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 Coalition To End Homelessness (BCEH)
Adopt a veteran family, emergency shelter family or family in the hotel program and provide children’s gifts by December 15.
Contact Tracey York at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-463-5915 or 610-372-7222
Berks Connections/Pretrial Services (BCPS)
Share Christmas Joy
BCPS coordinates a Holiday Gift Project each year to serve children of incarcerated or justice-involved parents. The last two years have been especially hard on so many families, in particular for those whose incomes have been reduced by one due to incarceration. BCPS is collecting additional items to help. This year’s wish list includes children’s hats, scarves and gloves, new or gently used books (for all ages), and coloring books and 24 packs of crayons. 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 Vanessa Starr at email@example.com or 484-260-3860
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 18 between 10 AM – 12 PM. Volunteers will be delivering to multiple individuals in Berks County.
Contact Ann Barlet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-478-6500 X5523
The Gift of Gift Cards
This holiday season you can join Berks Teen in supporting our youth to develop and share knowledge about healthy relationships. BT 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 email@example.com or 610-375-6523 X107 (O) or 484-333-4015 (C)
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 21 years of age. We kindly ask that all items are new and unwrapped. 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. Please call Craig 610-589-6874 to schedule your drop off. All gifts are needed by December 20.
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 hardbound journals.
Gift Cards: Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, TJ Maxx/Marshall’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Boyer’s, Redner’s, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Ross, Ulta, local greenhouses.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 6610-589-6827
Breast Cancer Support Services
Please check our Amazon Wish List
Contact Vanessa Shurley at email@example.com or 610-478-1447
Clare of Assisi House
Holiday Gift Cards
Gift cards from local hair salons, cut and styles, manicures to help our clients prepare for job interviews/employment. Also gift cards from Walmart or Boscov’s to help the women have a happy holiday season and enable them to buy those little things they need. Also gifts for their children to make their Holiday special.
Contact Pam Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-869-5483
Children’s Home of Reading
Businesses, groups and individuals are needed to fulfill donations. Wish List of items includes any art supplies, 8X10 canvases, graphic novels, 1,000 piece puzzles, Skip Bo, Uno, markers, gel pens all colors, craft kits, Hacky Sacks, all types of balls, SD cards, graphic novels, hair products for all hair types, silk pillowcases, Axe body products, large parachute for 20 kids, MP4 players, headphones, ear phones, Karaoke microphone, adult coloring books, gift cards (Amazon, VISA, MasterCard, WAWA, Target, Sheetz, Michaels, Walmart and restaurants).
Assist with Holiday Gift Drive, gift card collection sites, toy drive, gift sorters and inventory anytime from now until December 10. Holiday gift drive pick-up and drive through, Christmas Carolers, gift runners, light display set-up and breakdown on December 15.
Contact Liz B. Hafer at email@example.com or 484.577.6488 (C) 610-478-8266 X427
Crime Alert Berks County
Shop With A Cop
We are looking for a few extra hands to wrap the presents that children choose for their special loved one(s). On Thursday, December 9, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM, 20 children are paired with a local law enforcement officer to help spend $100 on their loved ones at Boscov’s North. We are looking for Gift Wrappers to wrap the presents that the children select.
Contact Chris Nein at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-334-0633
Six turkeys are needed to prepare Thanksgiving dinner along with Giant and/or Redner’s gift cards. Prepared Thanksgiving dinners are also welcome and may be dropped off at one of our residential homes.
Contact Vicki Swain at email@example.com or 610-376-5648 X228
Holiday Gift Sponsors
You can help make the season bright for a neighbor in need. Sponsor a family or youth that is experiencing homelessness for the holidays by purchasing items from their wish list and wrap them in bright colors. Please deliver the gifts to our Day Center 325 N 5th St., Rdg. before December 13.
Contact Bethany Bower at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-373-3323 X24
Christmas Gift Distributions
Volunteers are needed on the following dates:
• December 5, 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 17, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Volunteers assist with pantry distribution and distribute turkeys, holiday dinner boxes and gift bags for children.
Contact Cathy Dill at email@example.com or 610-683-7791
Volunteer Bell Ringers
Volunteers are needed from November 26 through December 24, Monday – Saturday,
10 AM – 6 PM in Kutztown/Fleetwood area locations.
Contact Dennis Ritter at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Tuesday through Saturday 9 AM to 6 PM and Sunday, 12 PM to 6 PM.
Contact Eneida Powell at email@example.com or 610-621-0011
Hannah’s Hope Ministries
Please help our mothers and children have a Happy Holiday by donating gift cards from Walmart or Boscov’s, boys’ shoes size 9, clothing and pajamas for boys size 8, 5, 2T, 12-18 months and girls size 7/8.
Christmas Caroling and Crafts
Any Monday in December is available.
Contact Joy Kessock at firstname.lastname@example.org or610-451-5984
Hope Rescue Mission
Helping through the Holidays
Amazon Gift Cards or our Amazon Wish List are great ways to partner with Hope Rescue Mission. There are many needs over the winter months and this is a wonderful gift for those we serve. Amazon list link here.
We would love for you to be part of making the holiday season merry and bright for our HRM guests. Would you consider preparing a meal to serve at lunch or dinner? Or help serve a meal that our kitchen provides. Daily meal times are 11:30 lunch or 6:00 pm dinner.
Contact Jayme Eenigenburg at email@example.com or 610-743-4945
Keystone Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
KDHHS will be making Holiday Baskets for families in need. We are requesting gift cards in any dollar amount to Giant, Weis, Redner’s or other grocery stores. All gift cards should be dropped off at the agency new location 1290 Broadcasting Rd. Ste. 1, Wyomissing during business hours by December 18.
Contact Lori Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-685-4523
Keystone Military Families
Stocking Stuffer Elves and Helpers Needed
Volunteers are needed from November 1 thru December 15 to stuff Stockings for Soldiers at pantry located at 331 Main St. Rear, Shoemakersville. Parking and entrance is in rear of the building. Hours are 9 AM – 2 PM Monday thru Thursday and Saturday from 10 AM – 2 PM. Please call ahead if your group is more than 4 people. Once stockings have been packed and shipped we will be setting up a Christmas Shoppe, sorting and packing toys for military families in need.
Contact Kyle Lord at email@example.com or 610-698-2122
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 20 through the end of February.Contact Debbie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-374-8545
Literacy Council of Reading
Winter student transportation is needed during December, January, February and March. BARTA monthly passes are a great help.
Contact Beverly Hirneisen at email@example.com or 610-670-9960
Please join us in helping make Christmas special for all of our kids newborn to age 18. Our Amazon Smile wish list has all of the items used year round and can be purchased anywhere you love to shop. Gift cards to Redners, Giant, Target or Walmart help our youth set up their first apartment. Gift cards to McDonald’s, Sheetz, WAWA etc. make a wonderful “extra” treat to brighten the Holidays.
Contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-603-8010
New Journey Community Outreach
We are looking for groups to collect gift bag items for adults and children. Adult gloves and ski caps for men and women, youth gloves and ski caps for boys and girls, socks for children both boys and girls along, small gifts like coloring books, crayons etc. We serve about 350 unique families each month and 125 lunches every day.
Contact Jeff Laylon at email@example.com or 610-375-3310
Olivet Boys & Girls Club
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), blankets, arts and crafts supplies, blankets, electronics (headphones, video games etc.) Please drop off donations to the Olivet Administrative Building, 1161 Pershing Blvd., Reading.
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!
Adult (men and women) and children (boys and girls) boots are needed any sizes.
Contact Stacy Perlaki at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-374-4696 X231
ProMedica Hospice (formerly Heartland Hospice)
Holiday Crafters Wanted
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 due to the ongoing pandemic. 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@ProMedica.org or 610-373-6898
Rock Hollow Woods Environmental Learning Center
Send a Child to Nature Camp
Sponsor a child to attend one of Rick Hollow Woods’ nature camps. These children will be immersed in an authentic nature experience with certified teachers, along with those teachers that are hidden in the creek, forest, meadows and sunlight. They get dirty, have fun, learn about the natural world around them, become environmental stewards and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Contact Michelle Zeitz at email@example.com or 610-582-0415
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.
Contact Mindy McIntosh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-468-9637
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 “sponsor” a family for Christmas by providing gifts for the whole family.
Contact Francine Scoboria at email@example.com or 610-370-7812
Volunteer Gift Wrappers
We are seeking volunteers to gift-wrap at the Berkshire Mall, evenings and weekends from December 1- 24. All proceeds benefit Safe Berks.
Contact Alexis Dawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-373-1206 X115
The Salvation Army Hamburg Service Center- 700 S 4th St., Hamburg
Volunteer Bell Ringers
Volunteers are needed for 2-hour shifts from November 26 through December 24, Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM in Hamburg, Leesport, Temple and Bernville area locations.
Volunteers are needed for 2 or 4 hour shifts and longer if available on the following dates at the Hamburg Field House.
December 6, 9 AM – 4 PM, Gifts and food pick-up, unload gifts from trailers, set-
up tables, sort gifts, make and label boxes etc.
December 7-10, 9 AM – 4 PM, Volunteers sort gifts.
December 13, 9 AM – 4 PM, Pick-up remaining gifts and continue sorting.
December 14-15, 9 AM – 4 PM Organize tables and final preparations.
December 16, 12 Noon – 3 PM, Assist with distribution of gifts to seniors’ vehicles.
December 17, 12 -7 PM, Assist with distribution of gifts, tear down and clean-up.Contact Kettle Coordinator at email@example.com or 610-562-3576
Angel Tree – Children & Seniors
Tags are available to provide Christmas gifts for low-income families with children and seniors aged 60+ living on a fix income.
Contact Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-562-3576 until December 2 and Amy 610-406-2419 or Cathy 484-650-2161 from December 6-17
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.
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.email@example.com or 610-373-5208 X207
Shady Hollow Assisted Riding
Our Amazon Wish List – in conjunction with our Giving Tree from December 1 to January 3 – 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 following 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwest Middle School – Reading School District
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 Snisky at email@example.com 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 Michele Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-743-5374
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 email@example.com or 610-670-4164
Western Berks Free Medical Clinic (480 Big Spring Rd., Robesonia)
Support Efforts to Provide Free Health Care to Adults w/o Health Insurance
Donations of Staples (office supplies) and Walmart (diabetic supplies for patients) gift cards, white copy paper, US forever postage stamps, boxes of tissues, paper towels, hand sanitizer, disposable medical or procedural-grade masks, bottled water.
Contact Stacie Dreibelbis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-693-6207
Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge-Promotes the visibility of Native Americans
Shop our Amazon Wish List to help us build our community outreach. Gift card donations for small gifts and local community experiences for our Firekeepers (youth ages 12-18).
Contact Amanda Funk at email@example.com or 484-258-2817
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.
Contact Shelley Eppihimer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-378-4728
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), new books for all ages. Toys: push pull, 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 Gena at email@example.com or 610-378-4748
Contact Dori Bornstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-378-4744