Omaha-Area Volunteer Opportunities for the 2021 Holiday Season
As part of our mission to “Smile. Be Kind. Do Good,” we love to share Omaha volunteer opportunities for families throughout the year. And, with giving season in full swing, the team at Hawley Orthodontics has put together another annual installment of the best ways to give back in the Omaha area during the holidays.
- United Way of the Midlands – United Way of the Midlands has been serving the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro since 1923. The nonprofit invests in programs that help lift local families out of poverty. This Omaha charity can connect you with non-profit agencies in need of volunteers year-round or you can choose to be a United Way Holiday Helper. Holiday Helper opportunities include adopting a family for Christmas or working in the Christmas Store. You can also pitch in remotely by purchasing items on agency wishlists.
- Siena Francis House – Siena Francis House is the largest shelter in Nebraska and they provide emergency overnight shelter to people experiencing homelessness. They also offer case management outreach services, food and clothing. There are a number of Siena Francis House Omaha volunteer openings, including a need for people to help with meal service, laundry service and transportation service, as well as openings for dock and pantry volunteers. Take a look at all of the Siena Francis House volunteer opportunities and sign-up here.
- Tri-City Food Pantry – The food pantry, which serves families living in the greater Sarpy County area, is one of our favorite Papillion charities. Hosting your own food drive is a great way to get your kids involved in giving back. Contact the organization before starting your drive. You can also contribute by donating much-needed items.
- Be a Santa to a Senior – Home Instead Senior Care® partners with local organizations to identify senior citizens who won’t receive gifts this holiday season. They then place trees at local businesses with ornaments that have senior citizens’ names and gift suggestions written on them. They’re looking for volunteers to serve as Santas to the seniors. To participate, visit one of these Hy-Vee locations, remove an ornament with a gift request, purchase the gift, and then deliver the unwrapped gift with the ornament to the designated box.
- Open Door Mission – If you follow our Papillion orthodontics office on social media, you may have seen our recent food drive to benefit Open Door Mission where, after reaching our goal, Dr. Hawley got pied! Open Door Mission’s goal is to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. The organization provides shelter beds to people experiencing homelessness, as well as preventative resources. The Omaha charity also serves meals to those in need. There are a variety of Open Door Mission Omaha volunteer opportunities for the 2021 holidays. Here are a few:
- Purchase a gift for the Project Santa program from the organization’s Amazon wishlist. The holiday gifts will be distributed to boys and girls in need so they have something to open on Christmas morning. Or, take part in the Christmas Bells program by buying a holiday gift for an adult in need from Amazon.
- For something that you can do while social distancing, consider one of the organization’s Volunteer in Place opportunities. Volunteers are needed to make inspiration cards, make meals and sack lunches, put together hygiene comfort kits and more.
- Open Door Mission has in-person volunteer opportunities too. They need volunteers for their annual Project Santa Toy ‘N’ Joy shop. Or, if you’d rather be an Omaha soup kitchen volunteer, there’s also a need for helpers to serve holiday meals. You can see all of the volunteer openings and sign up here.
- The Salvation Army of Omaha – The Salvation Army has a range of holiday volunteer opportunities in the Omaha area. You can be a bell ringer and collect donations, deliver meals, assist in a food pantry, and more. See the full list and details here.
- Heartland Hope Mission – Heartland Hope Mission is in need of resources to meet growing demand. The faith-based nonprofit offers basic necessities and services to help the working poor get back on their feet. You can help by donating funds or non-perishable food items. Heartland Hope Mission also has Omaha volunteer opportunities for people 12 and up in their food pantries and warehouse. Or, participate in their Hope-Filled Christmas program by adopting a family and providing them with Christmas gifts.
- Heart Ministry Center – Heart Ministry Center provides food, health care and job placement services to people affected by poverty in the Omaha area. The organization offers volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, companies and schools to work together to provide meals to neighbors in need. Volunteers are needed to sort and stock donations, operate drive-through food distribution, make food pantry bags, help with special events and maintain the center and grounds, among other tasks. Get more information or sign-up here. You can also donate directly or drop off items like toiletries, diapers, formula and non-perishable food.
- Shine the Light on Hunger – The Omaha Holiday Lights Festival is back for 2021. The Festival, in partnership with Conagra Brands, will be running the annual Shine the Light on Hunger campaign. This year’s goal is to raise the equivalent of 2 million meals to support the hunger relief efforts of the Food Bank for the Heartland. Conagra Brands Foundation will match all campaign funds up to $100,000. To help, you can contribute funds, donate non-perishable food items by dropping them off at one of many Omaha-area locations or volunteer directly with the food bank.
- Together Omaha – Together’s mission is to prevent and end hunger and homelessness in Omaha and the surrounding communities. The non-profit organization helps families in need get access to food, shelter, clothing, crisis management and more. Together is looking for volunteers to help with fundraisers and community outreach for special events, as well as in their food pantry. Complete a volunteer application here.
These are just some of the ways to give back during the holidays in Omaha and the surrounding area. Whether you take part in one of these suggestions or find a way to give back on your own, we’d love to see you in action! Snap a picture and share it on social with the tag #SmileBeKindDoGood. Let’s make the 2021 holiday season the brightest one yet. And, as always, if in between volunteer stints, achieving a fantastic smile is also on your holiday to-do list, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Hawley.