Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

We're excited to see that you'd like to give back during the holiday season!

It is also a busy time for volunteer projects, so register early as spots fill up quickly this time of the year. Below is a list of holiday-oriented volunteer opportunities throughout San Diego County. 

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HandsOn Projects

Opportunities in the Community:
 

November

O'side Turkey Trot
Hosted by: Kinane Events
Shift Time Varies
Tuesday November 26th - Thursday November 28th

Oceanside
It’s people like you who help make the Oceanside Turkey Trot an engaging community event! It’s fun for the whole family and we can use helpers of all age ranges. If you’d like to help us out, we’d love to have you.

San Diego Run for the Hungry
Hosted by: San Diego Food Bank
5:00am - 11:00am
Thursday November 28th
Downtown San Diego

The 18th annual San Diego Run for the Hungry will draw over 4,000 participants and a few hundred four-legged friends to walk/run a 5k and 10k course throughout Downtown, East Village, Gaslamp, and Little Italy on Thanksgiving morning. Volunteers assist with set-up, registration, water stations, course monitoring, finish line support, and clean-up.


December

Holiday Baskets
Hosted by:
Community Resource Center 
Time Varies
December 5th-17th
Del Mar

Holiday Baskets helps alleviate the financial stress of the holidays and makes a hard time of year brighter, especially for children. This 3-day holiday distribution at the Del Mar Fairgrounds provides food, coats, blankets, infant items and gifts for over 6,000 people in need, including 3,500 children and 300 seniors. Holiday Baskets also helps families connect to CRC’s supportive services, including food, case management, counseling, and shelter from domestic violence. 

11th Annual Winter Wonderland
Hosted by: Autism Tree Project Foundation
4:00pm - 7:00pm 
Saturday December 7th
Morena - San Diego

It is common for families with Autism to feel isolated from the San Diego Community, this annual event creates a strong community for kids and families impacted with autism. By pairing each child with autism and their siblings one-on-one with a volunteer we create an opportunity for all children to build their confidence, behaviors, and social communications while still spreading holiday cheer. This event has 12-holiday arts and crafts stations, a cookie exchange, a gift from Santa.

Wreaths Across America
Hosted by:
Wreaths Across America
9:00am
Saturday December 14th

Miramar
Wreaths Across America will be at Miramar National Cemetery to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes and the act of saying the name of each and every veteran aloud. 

Gingerbread Kids
Hosted by:
Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego
8:00am - 2:00pm
Sunday December 15th
North Park

Gingerbread Kids is our annual holiday family event! We invite parents to attend a lecture with top epilepsy experts, while the children (kids with epilepsy and other disabilities, plus their siblings) make gingerbread houses, watch holiday movies, and participate in expressive arts. It is a great way to celebrate a wonderful year, connect families, and let kids be kids! Volunteers help in our children room, working with the children on their creative projects. With epilepsy, we need a lot of people in the room to monitor the children to ensure safety. Many children also have other disabilities, and may need individual support.


Is your organization hosting a service opportunity for the holidays and would like it listed? Contact us at info@handsonsandiego.org.


Adopt a Family Programs
 

These are organizations that host programs that match their clients with generous donors who would like to give to families in need during the holidays. This is a list of opportunities for donors. 

Embrace-a-Family
Hosted by:
Jewish Family Service
Drop Off Date: November 17th
Every year, the Embrace-a-Family Program provides gifts and holiday cheer for individuals and families in need across San Diego County. From single-parent families, to military veterans, to older adults living on a tight fixed income, we work together with our community to make the holidays possible for those who might not otherwise be able to celebrate. Your support makes this special time of year a whole lot brighter.

Holiday Adopt-a-Family
Hosted by:
Interfaith Community Services
Drop Off Date: December 6th-9th
Every year the most conscientious, productive individuals and families Interfaith serves are nominated by staff for the Holiday Adopt-a-Family program. The individuals and families are then anonymously matched with generous adopters who fulfill their wishes for the holiday season and provide them with a feeling of comfort, support, and community.

Sharing the Joy
Hosted by:
STEP (Support the Enlisted Project)
We are looking for individuals, companies, religious establishments, other non-profit organizations to help: Adopt service members and their families, host toy drives, and provide volunteers to help distribute gifts at our office this holiday season.