Gratitude is an amazing feeling. First, there’s the immediate rush of happiness that comes  from recognizing the goodness of your own life. And then there’s the longer, more lasting joy that comes when gratitude, in turn, motivates us to do something gracious in behalf of someone else. 

We live in an amazing community. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, now is a great time to see how we can give back to a community that’s given us so much. If you’re looking for a way you can help others, we’ve put together a list of organizations that are looking for volunteers and donations this holiday season. We encourage you to contact them for more information. 

Utah Food Bank

Agency: Utah Food Bank

Contact: [email protected]

Volunteer: There are many opportunities to volunteer at the Utah Food bank including sorting food, building orders, re-pack bulk items or even decorating or delivering food boxes to homes in need around Utah.

Donations: non-perishable items are accepted at select locations, or visit the website to participate in a virtual food drive - where donating only take a few minutes and there’s no need to even leave your couch. It’s that easy! 

Joyful Welcome

Agency: Joyful Welcome 

Contact: 801-647-6447 or 801-641-6840

Volunteer: Supply infants at hospitals in West Jordan, West Valley City, and Riverton City with newborn items such as diapers, wipes, blankets and more. These infants are born to teen mothers, single mothers, homeless mothers, and families having a hard time. All donations must be NEW.

Donations: NEW infant diapers, wipes, blankets, onesies, booties or socks, stuffed animals and more. 

The Gift of the Drummer

Agency: Catholic Community Services 

Contact: [email protected] 

Volunteer: Gift of the Drummer - Help ensure that every child receives a new coat and educational toy this holiday season! Sign up to be assigned a homeless, low-income, or refugee family.

Candy Cane Corner 

Agency: The Road Home, YWCA, and Volunteers of America, UT 

Contact: http://candycanecornerslc.org/volunteer

Volunteer: Each year, Candy Cane Corner helps families in need celebrate the holidays with new gifts. Parents visit the store with their case manager and select gifts for their children and themselves. For many of the families we help at Candy Cane Corner, it has been a very long time since they were last able to shop for new clothes or toys. This holiday store is a great way to help make the season bright for the families our three agencies serve by providing them with a meaningful and empowering holiday shopping experience. **Volunteers must be at least 16 years old**

Teddy Bear Drive

Agency: Bank of American Fork  

Contact: Bank of American Fork Branches

Volunteer: Project Teddy Bear is a community service project benefitting children at Utah crisis and service centers. These centers have the mission of preventing and treating child abuse through education, therapy and outreach. A soft teddy bear to hug during these times of trauma or loneliness is a great comfort to the children. A teddy bear gives them something to hold during sessions, provides much-needed comfort and helps in the healing process. It may also be the only Christmas present a child receives.

Donate: Due to health codes, only NEW stuffed animals can be accepted. Donations are accepted at any Bank of American Fork branch. 

If you have a favorite place to volunteer during the holidays let us know about it. Visit us on Facebook and leave a comment in the related post. Put the name of the organization and their contact info, so that others can participate. Our hope is for everyone to experience the joy from helping and serving others this holiday season!