During the holiday season many individuals and families are looking at ways to give back to the community and look for ways to volunteer or make a contribution to a non-profit in town. The Volunteer Center can help match up individuals or groups with a volunteer opportunity.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way has a variety of different volunteer opportunities. Each year they release the Holiday Giving and Volunteering Guide, which has a ton of helpful resources.

►Related: Operation Christmas Child helps kids all over the world

Some examples of opportunities include helping elementary students shop at Santa Workshops, donating a holiday dinner to a family in need, or delivering gifts to seniors. Some of the food pantries and community centers have Christmas stores in which parents earn credit to purchase gifts for their children by volunteering at the center or at their child's school.

Volunteering is also a great way to teach kids that Christmas is about giving and not receiving.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way is also collecting new and gently winter gear now through December 1st, as part of the Spread the Warmth collection drive. Items can be dropped off at any West Michigan Art Van store or Habitat Restore location in Grand Rapids.

Holiday Giving and Volunteering Guide by WZZM News on Scribd

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