This time of year, families are cozying up together and spending quality time as the year comes to a close. Outside of official holiday plans, however, there may be long days with stretches of nothing to do. As you search for ideas of what to do besides drowning in front of the television every day, consider lending your talents where they’re most needed!
What Better Way to Enjoy the Holiday Season than Giving Back?
Working together with your family, friends, loved ones, or even individually, will give your time off of work even more significance. You can grow closer to each other, or meet new people. You’ll become exposed to the variety of issues Detroiters face. Most significantly, you’ll be inspired by all the ways Detroiters are coming together to meet community needs, and you’ll get to be part of it.
We’ve come up with a list of places in Detroit to spend your time in meaningful ways. Whether you choose to volunteer or give a charitable donation, these organizations are on the ground doing the most important work in the city.
Here are a few ways to partner!
Teaching is a rare skill. It’s not so much about how much you know, but how many different ways you’re able to explain concepts to a person whose mind works differently. If you have this talent, and you’re passionate about closing the achievement gap in Detroit, check out these organizations!
- Cornerstone Schools – These schools enjoy recruiting volunteers to assist in the classroom, particularly when it comes to literacy.
- MACC Development – This nonprofit on the east side of Detroit tutors children in the 48214 in reading and writing, four days a week.
- Reading Works – This organization targets adult literacy, and partners with an impressive 10 organizations across Detroit to tackle the issue of illiteracy.
If you’re skilled at mobilizing groups of people and believe firmly in ground-up movements, community development is certainly for you. Listening to Detroiters’ needs and partnering alongside them to empower people in the community is the primary focus for these organizations.
- Eastside Community Network – This organization connects neighbors on the east side of Detroit. It runs a variety of programs that are always looking for volunteers, from housing to youth development.
- City Form Detroit – A nonprofit that celebrates community spaces, this organization frequently holds meetings in Detroit communities to get feedback on what structures they can design and implement.
- Urban Development Corporation – This nonprofit tackles blight, remodeling, construction, and design. Combining community activation with physical labor, they are always in need of volunteers.
Some people prefer to offer services in pure labor. If you have a heart of service and just want to get your hands on whatever someone needs help with, these causes are certainly ones that’ll grab your attention.
- The Capuchin Soup Kitchen – A long-time staple in Detroit, volunteering with this organization will give you the opportunity to prepare and serve food, bringing the community together.
- Life Remodeled – This organization invests approximately $5 million in cash, labor, and materials to one Detroit neighborhood every year with 10,000 volunteers in six days.
- Focus: HOPE – This nonprofit targets poverty by providing training and education for thousands of Detroiters throughout the year.
Enjoy marching along to the beat of your own drum? So do these nonprofits! These organizations celebrate crafts, hobbies, and creativity, and in doing so, empower residents of the city. If you have a creative spirit and would like to loan your talents, check out these groups!
- Arts & Scraps – They recycle 28 tons of material to help 275,000 children think, create, and learn!
- Back Alley Bikes – This organization provides cycling education to focus on youth development, sustainable practices, and community access.
- Keep Growing Detroit – With a big goal to have most of Detroiters eat food grown within city limits, this nonprofit provides cooking classes, resources to create gardens, and youth education.
Who doesn’t love finding animals a new home? These nonprofits work tirelessly throughout the year to make sure every dog, cat, and pet is rescued and can find a loving family. If you want to be surrounded by animals and want to connect them to their forever home, consider volunteering or donating to these causes.
Where will you be investing your time or money this holiday season and beyond? Let us know in the comments below!