Holiday Volunteer Opportunities

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Make a difference in the life of a child, family, older adult, organization or individual this holiday season. Below, you will find volunteer opportunities and donation needs at local nonprofit organizations throughout Berks County.

To volunteer, contact the agency directly. If you fulfill a wish list, please let the organization know that you found their list through United Way of Berks County.

For more information or assistance, please contact Darby Wiekrykas or call 610-685-4574.

To search for volunteer opportunities all year long, visit uwberks.org/Volunteer

Tips for Volunteering:
  • You can donate as an individual or bring together friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, or church group members.
  • Please contact the agency directly before you begin a collection drive or volunteer project on their behalf – the agency’s needs may have changed.
  • Please keep in mind that agencies are often overwhelmed during the Holiday season; please be patient.
  • Remember the Holiday season comes once a year, but volunteer opportunities are available all year long! The best Holiday gift you can give our community is your commitment to service. Please visit uwberks.org to find opportunities that match your interests and availability.
Berks County Area Agency on Aging
Holiday Drivers for Home Delivered Meals

Volunteers are needed to deliver a Holiday meal to homebound seniors who currently receive regular home delivered meals. The holiday meal, prepared by and picked up at the DoubleTree Hotel, 701 Penn St., Reading will be delivered on Saturday, December 19 between 10 AM – 12 PM. Volunteers will be delivering to multiple individuals in Berks County.

Contact Ann Barlet at abarlet@countyofberks.com or 610-478-6500 X5523

Berks Connections/Pretrial Services (BCPS)
Share Christmas Joy

BCPS coordinates a Holiday Gift Project each year to serve children of incarcerated parents. Since this year has been especially hard on so many families, BCPS is collecting additional items to help. This year’s wish list includes hats, scarves and gloves along with single or full-size sheets/pillowcases or bath towels/washcloths. Donations should be delivered by December 1 to the BCPS office at 19 N 6th St., 4th Flr., Rdg. Donors are asked to call the BCPS office first to set up a time to deliver their donation.

Contact Julia Ganter at jganter@bcpsreentry.org or 484-260-3860

Berks Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Santa’s Helpers

BDHHS will be making Holiday Baskets for families in need. We are requesting gift cards in any dollar amount to Giant, Weis, Redners or other grocery stores. All gift cards should be dropped off at the agency during business hours by December 18.

Contact Lori Fisher at lfisher@bdhhs.org or 610-685-4523

Berks Encore
Santa’s Helpers

Volunteers are needed to assist with putting together Christmas stockings for Berks Encore Meals on Wheels recipients on Tuesday, December 2 starting at 9:00 AM. The bags will be packed at Berks Encore’s Reading Center located at 40 N. 9th Street, Reading.

 

Operation Santa

Berks Encore will be putting together Christmas gift bags for Meals on Wheels recipients this holiday season. Our goal is to provide a gift bag to our 625 MOW recipients, and we are asking for your help! If you are able to sponsor a collection drive for needed items or as an individual or business you would like to donate items and/or gift cards in any dollar amount that can be used to purchase items you will help us make this goal a reality. Some of the greatest needs for our seniors are the things we take for granted every day. All donations should be dropped off at any Berks Encore Center no later than Monday, November 30.

Gift suggestions include 8 oz. bottles of body wash (generic fragrance to be used for male and female recipients), 2 oz. or trial size bottles of body lotion (generic fragrance to be used for male and female recipients and quart sized food storage bags (zip lock preferred) with holiday design if possible.

Contact Rita Phillips at rphillips@berksencore.org or 610-374-3195 X225 or Lori Smith at lsmith@berksencore.org or 610-374-3195 X213

Berks Teens Matter
The Gift of Gift Cards

This holiday season you can join Berks Teen Matters in supporting our youth to develop and share knowledge about healthy relationships. BTM would appreciate donations of gift cards to support our youth activities in the community. If you have (or have been) a teen, you know the value of gift card giving. The dollar amount of the card is irrelevant when compared to the magic of holding purchasing power in the palm of your hand! That’s why $5 gift cards to teen friendly sites in the community (Yogo Crazy, McDonald’s, etc.) are the most popular ‘refer-a-friend’ reward at our Health Resource Center. Additional gift cards for the same/similar locations can be used to support post-meeting-outings for our Youth Ambassadors throughout the year.

Contact Nadine Smet-Weiss at nsmetweiss@cocounty.org or 610-375-6523 X107 (Office) or 484-333-4015 (Cell)

Bethany Children’s Home
Special Holiday Collection

Please join us in helping youth who will be residing at Bethany Children’s Home this holiday season. Through your special gifts you will create new positive memories in their life. For many this will be their first Christmas with personal gifts. Bethany youth are between 10 and 19 years of age. We kindly ask that all items are new. We are unable to distribute used items to the youth. We appreciate age-appropriate gifts with the consideration of parental warnings, modesty and safety. Other items available in addition to below list.

Activity Items: Art and craft kits, adult coloring books, paint-by-number, tie dye kits (with white shirts and pillowcases), card stock, paint brushes, hand-held games, board games, scrapbook paper, canvas boards, yarn, crochet and knitting needles, colored pencils and handbound journals.

Gift Cards to Support Independent Learning Skills: Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, TJ Maxx/Marshall’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Boyer’s, Redner’s, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Ross.

Art Studio: Michael’s or Hobby Lobby gift cards, canvases, acrylic paint, premixed acrylic pouring paint, heavy duty paint brushes, Sharpie markers, stencils, fuse beads and fuse bead bases, wooden boxes for art projects, artist paint brush set, calligraphy ink all colors, small wooden projects, Gesso paint primer and oven-bake modelling clay.

Contact Carolyn Shultz Spano at cspano@bethanyhome.org or 610-589-6827

Clare of Assisi House
Holiday Gift Cards

Gift cards from local hair salons, cut and dry, manicures. Also gift cards from Walmart or Boscov’s to help the women have a happy holiday.

Contact Chris Williammee at eazydoesit55@aol.com or 610-217-8967

Children’s Home of Reading
3000 Holiday Gift Tags Available

Businesses, groups and individuals are needed to fulfill donations – Holiday Gift Tags, Angel Trees, Special Project Items, Party & Activity Sponsorship Opportunities, General Wish Lists & Amazon Wish Lists are available.

Contact Jill Troutman at jtroutman@choreading.org or 610-478-8266 X1249

Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania
Toy and Book Wish List

Help Easterseals Eastern PA build a community where children with disabilities realize their goals, dreams and aspirations. This holiday season, we would like to receive children’s books for use by our therapists, new toys for our summer day camp and tickets or gift cards for community experiences for young adults in our community support/habilitation program. The following is a suggested list of items.

Toys: jigsaw puzzles (large pieces), board games, Legos, Play Doh, playground balls (basketball, soccer, kickball, etc.), DVDs (recent animated and young adult films), fidget toys, foam blocks, Aaron’s putty, stress balls, sensory sand, water beads, liquid timers and other sensory items.

Books: various books for children ages one to eight, including board books for toddlers. New and gently used books will be accepted.

Tickets/gift cards for community experiences: museum passes, movie tickets, Ozzy’s Family Fun Center, GoggleWorks classes, Reading Royals, Fightin’ Phils, etc.

Items may be delivered to our center at 90 George Street in Reading by appointment.

Contact Sue Schamberger at sschamberger@esep.org or 610-289-0114 X222

Family Promise
Holiday Gift Sponsors

You can help make the season bright for a neighbor in need. Sponsor a family or homeless youth for the holidays by purchasing items from their wish list and wrap them in bright colors. Please deliver the gist to our Day Center 325 N 5th St., Rdg. before December 15.

Contact Elise Chesson at echesson@familypromiseofberks.org or 610-373-3323 X24

Friend, Inc.
Christmas Gift Distributions

Volunteers are needed on the following dates:
• December 6, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Gifts are dropped off from local churches and need to be carried up a flight of stairs and match the code on the gift to the bag with the identical code.
• December 18, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Volunteers assist with pantry distribution and distribute turkeys, holiday dinner boxes and gift bags for children.

 

Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

Donations of GIANT gift cards are needed to purchase the turkeys we distribute to each of our families at our November pantry November 19.

Contact Cathy Dill at cathy@friendinc.org or 610-683-7791

 

Volunteer Bell Ringers

Volunteers are needed from November 27 through December 24, Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM in Kutztown/Fleetwood area locations.

Contact Dennis Ritter at dsritter@ptd.net or 484-529-7801

Habitat for Humanity of Berks County/ReStore
Santa’s Helpers Needed at ReStore

The ReStore could use some extra help during the busy holiday shopping season. Volunteers assist with a variety of tasks including receiving donations, prepping donated goods for the sales floor, displaying inventory, general cleaning and assisting customers. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and wear closed-toe shoes. Individuals and groups of up to 10 are welcome for at least three-hour shifts. The Re-Store is open Wednesday through Saturday 9 AM to 6 PM and Sunday, 12 PM to 6 PM.

Contact Eneida Powell at eneidap@habitatberks.org or 610-621-0011

Heartland Hospice
Holiday Crafters

Are you or your group creative and artistic? Are you willing to create colorful bedside decorations to bring holiday cheer to our patients? Many of our patients are in nursing facilities which are still closed to visitors. Your decorations can add cheer to their holidays and let them know that others are thinking of them. Hospice provides quality of life to patients who most likely have six months or less to live. Call for details.

Contact Lori Gourama at lori.gourama@heartlandhospice.com or 610-373-6898

Hope Rescue Mission
Christmas Decorating

We are looking for Christmas Decorators for Friday, November 27 and Saturday, November 28 from 9 AM -1 PM. We will be decorating Hope Rescue Mission with festive decorations to lift the spirits of the Hope Rescue Mission guests.

 

Amazon Gift Cards & Wish List

Amazon Gift Cards or our Amazon Wishlist are great ways to partner with Hope Rescue Mission. There are many needs over the winter months and we keep our Amazon Wishlist updated frequently. Visit the Amazon Wishlist here.

Contact Jayme Eenigenburg at volunteer@hopeforreading.org or 610-743-4945

Lifeline of Berks County
Giving Tree Assistants

We are lucky to receive many Christmas gifts for our mothers and babies. Would you help us put them away and keep our storage area ship-shape? Duties include sorting gifts and calculating their value. Opportunities are available from December 21 through the end of February.

Contact Debbie Baker at debbieb@lifelineofberks.org or 610-374-8545

Literacy Council of Reading
Transportation Assistance

Winter student transportation is needed during December, January, February and March. BARTA monthly passes are a great help.

Contact Beverly Hirneisen at bev@lcrb.org or 610-670-9960

New Journey Community Outreach
Christmas Giving

We are looking for groups to collect hats, gloves and socks for men, women and children as a special gift for the holidays. Our food pantry also needs some essentials – soup, peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit, cereal/oatmeal, pasta sauce and rice.

Contact Sue Krall at skrall@njcoinc.org or 610-915-2662

Northwest Middle School – Reading School District
Gift Collection

Gift ideas for students in need: gift cards, sport equipment, headphones, art supplies, young adult fiction books, basketball sock, fuzzy sock, Eco style hair gel, Chapstick/lip gloss, scrunchies, body spray/lotions.

Contact Johanna Zabala at zabalaj@readingsd.org or 610-371-5882 X52913

Olivet Boys & Girls Club
Santa’s Helpers

Christmas gift donations are needed for our Olivet Boys & Girls Club teen members. Our teens would enjoy gift cards (food places, WAWA, Walmart, Target, Berkshire Mall), board games, blankets, arts and crafts supplies, blankets, electronics (headphones, video games etc.) bags such as purses, drawstring and small backpacks. Please drop off donations to the Olivet Administrative Building, 1161 Pershing Blvd., Reading.

Contact Abigail Frost at abigail.frost@olivetbgc.org or Rose Morales at rose.morales@olivetbgc.org or 610-373-1314

Opportunity House
Serve/Donate A Meal

Seeking a meaningful way for your business, club, association, church, group of friends, or family to live the season of giving? Make a meal for our shelter clients! You donate the food for the meal, and then prepare and serve it on the day of your choosing OR prepare the meal and drop off at shelter entrance. Lunch and dinner dates available!

Contact Stacy Perlaki at sperlaki@opphouse.org or 610-374-4696 X231

Phoebe Berks Health Care Center
Adopt a Resident

Bring Christmas joy to the residents in our Health Care Center with a donation for our Giving Tree Program. Great gift ideas are pads of paper, pens, puzzle books, music CDs, lotions, and other special personal care items, books, special magazines, socks, slippers with rubber soles, tissue boxes, change purses, SMALL knickknacks preferably unbreakable, snacks/candy, shirts, blouses or nightgowns. Please wrap in gift bags or boxes if possible so we know each person receives an appropriate item.

Contact Liane Mayernik at lmayernik@phoebe.org or 610-927-8514

Safe Berks
Holiday Meals

Looking for small groups to cook dinner or sponsor a local restaurant to provide dinner for the residents of our Safe House. We have 30-40 people which includes parents and children. We appreciate if food can be delivered hot and ready to serve by 5 PM. Please bring earlier if you need us to re-heat food. Many dates are available.

 

Holiday Gift Donors

Please consider donating unwrapped gifts for the holiday season for parents and children who reside in our Safe House, transitional housing, or utilize our other services – this adds up to over 100 parents and children at any given time. Children’s ages range from infancy up to 17 years. Please contact Safe Berks for a list. You may also “adopt” a family for Christmas by providing gifts for the whole family.

Contact Mindy McIntosh at mindym@safeberks.org or 484-468-9637

The Salvation Army Hamburg Service Center- 700 S 4th St., Hamburg
Volunteer Bell Ringers

Volunteers are needed from November 27 through December 24, Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM in Hamburg, Leesport and Bernville area locations.

Contact Kettle Coordinator at redkettlehamburg@gmail.com or 610-562-3576

 

Angel Tree – Children

Donations of Walmart gift cards with the activation receipt are being collected this year in place of gifts for families in need. Walmart gift cards may be purchased online at Walmart.com and shipped directly to the Salvation Army Hamburg Center if you do not want to shop in person.

 

Angel Tree – Seniors

Donations of gift cards from Redners, Weis or Walmart with activation receipt.

Please have all gift cards delivered to the center by November 23. Please place the Angel Tag and donation into a sealed envelope. Donations may be mailed, dropped off or shipped to the Hamburg Service Center or a pick-up can be arranged.

Contact Cathy Correll at cathy.correll@USE.salvationarmy.org or 610-562-3576

The Salvation Army Reading Corps- 301 S. 5th St., Reading
Adopt an Angel

Generous donors are needed to sponsor children, seniors, and veterans for our Angel Tree Program. Angel Tree tags are provided based upon request by the donor. Gift suggestions are provided by families, seniors and veterans.

 

Kettle Bell Ringers

Business groups, organizations, civic clubs and individual volunteers are needed to ring the bells at the kettles in various locations throughout Berks County from November 19 through December 24.

 

Santa’s Elves

Various dates in November and December – volunteers are needed to help in preparation for Holiday distribution. Duties include completing angel tags to be placed on trees at area businesses in the community, hosting an angel tree, helping sort toys, helping to distribute toys and various other tasks to assist with the Holiday season.

Contact Yesenia Mejia at Yesenia.mejia@use.salvationarmy.org or 610-373-5208 X207

Shady Hollow Assisted Riding
Wish List

We are having our Amazon Wish List – in conjunction with our Giving Tree from December 1 to January 4. The wish list is a way for people to donate to our program who may not live close, who cannot make it to the barn, or may simply enjoy online shopping. With prices ranging from $5 to $500, the wish list consists of items that are either heavily used at the farm or are desperately in need of replacement. Please visit the website to begin your shopping spree. Please include your name on the gift receipt at checkout so that we can properly thank you.

Contact Ally Sternat at amsternat12@gmail.com

Southwest Middle School – Reading School District
Gift Collection

Gift ideas for students in need: gift cards, headphones, art supplies, soap, shampoo/conditioner, Chapstick/lip gloss, scrunchies, body spray/lotions, school supplies, draw string bags, laundry detergent, crewneck sweatshirts (no hoods please).

Contact Emily Reed at reede@readingsd.org or 610-371-5935 x 54126

St. Catharine Senior Apartments
Christmas Dinner for our Seniors

Help us make our Christmas dinner a success by donating gift cards or gift baskets to support low income seniors. All items received will either help purchase the food for the dinner or gifts for those in need.

Contact Alicia Waid at awaid@cshhcs.org or 610-743-5374

Veterans Coalition of Pennsylvania
Operation Veterans

Assist local veterans with donations of canned goods: fruit, vegetables, canned meat, soups, peanut butter, jellies. Dry items: pasta, crackers, pancake mix, cereal, oatmeal. Personal needs: toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap, washcloth, shampoo, combs, brushes. Clothing: insulated underwear, socks, winter coats, winter shoes, and boots. Grocery and gas gift cards in any amount are also appreciated.

Contact Chris Spohn at spohn353@comcast.net or 610-372-8267

Wernersville State Hospital
Personal Gift Giving

Brighten a resident’s Christmas with a small gift! Items include shampoo, conditioner, body gel, scented lotions, deodorant, wallets, chap sticks, socks, gloves, winter hats, baseball caps (really need men’s items in everything!) purses with small handles, make-up bags, lipsticks, memo pads (no spiral backs), coloring books (no staples), word search books, decks of regular playing cards, UNO card game, Skippo Card game,
t-shirts for men and women size large to 4X, sweatshirts for both men and women size xl-4X, PJ’s large to 3X, slippers with backs – no slip ones, non- slip slipper socks. Please contact below prior to dropping off donations.

Contact Kathy Ellett at kellett@pa.gov or 610-670-4164

YMCA of Reading & Berks County
Child Care and School Age Classrooms Wish List

The Child Care center needs assistance with donations of various items including , area rugs, giant plush stacking rings, mini baby kitchen, CD player with Bluetooth, dress up clothing, children’s music CDs, bean bag chairs, hard cover books, Lego table and Legos, ride on scooters, wiki sticks/water beads, Bluetooth radio, Magna-tiles building blocks, art supplies (crayons, markers), mini air hockey table, dodge balls, foosball game, and large comfortable chairs.

 

Baby University Wish List

The Baby University Program needs assistance with donations of various items, including, filler paper, 1 inch binders, 1-2 year pocket planners, baby wipes, baby bath wash, lotion, candles, picture frames, sippy cups, family games (Memory, Uno, Roll & Play, Candy Land, Connect Four), books for all ages. Toys: push pull, soft plush dolls, educational toys that teach shapes, counting, colors and writing.

 

Transitional Living Wish List

The YMCA is home to several transitional living programs and the residents are in need of various items, including, cook ware, dish towels and rags, bath towels and wash rags, sheets, blankets, shampoo, conditioner, body gel, scented lotions, tooth paste, soaps, deodorant, chap sticks, socks, gloves and winter hats.

Contact Dori Bornstein at dbornstein@ymca-berkscounty.org or 610-378-4744

Yocum Institute for Arts Education
“A Christmas Carol & More”

A variety of volunteers are needed to help organize and put the final touches on Victorian costumes (not all require sewing), assist with ushering, decorating the set for our upcoming show “A Christmas Carol.” Ushers and Front of House needed 1 hour before performance time December 11, 12, 13. Costume and Set Help will be needed primarily on November 22 from 3-6 PM and November 29 from 12-4 PM. All COVID-19 mitigation procedures are firmly in place, specifically anyone not wearing a mask will be asked to leave.

Contact Beverly Houck at primarystages@yocuminstitute.org or 610-376-1576 X 205

Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading
Brighten Doors Project

Christmas Wreaths will be made and donated to local senior centers to help spread Holiday cheer. This project will be done virtually, and all materials needed for the wreaths will be supplied. Project will be done virtually, together on December 5 at 9:00 AM.

 

Brain Boosters

A virtual project where youth will, together, find Brain Boosters (i.e; crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc.) to be donated to local senior centers to boost holiday spirit. This project will be held, virtually, on December 12 at 9:00 AM.

Contact Lindsay Sites at lindsay@voiceupberks.org or 610-750-2190