By giving back, we can all have a more magical holiday season.
So much of the holidays revolves around food, family and friends. It’s a great time to remember those who may not have access to the same things. If you have extra time this season, consider volunteering at a local food bank by yourself or with a group. Food banks also take monetary and food donations. Grab a few extra cans the next time you go to the grocery store and give those to your local food bank.
Looking for a volunteer opportunity but not sure where to start? Pittsburgh Young Professionals is hosting a Volunteer Fair on November 29 to match volunteers with charitable organizations. The event, hosted at McFaddens on the North Shore, will help you find your fit. Organization representatives will share short and long-term opportunities so you can find a great match whether you’re feeling philanthropic during the holiday seasons or through all of 2019.
Celebrate the holidays with friends while still giving back to local organizations. The 12 Bars of Charity takes place on December 14. Register online and choose your team. Some causes you can support include the Humane Animal Rescue, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Autism Speaks, Center for Victims, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. The event goes from 8 p.m. to midnight with drink specials at 12 participating bars.
In response to the devastating attack in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill community, we stand in solidarity with the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania has created the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh’s Our Victims of Terror Fund for those who wish to donate in support of the victims. The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition also has volunteer and donation opportunities within the community.
From the bridges and rivers to hills and skyline, Pittsburgh truly is a beautiful city. Let’s keep it that way. Every Saturday and Sunday, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership hosts Downtown Beautification days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Grab a friend and meet some neighbors on the Clean Street Team. Connect with people who live, work and play downtown while keeping the Golden Triangle clean and beautiful.
This city draws a lot of professionals with specialized skill sets. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh needs volunteers to help with global language classes, tutoring and homework help, writing and editing resumes, teaching computer skills, and leading book discussions. If you’re a great copywriter, have business expertise, know multiple languages, or love reading (who doesn’t!?), spend some time giving back at your local library.
Pittsburgh has some of the best medical care in the country. That does bring sick children and their families to our city. The Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh provides a home environment that keeps families together. The organization takes monetary donations, but volunteers can also help with a meal program, family social hour, door decor, and welcome bags. These programs require different numbers of volunteers, so you can find a program that fits whether you have a large group or just one or two friends to volunteer with.
Blood donations save around 12,000 lives a day. Give the gift of life and attend a local blood drive. The American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region lists blood drives happening throughout the region. Churches, schools and local organizations also can organize local blood drives. Keep your eyes peeled for a blood drive in your area, or reach out to the Red Cross to organize one.
Are you a first-time blood donor? Here’s everything you need to know.
Many businesses double charitable donations to encourage employees to donate. Ask your employer if your company offers donation matching. If they do, you’ll be able to double your impact with your favorite charity. (This can provide a tax benefit for you and your employer as well.)
You know better than anyone the needs in your own local community. If you look hard enough, there are countless volunteer opportunities in any one neighborhood. One of the best ways to give back is to simply take action. If there’s a local school, food bank, library or shelter in your neighborhood, reach out and see if there is something you can do to help. Keep your neighbors and friends in mind as well — you never know who could use a helping hand.
You need to add the form code.