
Vision Australia need volunteers for the Myer gift wrapping service in various locations. To find out more and to register click here. If you can spare more time, they also have many other voluntary positions that need to be filled and can be found here.
Melbourne City Mission needs volunteers to help with their ABC Giving Tree Appeal by collecting toys, sorting through donated items and to packaging them for their recipients at their South Melbourne office. To register and to find out more, click here.
Operation Santa is requiring volunteers to help pick up donated presents from the Christmas trees in most Target stores. To register your interest click here.
Vinnies or more formally St Vincent De Paul always need volunteers to help in soup vans, Vinnies shops and as companions. For more info click here.
Salvation Army require volunteers to be collectors for the Red Shield Appeal. To register your interest click here.
Sacred Heart Mission is inundated with people wanting to help serve meals on Christmas and Boxing day, however they need volunteers for the remaining Christmas period and in January as most of their regular volunteers go away on holidays. You need to first attend a information session before volunteering and you can select a date to do this here.
SecondBite require volunteer drivers for ongoing positions for two hours a week Mon-Fri 9-5. These positions are in Kensington.To find out more click here.
To help in a soup kitchen then click here to check what's in your area.
Contact your local hospital,nursing homeor church group to see what help you can offer over the Christmas period. For people that are isolated a little bit of company can make a difference to their day.
If you love animals then get in contact with your local animal shelter or wild life carer.
Remembering that Christmas is the busiest time for volunteering in all aspects and some positions listed may already be full. Whilst every charity will be happy to have extra volunteers they like to remind us that charities are open 365 days of the year and Christmas is only 1 day of the year.
Volunteering is a great way to feel more connected to your community, you will learn new skills, meet new people and it puts things into perspective when perhaps you're feeling a little down.
There seems to be something a little more special volunteering on Christmas day, whether it's all the lights and decorations, Christmas carols playing or just the time for joy and goodwill but once you have volunteered at Christmas you may decide to volunteer more regularly.
hi Lorraine. I wonder if you can direct me in the right way.. We are about to have a baby and as he grows up we would like to instill a sense of gratitude and sharing. With this in mind we would like to make a yearly ritual at Christmas time of having him donate some of his toys to other children in need. As we would
Like to create the connection in him of the joy of giving we would like him to
Be able to give first hand rather than donate to an appeal as such. Do you know how/where we might be able to do this? Thanks so much
Thanks Lorraine for a very inspiring article. You have definitely inspired me to find some time and start volunteering this Christmas. I'll also be encouraging my children to do the same.
It is so handy to find the contact details all at one place, and the brief description of the duties at each charity listed are also very useful in finding a job that is most suitable for each individual.
Thanks Lorraine, for your info into helping at Christmas time. I do gift wrapping for MS and it's great fun and I support The Smith Family as well and others too.
BELLE.. Although your baby would now be a little bit older than at your first post I decided to answer you here and hope you read it plus other mums who would like to donate toys, cloths, furniture, prams, beds and a heap more to help other struggling mums. It's a wonderful charity with lots of lovely ladies all working for a purpose to help mums.
Their website is.....St Kilda Mums and apparently they will also come and pick up beds etc but you have to discuss it with them and book it in..
They do a wonderful service.