Volunteering in Denver: Your holiday season outlets for good deeds

All the ways you can do something for people in need this holiday season.

Epworth Foundation volunteer "Sweetwater" Moore pushes a cart with donated Thanksgiving meals to a neighbor's home. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)High Street United Methodist Church; five points; bruce randolph; thanksgiving; volunteer; charity; community service; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Epworth Foundation volunteer "Sweetwater" Moore pushes a cart with donated Thanksgiving meals to a neighbor's home. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) High Street United Methodist Church; five points; bruce randolph; thanksgiving; volunteer; charity; community service; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Epworth Foundation volunteer “Sweetwater” Moore pushes a cart with donated Thanksgiving meals to a neighbor’s home. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Whether the election and its aftermath have you feeling a powerful need to do good for others or you’re simply in the holiday spirit of giving, Denver has plenty of opportunities for you. 

We’ve collected the big ones here and organized them from the smallest time commitment to the biggest. Have a look and find one that’s right for you.

Positions are filling up fast, so sign up now.

The Epworth Foundation gives out Thanksgiving meal boxes. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) High Street United Methodist Church; five points; bruce randolph; thanksgiving; volunteer; charity; community service; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
The Epworth Foundation gives out Thanksgiving meal boxes. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Deliver food for Colorado Visiting Nurse Association

Deliver some Thanksgiving food bags to low-income clients and families in need, who are unable to pick up food themselves.

Where: All around Denver
When: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Nov. 21-23
Time commitment: Flexible
Learn more, sign up: allforgood.org

Drive for Meals on Wheels

Individuals and groups are needed to deliver warm, nutritious meals to homebound seniors. You’ll be volunteering for regular drivers. Volunteers are also needed to deliver gifts to meal recipients.

Where: Around Denver
When: Nov. 21 to 25, Nov. 26, Nov. 29, Nov. 30
Dec. 19 to 25, Dec. 27 to 31
Time commitment: 1-2 hours
Learn more, sign up: Contact Emily Jones at 303-297-0408 or ejones@voacolorado.org.

The Epworth Foundation gives out Thanksgiving meal boxes. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) High Street United Methodist Church; five points; bruce randolph; thanksgiving; volunteer; charity; community service; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
The Epworth Foundation gives out Thanksgiving meal boxes. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Mile High United Way Turkey Trot

The Mile High United Way Turkey Trot attracts around 20,000 people every Thanksgiving. Volunteers can sign up for a variety of tasks, including set up, breakdown, bartending at the beer garden, assisting at the finish line, taking photos and acting as Gobbles, the Turkey Trot mascot.

Where: South High School, 1700 E. Louisiana Ave.
When: Thursday, Nov. 24
Time commitment: 1.5-4.5 hours
Ages: “Family friendly”
Learn more, sign up: volunteer.unitedwaydenver.org

Mile High United Way Children’s Holiday Party

Around 500 families celebrate the holiday season with cookie decorating, holiday movies, craft making, games, face painting and photos with Santa. Volunteers will help with setup, check-in, running gifts, decorating cookies, face painting, helping Santa and more.

Where: Mile High United Way, 711 Park Ave West
When: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10
Time commitment: 2-4 hours
Ages: “Family friendly”
Learn more, sign up: volunteer.unitedwaydenver.org

Holiday giving tree

The Precious Gift holiday program from A Precious Child Inc. provides gifts to children who otherwise wouldn’t receive any. Volunteers will work in shifts at the Flatiron Crossing Mall, Orchard Town Center or Northfield Stapleton Mall distributing present tags and encouraging people to donate gifts.

Where: Northfield Stapleton Mall, 8340 Northfield Blvd.
Orchard Town Center, 14697 Delaware St., #850, Broomfield
Flatiron Crossing, 1 W. Flatiron Crossing Drive, Broomfield
When: daily hours vary Nov. 25-Dec. 24
Time commitment: 2-4 hours
Ages: 13+, adults may bring kids as young as 5
Learn more, sign up: metrovolunteers.org

Van McGee (right to left), Mayo Thompson and Terri Nelson stand around boxes of donated food outside of the High Street United Methodist Church. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) High Street United Methodist Church; five points; bruce randolph; thanksgiving; volunteer; charity; community service; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Van McGee (right to left), Mayo Thompson and Terri Nelson stand around boxes of donated food outside of the High Street United Methodist Church. Nov. 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Basket of Joy Prep Day

Volunteers will prepare and deliver holiday fruit baskets for lonely older people. This is sponsored by The Denver Post, Albertson’s/Safeway and VOA.

Where: Various locations
When: 12-3 p.m. Friday, Dec.9
8 a.m.- noon, Saturday, Dec. 10
Time commitment: 3-4 hours
Ages: 16+
Learn more, sign up: voacolorado.org

Food pantry distribution

Volunteers help unload and sort food during morning shifts or distribute food to clients, load vehicles and clean up during afternoon shifts.

Where: Covenant Cupboard Food Pantry
When: 8:30 a.m.-noon and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Fridays
Time commitment: 3.5, 4 or 8 hours
Ages: 13+, adults may bring 12-year-olds
Recurring: Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16
Learn more, sign up: metrovolunteers.org

Christmas Day dinner at Sunset Park Senior Center

Set up, serve and clean up after a dinner for older people.

Where: Sunset Park Senior Center, 1865 Larimer Street, Denver, CO
When: Sunday, Dec. 25th, 9:15 am to 12:30 pm.
Time commitment: 3.5 hours
Learn more, sign up: Call Melissa Cirello at 303-297-0408, ext. 13304.

Resolution 5K at Washington Park

Work as a volunteer staffer on a 5K race that benefits Volunteers of America, helping with things like setup, breakdown and handing out water.

Where: Washington Park
When: 1:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31
Time commitment: 1.5, 2.5 or 3 hours
Learn more, sign up: voacolorado.org

Know of any volunteer opportunities with openings that we missed? Email adean@denverite.com.

Andrew Kenney contributed to this report.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.