United Way Volunteer Connection – Holiday Listings

Reposted From United Way of Northwest Vermont

2022 Holiday Giving & Volunteer Opportunities

United Way of Northwest Vermont’s mobile-friendly Volunteer Connection search platform connects you to  hundreds of volunteer needs with local nonprofits. Go to www.unitedwaynwvt.galaxydigital.com or contact us at megan@unitedwaynwvt.org.


DCF HOLIDAY GIFT CARD DRIVE – Help bring the joy of the holiday season to children in foster care, in  kinship care, or whose families are working with DCF Family Services in our community (currently over 400  children). KidSafe Collaborative is coordinating with DCF Family Services Burlington Office to collect gift cards  for families. While you are holiday shopping, pick up a $25 gift card or two, or more! We support shopping local, but stores like Target, Old Navy, or Kohls are good bets for all age ranges. Please mail gift cards to arrive by November 29 to KidSafe Collaborative, 7 Kilburn Street, Suite 209, Burlington, VT 05401. 

OPERATION HAPPINESS, a Program of United Way of Northwest Vermont helps families in Franklin and Grand Isle counties each year to provide and holiday meal, winter wear, and toys. This effort helps 1,000 local families each year. For information on how you can donate, for more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Operation-Happiness-1792921027472820/

LUND’S HOLIDAY GIVING CAMPAIGN – We will be accepting new, unwrapped gifts again this year! There are a few ways you can support Lund families this holiday season:

  • Set up a Holiday Giving Display – This is a wonderful option for businesses/organizations to engage  staff and clients in holiday giving. Lund will provide snowflakes, each with the wants, needs and demographic information for a family. This opportunity helps community members better understand the family they are supporting and helps ensure that families are receiving the gifts they requested. 
  • Be Matched with a Family/Families – If you are unable to put up a display but still want to be matched with a family/families, this is for you. We will send you information based on the number of families you request. 
  • Host a Holiday Giving Drive – Lund will provide suggestions regarding wants and needs across our families, and will certainly accept new and unwrapped items that are not on the list. These gifts will help supplement the requested gifts we receive and helps to ensure that every child and family has gifts  during the holiday season. 
  • Volunteer – For the first time since 2019, we will be welcoming client families to the Hoehl Family  Building at Joy Drive. We are looking for volunteers to help receive gifts donations, sort donated gifts,  and assist staff and clients in selecting holiday gifts that match their needs and wants.

Visit https://lundvt.org/ways-to-give/holiday-giving/ to learn more or if you are interested in a setting up a Lund  Giving Tree in your place of business, contact Sharon Lifschutz, Director of Development at 802-861-2580 or email sharonl@lundvt.org. 

COTS will be grateful for anything volunteers can provide for people, especially children, who are experiencing  homelessness. Gift cards are an amazing way to allow parents to purchase gifts for their children. They are especially helpful when families move into shelter late in the season. There is also an Amazon wish list at https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/21V47NBALU5TE/guest-view. The address to ship or drop off packages is COTS, 95 North Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401. To schedule a drop-off time, call 802-343-6903. 

THE GIFT OF READING – Fletcher Free Library invites people to share the joy of reading during their annual  “Books for Children Gift Campaign.” Choose a picture book for children 3 -4 years old from a list of books or make your own selections. Purchase books at Crow Bookshop or Phoenix Books for a discount and then the  books are held at the store for the library staff to pick up. You may also purchase at other locations and drop  off books at either library branch by December 11.  

Books will be accepted November 7 to December 11, 2022, to be distributed to children through the Burlington  Head Start preschools and COTS shelters. For more information call Library Youth Desk: 802.865.7216 or visit FFLkids@burlingtonvt.gov 

HOWARD CENTER – Help is Here Client Needs Fund provides services to thousands of children, adults, and  families each year, many of whom have very limited financial resources. Progress in addressing mental health, substance use, and developmental disabilities happens when basic needs have been met and when people have opportunities for personal enrichment. And so, each year we ask for gifts that will directly support clients to buy food and other basics and enable them to participate in holiday observances and cultural and educational activities that enrich their lives.  

For more information and the donation form, click here: http://howardcenter.org/community-education/howard center-giving/ 

Those interested in supporting can either send gift cards of their choosing in whatever amount they would like, or they can give online with a credit card (just choose “Help is Here Client Needs Fund” in the drop down menu here), or they can mail a check. Gift cards and checks can be mailed to: Howard Center, ATTN: Client  Needs/Holiday Giving Fund, 208 Flynn Avenue, Suite 3J, Burlington, VT 05401 

TOYS FOR KIDS OF VERMONT – Vermont Marine Corps League is once again collecting new, unwrapped  toys during the Christmas season and oversees their distribution to children in need in Vermont. 

Toys for Kids of Vermont is a volunteer program sponsored by the Vermont Marine Corps League which  collects new, unwrapped toys during the Christmas season and oversees their distribution to needy children in Vermont. All money collected stays in Vermont and is used to purchase age-appropriate toys to supplement donations, and for older children. 

  1. Find a collection barrel location 
  2. Bring new, unwrapped toy and drop it in the red barrel with white snowflakes 
  3. Volunteers who monitor the barrels collect the toys and distribute them to other charitable organizations  like the Salvation Army, Light Ministries, and various church groups.
  4. As you may know “Toys for Kids” is the state’s largest Christmas toy collection program for kids in need  that is 100% volunteer. Our signature red collection barrels with the white snowflakes on them collect  toys for kids. Donations may be sent to: Toys for Kids P.O. Box 4092 Burlington, Vt. 05406 

Click here to find red barrel locations for 2022: http://toysforkidsvt.com/barrellocations.ph

STEPS TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – If you are interested in supporting Steps Holiday Giving Program this year, please email the holidayprogram@stepsvt.org for more details. Generally, parents will provide us with wish lists for their children and each child receives about four gifts totaling $100. Volunteers/donors can donate one gift, a whole list, or as many as they want. 

MILTON FAMILY COMMUNITY CENTER – If you would like to Adopt-A-Family and provide presents for  children in need this winter, please contact MFCC and let us know how many kids you would like to help: gfenton@miltonfamilycenter.org or call 802-893-1457. We will match you with a family and provide information  about children’s ages and wish lists, and then see that the items go to the right household. For more  information is it https://miltonfamilycenter.org/2022/11/01/holiday-assistance/ 

SPECTRUM YOUTH & FAMILY SERVICES – Gifts With A Purpose Bring the joy and hope of the holiday  season to local youth! Local teens and young adults are desperate for a safe and warm place to go. You can  provide these young people with a day of safety, warmth, and care this holiday season. Purchase a gift from  the gift catalog by December 24th, and it will be matched, dollar -for-dollar, up to $20,000. Click here to see the catalog.


Many local agencies and groups will be providing holiday meals for individual and families who might otherwise  go without. They would be grateful for any donations you can provide: 

Champlain Islands Food Shelf – 12 Hyde Rd, Grand Isle champlainislandsfoodshelf@gmail.com 

Colchester Community Food Shelf – Accepting donations of turkeys and fixings on Saturday, November 13th and Saturday, November 20th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Other nonperishable food donations can be made on  Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 245 Main Street, Colchester. Learn more at https://colchesterfoodshelf.org.

Enosburg Food Shelf – 142 Main St. Enosburg Falls 

Fairfield Food Shelf – 124 School St., East Fairfield 

Feeding Chittenden – Accepting cash donations for its virtual Thanksgiving food drive to purchase meal items  at wholesale rates. Donations accepted Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at 228 North Winooski Avenue,  Burlington. Learn more at https://feedingchittenden.org/about/ 

Sara Holbrook Community Center Food Pantry – Accepting non-perishable items including low-sugar  cereal, canned meat and beans, fruit (canned and boxed), soups, peanut butter, jelly, boxed pasta, personal  care products, diapers and diaper wipes. 66 North Avenue. Learn more at https://www.saraholbrookcc.orgf/food-pantry.

The Salvation Army Greater Burlington Food Pantry – Accepting donations of non-perishable food, cereal  and juice at 64 Main Street, Burlington between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Learn more at https://nne.salvationarmy.org/gtburlington/food-pantry.  

Sheldon Methodist Church – 52 Church St., Sheldon 

South Burlington Food Shelf – Accepting donations 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and 8  a.m.-10 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 356 Dorset Street, South Burlington. Learn more at  https://www.southburlingtonfoodshelf.org.  

Spectrum Youth & Family Services – Want to share your joy and give back? Sign up to contribute to the  Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the teens and young adults living in our supportive housing programs  and warming shelter! 

We will have around 30 youth gathering at the Landing, Pearl Street Residence, and our Warming Shelter for  both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  

Sign up here: https://bit.ly/2022holidaymeals 

Williston Community Food Shelf – Seeking donations of non-perishable food, for pets as well as people. Most needed items are cereal, canned fruit, peanut butter, jelly, juices, coffee, and condiments such as  ketchup and mustard. Personal hygiene items are also accepted. Donations accepted 4:30-6:30 p.m. on  Tuesday, 8:30-11 a.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays. 400 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 130, Williston. Learn more at https://www.willistonfoodshilf.com.  

Winooski Food Shelf – Gratefully accepting non-perishable food, pet food, and hygiene products. The have  an urgent need for baby care products such as diapers, baby food, wipes and toiletries. Donations can be made at J & J’s Corner Market and the Winooski Senior Center. Learn more at http://www.winooskifoodshelf.org.


THANKSGIVING MEAL – Dismas House invites volunteers to help cook a portion of their Thanksgiving  dinner and then join residents for the meal. A great opportunity for those without plans for the holiday or for  small families who want to share a meal with an appreciative group! For the Buell Street, Burlington location,  contact Hailey Leisten at 658-0381 and for the East Allen Street Winooski location, contact Justin Adair at 655- 0300. 

MILTON THANKSGIVING FUN RUN/FOOD DRIVE – Milton Family Community Center invites you to stop  by Bomardier Park West at 9am for a fun run/walk. Bring a food, diaper or toiletry donation if you would like for  the MFCC Emergency Food Shelf. For questions, contact George Foss at rdsxfoss@gmail.com 

CELEBRATION OF TREES – ANEW Place needs volunteers in the store space at The University Mall.  Contact Erin Regan at eregan@anewplacevt.org. To learn more visit Celebration of Trees 

RED BARREL MONITORS – Toys for Kids of Vermont needs volunteers to check the red “Toys for Kids” toy donation barrels at various sites throughout Chittenden County. Volunteers will be assigned one or more barrels to check from November 1 through December 21 with most of the toys coming in the last couple of weeks in December. Collected toys will be delivered to the Salvation Army in Burlington or a Williston collection  site. A great job for a family. You do need your own transportation to barrel and collection site. To volunteer, email toysforkidsvt@hotmail.com 

12th ANNUAL RUNNING OF THE BELLS – Virtual or Live Run to benefit Franklin County Animal Rescue  and United Way of Northwest Vermont.  

The Running of the Bells is being held at the 2022 Holiday Extravaganza on Thursday, December 1 at 6pm, St. Albans Taylor Park. Cost $10.00 per person – registration required in advance 

A festive one-mile walk and jog. Costumes encourage. Participants are encouraged to bring donations  of canned goods and toys for Franklin and Grand Isle County families in need. 

Presented by O’Rourke Media Group. To register, visit https://runningofthebells.com/ 

CHRISTMAS MEALS – Burlington Dismas House is looking for volunteers to help prepare portions of their  Christmas meals at both houses. Volunteers are invited to join residents for the meal. For the Buell Street,  Burlington location, contact Hailey Leisten at 658-0381 and for the East Allen Street Winooski location, contact Justin Adair at 655-0300. 

HOLIDAY PARTY HELPERS – Military Kids Vermont needs help with craft activities: 

The Vermont National Guard will be hosting a holiday party on December 17th from 5:30-9:30pm in South  Burlington to support military families and build community. Volunteers are needed to facilitate crafts with  families. The crafts and materials with directions will be provided. Contact Allison Smith at  Allison.smith.2@uvm.edu by December 2nd to sign up to volunteer. 

The American Legion Post 91 in Colchester will be hosting a holiday party on December 18th from 1:30 – 4:30pm to support military families and build community. Volunteers are needed to facilitate crafts with families.  The crafts and materials with directions will be provided. Contact Allison Smith at Allison.smith.2@uvm.edu by  December 2nd to sign up to volunteer. 

H.A.N.D.S. Cardmaking – Although we won’t be able to deliver a meal this year, we’d still like to offer some  nourishment and joy to older Vermonters. We’re bringing volunteers together to create personalized cards and  then send those greetings, with a grocery gift card tucked in, to help with food bills over the holiday season.  Please join our new “Season’s Eatings” initiative because we’ll need YOUR help to make this happen. To  make a donation, please click here: https://www.handsvt.org/lend-a-hand-2 Thank you very much! 

If you have cheery, non-denominational holiday cards to donate, or would like to be added to the volunteer list for the cardmaking sessions, please contact Jess Hyman at jessicahymanvt@gmail.com. 

Thank you, always, for helping us get food to older adults who are low-income!


Megan Bridges (she/her) why?
Community Funding & Impact Manager
United Way of Northwest Vermont


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