Giving Help for the Holidays

The winter holiday season is a time for giving—and especially for giving back. Here are some ways you can make service into a gift and make gifts a service!

Fill Holiday Needs

You can help make the holidays brighter for those in need by donating gift cards, food, funds, and other items to the agencies serving Montgomery County's Holiday Giving Project, which provides holiday meals and gifts for more than 10,000 local families annually.

Find more holiday needs online. While in-person volunteer opportunities are limited due to the pandemic, donation needs (especially financial donations) are greater than ever because of the pandemic. If you aren't able to find a volunteer opportunity or donation need that fits you this season, remember that organizations that serve the needy seek assistance all year (and may be stretched so thin during this health emergency that they haven't had time to post their needs). Find them and learn more about their missions and needs by searching our list of organizations dedicated to basic needs/food/shelter.

Give the Gift of Volunteering

Volunteering in honor of your loved ones is a meaningful holiday gift that embraces the concept of giving in every way. Visit our opportunities search page to find ways to serve, using the filter tool to narrow activities based on your interests and other choices, including virtual volunteer opportunities. Or pick a cause they care about from among those you can filter for in our opportunities database—everything from animal welfare to health to arts & culture—to learn about how to volunteer with organizations aligned with this cause.

If time or health constraints keep you from completing your volunteer service before gift-giving time, you could pledge to volunteer for a particular project, perhaps committing to serving regularly for one or more organizations. When the time is right, maybe your gift recipients will even join you!

Make It Official! Once you decide on a volunteer activity, you can print out a Gift of Volunteering certificate offered by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection as part of its Gift Outside the Box holiday campaign. This program encourages sustainable gift choices to reduce waste, support local businesses, and encourage volunteerism during the holiday season. 

Gift a Donation 

Consider honoring your friends and family with a donation to a nonprofit as a special holiday gift. Many organizations based in our area offer easy and meaningful ways to make financial contributions in the names of your gift recipients (and typically provide them with a card or letter acknowledgement). Need ideas? Use our organization search page to filter for agencies based on the causes they serve, including the environment, education, immigration, and mental wellness.