Volunteering this Holiday Season, How to Help

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Want to give back to your community this holiday season? What better way to pass the Thanksgiving break than to volunteer to help people, or even animals, in need. Here are some nonprofits that are helping to make a difference in our local communities.

Bergen County Family Promise

This non-profit organization, which has distributed more than 1.2 million meals over the past 30 years, serves meals daily to around 130 people at the Bergen County Housing, Health and Social Service Center in Hackensack. The group also prepares special meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those who wish to volunteer must be fully immunized, show proof of vaccination, and wear masks while volunteering. Contact Director of Volunteers Margo Heller at [email protected] or call 201-833-8009. Donations can also be made to bergenfamilypromise.org.

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Meals on wheels

Meals on Wheels delivers daily meals to homes and offers wellness tours. Volunteer drivers are assigned a regular route approximately once a month which lasts approximately one hour. The association is also looking for volunteers with skills in graphic design, writing, legal work, grant writing and fundraising. Visit mealonwheelsnorthjersey.org/volunteer.

Food Action Center

This Englewood-based pantry provides food to residents of northern New Jersey and has locations in Hackensack, Mahwah, Ringwood, and Saddle Brook. Volunteers can organize a food drive, do personal fundraisers, help with administrative support, or help with pantry and warehouse work. Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older. Email: [email protected]


START II – Save The Animals Rescue Team II – is a volunteer led animal rescue group based in Englewood. It does not receive funding from the state or local government. The group recently asked for volunteer help, including carpentry at the aging facility, dog walking, and cleaning the cat cage. Information: 201-797-8861 or sites.google.com/view/save-the-animals-rescue-team-2.

Pet ResQ

A completely volunteer, foster-family-based rescue, Pet ResQ focuses on small dogs and puppies, and has helped welcome and find forever homes for thousands of dogs. In addition to seeking foster homes, the group is also looking to raise funds to buy property in Bergen County where it can create a cage-free shelter. Email [email protected] or visit petresqinc.org.

Bergen volunteers

Programs that serve over 7,000 residents of Bergen County include CHORE, which helps seniors and people with disabilities in need of home repairs; Bergen Reads, a program adopted by the Jewish Federation of New Jersey in 2019 that fights illiteracy by training reading buddies; VITA, a volunteer tax assistance program; and All Wrapped Up, a holiday giving program. Information: bergenvolunteers.org.

Center for Hope and Security

Formerly known as Shelter Our Sisters, the Center for Hope and Safety helps those affected by domestic violence. There are many volunteer opportunities to help people rebuild their lives after domestic violence, including with administrative support, organizing donations, cleaning homes, planning special events, and wrapping holiday gifts. You can also take a 40-hour training program to become a certified volunteer that provides education on all aspects of domestic violence, counseling skills, and policies. Contact Olivia Pascarella at 201-527-6213 or [email protected]

Community Food Bank of New Jersey

Based in Hillside and Egg Harbor Township, the food bank serves more than 800 programs and community partners in 15 New Jersey counties. This year marks the organization’s 21st annual Turkey Campaign; last year, the group gathered over 25,000 pounds of food and around 2,500 turkeys for those in need. The warehouses are also open to volunteers aged 12 and over and fully vaccinated. Visit cfbnj.org.

Stephanie Noda is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @ snoda11

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