12 Ways to Make Christmas Special by Volunteering

Dec 15, 2010 8:00 AM ET

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) December 15, 2010 - As families from Baton Rouge to the Bay Area make their holiday plans, VolunteerMatch reminds Americans that making a difference in the lives of others is the best way to have a meaningful Christmas. And with more than 75,000 participating charities, VolunteerMatch is the most popular place to sign up for a volunteer opportunity.

Getting started is easy. Just visit www.volunteermatch.org, type in your location and a few words to describe the kind of work you want to do, and you’ll be on your way to the perfect volunteer experience.

One tip if you’re organizing a volunteer outing for family or friends: Be sure to use VolunteerMatch’s Advanced Search to filter for opportunities that are suited to groups or children. Many organizations aren’t used to welcoming families to their volunteer programs, so the best bet is to start your search looking for one that does.

To help we’ve assembled a tongue-in-cheek look at a traditional holiday song that may inspire you to create your own new tradition this year – one based on giving back as a volunteer:

  • 12 Drummers Drumming -- The Circle’s Edge, Inc in Riverdale, MD need rock/metal drummers to collaborate to record a CD and perform around the local area.

  • 11 Pipers Piping -- Albuquerque & Four Corners Pipes and Drums in Los Alamos, NM is looking for new members who love Scottish music to join its bagpipe band.

  • 10 Lords a Leaping -- Stafford County Parks, Recreation, and Community Services in Falmouth, VA need volunteers to help with the Leprechaun Leap One Mile Youth Trail Run. 

  • 9 Ladies Dancing -- Galaxy Dance Studios in Austin, TX is looking for an Assistant Volunteer Coordinator to assist with the studio’s day-to-day operations.

  • 8 Maids a Milking -- The Norfolk Jaycees in Norfolk, VA are looking for people to take part in “operation maid raid” – collect single-use toiletries from hotels for the St Columba homeless day shelter.

  • 7 Swans a Swimming -- The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America in Cherry Hill, NJ is looking for people to dive into action and Swim for MS. 

  • 6 Geese a Laying -- Carolina Waterfowl Rescue at Indian Trail, NC is looking for volunteers to assist with their geese, duck and chicken adoption scheme.

  • 5 Golden Rings -- The St. Aloisius Pot of Gold Day Care in Harvey, ND are looking for volunteers to work with children on a one-to-one basis.

  • 4 Calling Birds -- The Birds of Prey Foundation in Louisville, CO is looking for volunteers to work in its thrift store organizing donations, staging the store and working with shoppers.

  • 3 French Hens -- Visiting Nurse Service of New York/Queens needs French Creole translators to assist with translating activities for the elderly.

  • 2 Turtle Doves -- City of Irvine is looking for volunteers to maintain the nature trail at the Turtle Rock Nature Center in Irvine, CA.

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree -- Long Branch Environmental Education Center in Leicester, NC is looking for volunteers to help grow apples, plums, peaches and pears, and learn about organic orcharding and edible landscaping.

To get involved with these and many other opportunities, visit:

Nonprofits can sign up for a free VolunteerMatch account at:

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VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities by helping good people and good causes to connect. Its award-winning online service, www.volunteermatch.org, makes it easy to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, or availability. VolunteerMatch provides many of the nation's most recognized businesses, campuses and organizations with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels. The VolunteerMatch network regularly welcomes more than 190,000 visitors each week and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for tens of thousands of participating nonprofits.