‘Tis the season of giving, not just gifts but your time and talents. With all the focus on shopping, decorating, and festivity, let’s not forget the true meaning of the holiday season. Here are some opportunities where you can give back to your local community.

Salvation Army

Bell ringers and holiday intake volunteers are always needed. Spend a few hours ringing the bell at the donation kettle. Every coin or bill helps the Salvation Army provide for those in need. Volunteers also needed to assist with Holiday Intake interviewing clients to make sure they get the items they need for the holiday season. Toy and Joy Shop: Time to give away toys! Become a personal shopping assistant to help clients select the toys for their children! Walk the clients through the Toy & Joy Shop, help keep the tables stocked full of TOYS, and give away Joy for Christmas this year. Contact the local Salvation Army office for details: 1500 NE 112th Ave, Vancouver, 360-892-9050.

Share Holiday Cheer Program

Volunteers needed to help in warehouse and accept holiday donations, sort and put away. All volunteers must have completed the volunteer application process. December 5 – December 15, Warehouse 9am – 6pm (3 – 3 ½ hour shifts, flexible hours). Other giving opportunities include adopt-a-family, establish a giving tree, or donate gifts for the holidays. For more information how to help visit www.sharevancouver.org/volunteer/ or contact Meaghann Ande at 360-952-8229.

Santa’s Posse Wrapping Night

Wrap gifts and put together food boxes for over 1,000 Clark County families. Chick-fil-A Cascade Park will once again be on hand to provide dinner for the first 650 people! No tickets or RSVP needed, just show up. December 13, 5pm-9pm. Help also needed on delivery day, December 16, 8am-11am. Clark County Event Center, 17402 NE Delfel Rd, Ridgefield.

Humane Society of Southwest Washington RETAILS Thrift Store

Help keep shelves and racks stocked with holiday items. Keep store tidy and help customers. Minimum age 12-17 must volunteer with parent or guardian. Volunteers needed through December 20 and most Thursdays, 10am. Other days as needed. RSVP required. For more information contact Volunteer Coordinator, volunteer@southwesthumane.org or go online: southwesthumane.org/retails/retails-thrift-store/volunteer

Walk & Knock

Walk & Knock, the nation’s largest one-day community food drive, takes place each year on the first Saturday of December. Walk & Knock solicits charitable donations of food, supplies, and money, which in turn are given to the Clark County Food Bank for providing food to those in need across our community. Please consider putting a bag of groceries on your porch by 9am on the first Saturday in December. Walk & Knock also needs volunteers for bag folding, boxing, collecting barrels, posting flyers, and door-to-door bag collection. Call 877-99-KNOCK or visit walkandknock.org to find out how you can help.

Salvation Army’s Adopt a Family

Single parent families. Grandparents raising grandchildren. Mothers laid off. Fathers looking for work. No money. No food. Many are hungry. Thousands of Clark County residents are barely able to afford the bare necessities, let alone gifts for their children during the holidays. Can you help a needy family celebrate the spirit of the holiday season? Through December 10 you can read stories online at: www.columbian.com/adoptafamily/ about all the real people in Clark County who will be helped by your generosity. Call 360-448-2880 to find out more about all the ways you can help.

The Columbian’s People In Need

The Columbian’s late owner and publisher, Don Campbell, launched the People In Need Program in 1979. He felt The Columbian, with its broad readership and spirit of community outreach, should be a positive force in helping the less fortunate in Clark County. Today, third and fourth generation Campbell family owners believe in the same founding principles of the program. Donations to The Columbian’s People In Need Fund are distributed to the local non-profits serving the urgent needs of children and families throughout Clark County, including The Salvation Army’s Adopt A Family program during the holidays. You can make a difference in our community several ways: 1. Send a tax-deductible donation to: The Columbian People In Need Fund c/o The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, 610 Esther Street, Suite 201, Vancouver, WA, 98660. Please make checks payable to Columbian People In Need Fund. Visit www.columbian.com/adoptafamily/ for more information about ways to contribute.

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