December 17  |  Local Events, Our Communities

Northern Colorado Volunteer Opportunities | How to Help During the Holidays


During the month of December, it feels like everything and everyone begs for your attention in a million different directions all at once. Thankfully, holiday parties are fun and positive, taking form in ugly sweater contests, gift exchanges, cookie eating and holiday cocktail drinking. So it’s easy to coast through this season, mesmerized and entranced by the excitement and thrill of the holiday spirit.

But amidst this joyous time, we must remember that the holidays can be particularly painful for many. During a season of abundance and gifts, several people in our community might be reminded of what they lack. It is then our job to help out in small ways that can potentially make a big difference in their lives during the holiday season and beyond.

To make this easier, we decided to compile a list of ways you can lend a helping hand this holiday season in the Northern Colorado area. Sometimes giving back takes form in financial giving, but can also mean sacrificing time, resources or energy. So get creative with how you give back to those in need during the holidays!

Fort Collins Rescue Mission

Serve a meal.

Fort Collins Rescue Mission’s Holiday Meal

Our friends at Fort Collins Rescue Mission are hosting a holiday meal on Tuesday, December 22 at 5 p.m., open to anyone in need. Consider volunteering to help serve the meal at their facilities on this day. If the volunteer list fills up for that day, choose another day during the holiday season to help out. Fort Collins Rescue Mission serves 150 meals daily, so there is always a need for volunteers in their rotation. They serve breakfast from 6-7:30 a.m. and dinner from 4:30-6:30 p.m. every day, and provide lunch for those enrolled in their program.

While you may not be physically dishing up plates at a food bank or shelter, you can indirectly serve a meal to a family in need. You can do this by donating non-perishable food items to organizations like Food Bank for Larimer County.

Food Bank for Larimer County’s Virtual Food Drive

In fact, Food Bank for Larimer County makes it possible to host a virtual food drive. This just might be the most brilliant philanthropic idea we’ve discovered to date. Because of the food bank’s wholesale buying power, every dollar donated to a virtual food bank goes further than it might at a grocery store. In fact, one of your dollars equals $5 of food that the food bank is able to purchase to help those in need.

You can sign up a group of people in teams and encourage friendly competition within your workplace, friend group or church group, or sign up as an individual and challenge your friends and family members to match your generosity!

This virtual food drive also ensures that Food Bank for Larimer County gets exactly what is on their most-needed items list, as you can shop directly from their wish list. It also makes the most of what they have, as Food Bank for Larimer County won’t have to extend precious resources they usually do during a traditional food drive, such as schedulers, drivers, food sorters and fuel.

Santa Cops of Larimer County

Give a gift.

The season of giving can sometimes be overshadowed by our personal wish lists and desires. Consider making a child’s Christmas a little brighter by giving to one of the following causes this holiday season.

Santa Cops of Larimer County

You might donate new toys to Santa Cops of Larimer County, an organization that provides toys for children in need in Larimer County to enhance the relationship between children and law enforcement within our communities for Christmas and throughout the year. You may donate new, unwrapped toys valued at $20 or under at Fort Collins Police, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Loveland Police Department, CSU Police or Colorado State Patrol. Donations at their drop boxes are accepted through December 27.

Care 4 Colorado Toy Drive

CBS4 is teaming up with King Soopers, 97.3 KBCO, and KOA NewsRadio to help collect new toys and cash donations for children and youth served by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. Various participating King Soopers will collect new, unwrapped toys for the Care 4 Colorado Toy Drive through December 24. Imagine the excitement that each child at Boys & Girls Clubs’ holiday parties will feel as they open a brand-new toy!

You may drop off toys at the following Fort Collins King Soopers locations:

King Soopers — 1015 S. Taft Hill Road, Fort Collins, CO 80521

King Soopers — 2325 S. College, Fort Collins, CO 80525

King Soopers — 4503 J.F.K. Parkway, Fort Collins, CO 80525

King Soopers — 2602 S. Timberline Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80525

King Soopers — 1842 N. College Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80524

You may drop off toys at the following Loveland King Soopers locations:

King Soopers — 253 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80537

King Soopers — 1275 Eagle Dr., Loveland, CO 80537

Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County

Adopt a family.

Family is one of the most important aspects of the holiday season, as we set aside time to spend concentrated time with those we love.

Adopt a Family Through the Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County

The Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County aims to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. They also want to lift the financial burden that the holidays bring off the shoulders of a few local families. That is why they are asking people to consider adopting a family this holiday season. You can do so by simply answering a few questions on their “adoption” form. You will then receive a wish list that fits your preferences along with information regarding where and when you can bring your donations. This is a wonderful opportunity to make the winter warmer and the holidays brighter for Boys & Girls Club families!

These are just a few suggestions of ways to get involved in the Northern Colorado community and make a difference this holiday season. What other ways can we get involved? We’d love to hear and get inspired by the good things you’re doing!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Fort Collins Rescue Mission, The Rocky Mountain Collegian and Jenna Riedi

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