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Your guide to holiday volunteering in Bloomington



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Hoosier Hills Food Bank volunteer Tre Corley counts out bags Wednesday morning in anticipation of stuffing five pounds of potatoes in each one. Corley is one of over 2,000 volunteers who work with the food bank, which serves six counties, including Monroe County. Emily Eckelbarger Buy Photos

As the holiday season approaches, so does the giving season. All around Bloomington, IU students, staff and faculty can find an abundance of different volunteer opportunities. 

Many organizations list their volunteer opportunities on the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network website. Here’s a guide to make the process a bit easier.

Toy Sorting for the Salvation Army

Accepting volunteers from: Dec. 11-19

Location: 111 N. Rogers St.

Contact: Bloomington Volunteer Network or call 812-336-4310

The Salvation Army needs help sorting Christmas toys for children who would otherwise go without. Volunteers will help sort, arrange and distribute donated toys, games, stuffed animals and clothes. 

Day and evening sorting sessions will take place from Dec. 11-19, and all the items will be distributed Dec. 20. The minimum age for volunteering is 16 or 10 years old if accompanied by an adult, and there is no minimum time commitment required.

Salvation Army bell ringing

Accepting volunteers from: Now through Dec. 23

Location: Multiple locations throughout Monroe County

Contact: Register to Ring website or 812-336-4310 ext. 102

There are 21 red kettles placed throughout the county that rely on volunteers to help ring bells to attract donations for the Salvation Army food pantry, emergency financial assistance and more. Shifts are two hours each, and the organization said on its website it is always looking for more volunteers.

Girls Inc. of Monroe County Holiday Hoopla

Accepting volunteers from: Dec. 15-16 (Event takes place Dec. 16)

Location: Fountain Square Mall (101 W. Kirkwood Ave.)

Contact: Holiday Hoopla webpage

Girls Inc., a nonprofit that has programs for girls all throughout Monroe County, is looking for volunteers to help run their annual holiday party. From 8 a.m. to noon, volunteers will help children pick out and wrap gifts for their families, build gingerbread houses, meet Santa and more. 

There are also other volunteer opportunities such as setting up and tearing down the party. Anyone looking to help must register by Dec. 11.

Bloomington Hospital Foundation Snowflake Festival

Accepting volunteers from: Now through Dec. 9 (Event takes place Dec. 9)

Location: 405 N. Rogers St.

Contact: Event and setup Gift wrapping Cookie baking or Audra Miller at amiller11@iuhealth.org

The Children’s Therapy Center needs elves to help with their annual holiday party. Volunteers can help with setup and the event, gift wrapping and cookie baking.

Community Kitchen of Monroe County Inc. meal prep and service

Accepting volunteers on: Dec. 25

Location: 1515 S. Rogers St.

Contact: Christmas meal prep signup or call Volunteer Coordinator June Taylor at 812-332-0999

Community Kitchen is serving Christmas meals to the hungry all day. Volunteers can work in two-hour shifts from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Volunteers must be at least 14 and must register by Nov. 30. In addition, donations of canned vegetables and fruit, turkeys and hams are also accepted at their location on Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

If you know any volunteer opportunities you would like to see added to this list, contact Christine Stephenson at cistephe@iu.edu.

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