The holidays evoke images of big family dinners, outdoor activities with friends and sharing good tidings through gifts. But it also is a time when people seek ways to share their time, talents and treasure through volunteering – and the need for help around Metro Detroit at local nonprofit organizations has never been so important.
Many local charities and not-for-profit groups that utilize volunteers to support their missions are asking Metro Detroit residents to consider the giving of their time and donations. The coronavirus has hit these organizations harder than most, and they are asking for any assistance they can get both in terms of material goods and financial support.
For example, MCREST – a Roseville-based nonprofit organization that serves Macomb County and helps people who are homeless find emergency shelter, meals, housing assistance, job-readiness training and life-skills training – is asking for people to volunteer some much-needed items for its host churches as well as products to share with its guests.
MCREST serves Macomb County through a rotating emergency shelter, working as a nonprofit in partnership with more than 90 Macomb County congregations. These churches and religious organizations host guests for a week in their facilities, helping with meals and training. Local schools also donate to these efforts, creating what are known as “blessing bags,” providing snacks, sanitary goods and the like.
“We are currently in need of queen bed sheets and blankets to help with our additional guests we are serving during the pandemic,” said CEO April L. Fidler, “Our needs are changing all the time depending on the time of year. We are looking for pillows, men’s winter gloves, hand warmers, long johns, and prepackaged lunch items.”
If you are looking for ways to support Metro Detroit and other non-profit organizations, here are some others that are looking for volunteers this holiday.
This organization that helps with emergency relief and a plethora of other assistance programs needs donations through its “virtual red kettles,” or online donation boards. The Salvation Army also needs in-person volunteers at its physical locations where it is possible to collect monetary donations through its classic red-kettle pots.
Blood or plasma donations are especially in need as hospitals are busier than ever around the holidays and during the pandemic. The American Red Cross also needs volunteers to help with daily tasks, such as going to emergency scenes, but its main focus this holiday season is on blood and plasma donors at its local Metro Detroit centers, all aimed at keeping this all-important supply high.
The Dearborn and Metro Detroit Kiwanis clubs are teaming up to support two Metro Detroit families who need financial help this holiday. They are asking people to volunteer to purchase toys for their adopted families through a virtual shopping event planned for 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.
This Detroit-based organization seeks to boost kindergarten readiness in the city’s neighborhoods. It seeks volunteers to help with reading activities for young students all year around, but it also has a long wish list of goods it needs donated to help participating families. In particular, Brilliant Detroit is looking for donations of children’s books, baby supplies, school supplies, gently used clothing and household items.