How to help out over the holidays

Logan Ansteatt

Lend-A-Wing Pantry EA logo (1)It’s officially the season of giving. As you’re scrambling to find the perfect gift for family and friends, it’s important to remember those who are in greater need than us this holiday season.

Volunteer opportunities are abound this time of year, both on and off the UNF campus. If you’re looking for a way to give back, here’s where you can start.

Volunteer Opportunities at UNF  

UNF’s Lend-A-Wing pantry anonymously provides students in need with supplies and food at no cost.  

Students enrolled in at least one class on campus can volunteer at the pantry. The steps to follow can be found here. This on-campus organization also accepts food and supplies during their scheduled drives, along with monetary donations.

Volunteer Off Campus

The Salvation Army is an organization known for the red kettles and bells that are so often seen during the holidays, but this group works year-round, and doing much more than bell ringing.

The organization is constantly seeking people to help feed the needy at their kitchen, which is open every day, and to help provide households with bagged groceries each week.  

Salvation_ArmyYou can also volunteer as a tutor, an applications clerk or to help screen families for service eligibility throughout the holidays.

A link to their Northeast Florida branch can be found here.

If you prefer puppies over people, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities at the Jacksonville Humane Society. Their website lists the steps necessary to become a volunteer.

The Humane Society is looking for help at adoption centers and with animal admissions. The organization is also looking for help at various animal hospitals and a  kitten shelter.

Volunteer requirements vary by age, so if you wish to bring your younger family or friends along make sure to check what the process requires of them as well.


The holidays are a busy time and maybe you can’t physically volunteer to help out for the holidays. If you still want to help out, remember that donations are almost always appreciated.

Here’s a few organizations that need donations to keep their services up and running:

No matter which organization you choose to donate your time or cash to, you can be confident that your efforts are going to something good. Is there any better way to spread holiday cheer?

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].