As part of our mission to “Smile. Be Kind. Do Good,” we love to share volunteer opportunities in Omaha for families throughout the year. With giving season in full swing, the team at Hawley Orthodontics has put together another annual installment of the best ways to give back and volunteer in the Omaha area during the holidays. Check out these local Omaha charities and organizations to get involved!
- United Way of the Midlands – United Way of the Midlands has served 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 that need 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 choosing the agency you want to support and purchasing items on their wishlists.
- Siena Francis House – Siena Francis House is the largest provider of services to those in Nebraska experiencing homelessness, including shelter, 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. Want to volunteer as a group? Siena Francis House welcomes groups and is one of many group volunteer opportunities in Omaha on this list. Take a look at all of the Siena Francis House volunteer opportunities and sign up here.
- Neighborgood Community Pantry – The food pantry, which serves families living in the greater Sarpy County and Ralston areas, is one of our favorite volunteer opportunities in Papillion, NE. In fact, we just held our yearly holiday food drive to support this organization! Check out our social channels for more info about this year’s food drive in partnership with fellow dentists. 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 these much-needed food items.
- Open Door Mission – Along with Neighborhood, Open Door Mission was the other recipient of the goods we collected during our holiday food drive. 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 charity also serves meals to those in need. There are various Open Door Mission Omaha volunteer opportunities for the 2023 holidays.
- 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.
- Can’t get out? 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. Whether you want to be an Omaha soup kitchen volunteer or help organize clothing donations, see all their volunteer openings 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 – The faith-based nonprofit offers 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 ages 12 and up in their food pantries and warehouse. Or, participate in their Hope-Filled Christmas program by signing up to adopt 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 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 2023. 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 5 million meals to support the hunger relief efforts of the Food Bank for the Heartland. Together, Conagra Brands Foundation, Scoular Foundation, Farm Credit Services of America, and Baker’s Supermarkets will match all campaign funds up to $320,000. 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 help everyone experience safe, affordable housing, food security, health and wellness in Omaha and the surrounding communities. 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.
- Rainbow House – The Rainbow House is a guest house for families whose children are receiving care at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Volunteers can help ease the financial burden and bring comfort to families by making a meal for guests and dropping it off. Sign up to donate a meal here.
- Nebraska Humane Society – The Nebraska Humane Society saves, protects and improves the lives of animals in the community. They also shelter animals and help them find forever homes. This humane society in Omaha requires a volunteer to be at least 19 years old, but there are other ways for kids and families to help during the holidays (or any time). Spend an afternoon reading books to the animals during adoption hours, make blankets or bandanas with adoption messages for dogs and cats or purchase items off the wishlist.
- Lakeside Hospital in Omaha – Volunteer here! There are plenty of ways you can help at all Nebraska CHI hospitals, including West Omaha’s Lakeside Hospital. You can make a financial donation through the CHI Health Foundation or volunteer your time and skills at the hospital. Both group and individual volunteers are welcome to apply from ages 14 and up.
- Nebraska Medical Center – Volunteer opportunities with a six-month commitment are available here, helping provide comfort and care to patients. Find out more here.
- Children’s Nebraska – Give a financial gift, donate goods, spend time with wee ones, or offer your time and skills to events and outreach. There’s something for everyone who wants to be a children’s hospital volunteer here. See how you can get involved.
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 at your chosen Omaha charities! Snap a picture and share it on social with the tag #SmileBeKindDoGood. Let’s make the 2023 holiday season even brighter than last year!
Happy holidays from the Hawley Orthodontics family!