Fall is upon us, swooping in on a whirlwind of sweaters, scarves, and pumpkin spice. While looking forward to all that fall has to offer, we’re also very excited about the new opportunities for volunteering that the season brings. Here are five ideas for an autumnal approach to service.
1. Take on some extra yard work
As pretty as the autumn leaves are, they can be a big inconvenience for some people. The elderly as well as people with disabilities aren’t always able to deal with the increased yard maintenance that comes in fall. Grab a rake and take a walk around your neighborhood to see who could use your help! You can also connect with veterans in your community who need a little extra support this time of year, through Disabled American Veterans’ local assistance programs
2. Make cold-weather care packages for the homeless
As temperatures drop, people experiencing homelessness are especially susceptible to cold weather. Consider putting together a cold-weather care package (blankets, gloves, socks, hand warmers, lip balm, etc.), or contact your local homeless shelter to see what kinds of donations they need most this time of year. Visit the Homeless Shelter Directory to learn what kind of resources are in your community and how you can best support their efforts.
3. Clean out your closet
As you prepare your autumn wardrobe, set aside any coats, sweaters, scarves, hats, or other gently used items that you don’t need anymore. By donating these items to a family shelter, refugee center or thrift store, you can help others get ready for the season. Give your gently worn coats to One Warm Coat or make a donation at thrift stores that give back such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
4. Do good with baked goods
One of the best things about fall is the food: pumpkin pie, caramel apples, hot chocolate, and so much more. If autumn treats are your specialty, bake a batch for good by hosting a bake sale and donating the proceeds to charity. Get tips for a successful charity bake sale.
5. Help out on Halloween
Many community centers, schools and churches will be having events at the end of the month to give kids a safe environment for trick-or-treating. These events take a lot of volunteers to run, so the organizations will be happy to have you helping to direct traffic or distribute candy. You can also consider volunteering at a hospital or local shelter, to help bring Halloween festivities to children who might otherwise be left out.
Ready to get involved? Search for fall volunteer opportunities in your community at www.allforgood.org.