Holiday Volunteering 2014

Get involved this holiday season!

As the clouds roll in and the skies darken earlier, nonprofits across the Greater Portland area are looking for volunteers like you to brighten the day by lending a hand!

► Have a few hours?

Check out our Project Calendar to find a variety of "done-in-a-day" volunteer opportunities.

  • Look for *Hands On* in the title to find projects managed by us. You can sign up in two clicks to join a group of volunteers on a 2-4 hour project, lead by a trained volunteer leader; no experience or ongoing commitment required!

  • Look for "Bulletin Board" listings to find projects managed directly by our many wonderful nonprofit partners. Contact information is provided for you to connect directly with the nonprofit volunteer coordinator.

► Deepen your impact...

Search all of our volunteer opportunities to find longer-term or skills-based opportunities with our 300+ non-profit partners. You can hone your search by keyword, zipcode, availability and more! In the search results, look for opportunities with the time listed as "Open" to find opportunities that could use your help for more than a single shift.

► Seeking assistance?

If you are seeking food or gift assistance during the holidays, please visit 211info to get connected with programs that can help.

► Have items to donate?

Here at Hands On, we have many amazing nonprofit partners with holiday programs that couldn’t happen without in-kind donations from generous individuals like you. From unwrapped gifts to books to hygiene kits to hats, take a look at the list below to find something you could give!


Organizations to Support with In-Kind Donations:

Free Geek

Items Needed: Community members can help by donating any old technology devices such as smart phones, computers, cameras, TVs, gaming consoles and more. Free Geek will accept almost everything that has held an electric charge for reuse and ethical/environmental recycling, and you get the tax benefits.

About Free Geek: Free Geek’s mission is to teach volunteers how to refurbish donated technology and give and back them out to the community through our Volunteer and Hardware Grants programs. Through this process, they provide workplace readiness skills, access to technology, and free support/education to help people be successful on computers.

How to Donate: Hardware donations are accepted from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM Tuesday-Saturday at 1731 SE 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97214. 

Free geek will also pick up items from businesses and organizations for a fee. Please visit for more details and to request a visit from our 16' truck.

Impact NW

Items Needed: Clothing, non-perishable food, furniture, and gifts/toys are the primary donation items needed by Impact NW. Items donated must be new and unwrapped. For a complete list of needed items, visit

About Impact NW: Impact NW serves people of all ages, genders and ethnicities living in poverty throughout Multnomah, Washington, Clark and Clackamas counties. Your donation to our Holiday Hope Drive supports families in securing food, warm clothing, a safe place to live and most of all, HOPE during the cold winter months.

How to Donate: Donations can be dropped off at either of these 2 locations during the stated hours between 11/3/2104 - 12/17/2014:

--Dancing Tree Family Center
  10055 E. Burnside St.
  Portland, OR 97216

Mon - Thurs, 9 am - 6:45 pm

--Downtown Administrative Office
  1111 SW 10th Ave, 3rd Floor
  Portland, OR 97206

Mon - Fri, 9 am - 5 pm

Call 503-758-8784 to be let in the building  

Northwest Housing Alternatives

Items Needed: Gifts and toys are needed for children and teenagers of all ages.

About Northwest Housing Alternatives:  Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) creates opportunity through housing. NHA builds and preserves affordable housing for people earning low-incomes including families, seniors and people with special needs. Homeless Intervention Services are provided to families, couples, singles and seniors in Clackamas County through the Annie Ross House and its sister program, HomeBase. Northwest Housing Alternatives’ properties in the Portland Metro area are enriched with Resident Services to provide our residents with opportunities to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Each December NHA holds their annual Annie Ross House Holiday Party. They invite families who have gone through the program over the past year to the party, and while the children are enjoying time with Santa and eating a nutritious meal, parents are able to shop across the way for presents for their children to open on Christmas morning.  Having toys (that you have donated) for the families helps them to save their limited resources for food and shelter, but still be able to provide for their children. 

How to Donate:  You can purchase toys from NHA’s Amazon wish list and have them sent directly to their offices at

You can also drop off toys at NHA offices at 2316 SE Willard Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222


Community Warehouse

Items Needed: Community Warehouse is seeking gently-used kitchen items/cookware (pots & pans, silverware, toasters, blenders, coffee makers, etc) and linens (blankets, sheets, towels, & pillows.)  

About Community Warehouse: Community Warehouse is your local, nonprofit furniture bank that redistributes donated household goods and furnishings to neighbors in need. They are currently serving 60+ families each week. Especially during the holidays, many local families come to us in need of basic household items to help them create more comfortable, functional homes. By providing vulnerable populations with basic household furnishings, we are able to help improve the quality of their lives and become more self-sufficient. 

How to Donate: Please drop your items off at one of our convenient Warehouse locations:

3969 NE MLK JR Blvd.
Portland, OR 97212

8380 SW Nyberg St
Tualatin, OR 97062

If you have larger furniture items to donate (mattresses, sofas, etc) and are unable to bring them to us, you can request a pick-up online at

If you really want to be an all-star volunteer, you can host a collection drive for us at your school, church, business, or even in your neighborhood. We have bins for you to use, as well as flyers and posters to spread the word!

Email for ideas,

or visit for more info.


Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition

Items Needed: New children sized bicycles, new helmets, bicycle locks are needed as part of our holiday giving Adopt-a-Bike program. The bicycle packages are given to various Washington County agency referrals and up to 25 students at an elementary school in Hillsboro. Washington County Bicycle Coalition also gives a two hour safety skills clinic to the children aged 9 and older.

About Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition: WashCo BTC’s mission is to promote bicycle transportation, protect bicyclists’ rights and improve bicycling conditions throughout Washington County, Oregon through education, advocacy and community. Through the Adopt-a-Bike program we give children who might not otherwise get to experience the thrill of riding a bicycle that chance. 

How to Donate: Items can be dropped off at our Community Bicycle Center located in downtown Hillsboro, OR. located at 137 NE 3rd Ave. (between Lincoln and Main St).

If more than one bicycle is being donated, arrangements for pick-up can be made by calling 503.844.9740.

New or good used bicycles are always accepted.



Items Needed: Hygiene items such as shampoo, conditioner, razors, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene, are needed. In addition, JOIN is asking for cold weather items for homeless people including socks, hats, gloves, sleeping bags, blankets, tarps, warm jackets.  

About JOIN: A shower and a dry pair of socks seem like small things to most of us, but they can help someone navigating the harshness of life on the streets feel human again.

JOIN helps homeless individuals and families move from the streets back into permanent housing, as well as offers critical basic services to those living outside. Being able to provide the homeless people that are through Street Outreach, as well as those who visit JOIN’s basic service center, with the critical items that help them survive and maintain dignity is a crucial part of what we do.  

How to Donate: Bring donations to JOIN at 1435 NE 81st Avenue, 97213, Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. 

Contact Sydney at or 503-232-7052 x204 with questions. Please note that JOIN is closed the second Friday of each month.


Sauvie Island Center

Items Needed: The Sauvie Island Center needs children's rain coats and rain boots in all sizes for children from ages 5-12. 

About Sauvie Island Center: The Sauvie Island Center educates youth, families, and the community about food, farming, and the land. They lead school field trips for children in the region where kids can explore the Sauvie Island Organics farm and learn about farming and how food is grown.  More than half of the school groups participate through scholarships, and many of the kids do not have adequate rain gear.  The children spend the whole day outdoors, and it is more enjoyable and educational when they are dressed for the weather.

How to Donate: Send an email to and someone from the Sauvie Island Center will schedule a time to come by and pick up the items. 


Oregon Food Bank

Items Needed: Food (perishable and nonperishable) or cash donations ($30 can feed a family of four for about 4-5 days) are needed by the Oregon Food Bank.

About Oregon Food Bank: Oregon Food Bank’s mission is to eliminate hunger and its root causes. A tough economy and high unemployment have pushed demand for emergency food to record levels, making community support more important than ever. Oregon Food Bank provides emergency food to people who are hungry through a cooperative statewide network of hunger-relief agencies, helping 1 in 5 households fend off hunger.

Cash donations keep our freezers running and our trucks on the road. They also support our innovative programs to address the root causes of hunger through advocacy and education.

How to Donate: There are two food bank donation centers you can bring your items to:

Oregon Food Bank Headquarters - Portland
Phone: 503-282-0555 or 1-800-777-7427
Mailing address: P.O. Box 55370, Portland, OR 97238-5370
Physical address: 7900 N.E. 33rd Drive, Portland, OR 97211

Oregon Food Bank West - Beaverton
Phone: 503-439-6510
Mailing address:  P.O. Box 5817, Beaverton, OR 97006-0817
Physical address: 1870 N.W. 173rd Ave., Beaverton, OR 97006 

Lift Urban Portland

Items Needed: Lift Urban Portland is looking for personal hygiene products to put in goodie bags we pass out to the 500 low income residents that attend our Christmas Dinner. We are in need of body wash, chapstick, floss, hand/body lotion, hand sanitizer, hand-warmers, laundry soap packets, mouthwash, razors, shampoo, conditioner, tissues, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.

About Lift Urban Portland: Lift Urban Portland is an interfaith community of volunteers who Lift Up neighbors in need, by helping meet physical, emotional and social needs. Volunteers from congregations and the local community empower neighbors to live with dignity and purpose. Lift Urban Portland welcomes your participation in helping them fulfill their mission to meet the evolving needs of our community. 

Your donations help low income residents maintain their health, increase their confidence and allow them to celebrate the holiday season without worrying about the bare essentials. 

How to Donate: Please drop off any donated items to Lift Urban Portland located at 2701 NW Vaughn St. #102. Located on the east side of Montgomery Park on the ground floor. 

Hours: M-F 8:30 AM-5:00 PM. 

Pathfinders of Oregon

Items Needed: We need clothing (especially warm clothing) and gifts/toys for kids of all ages. Donations of clothing, gifts, and toys will help us to enable the high risk population we serve to have happy holidays. We provide wraparound services and support to our clients, and helping them secure needed items for the holidays is a vital form of support at what can be a difficult time of year for many.

About Pathfinders of Oregon: Our mission is to break the intergenerational cycle of criminality. We accomplish our mission through prevention and intervention focused on high risk individuals, families and children.

How to Donate: Donors are welcome to drop off items at our business office, located at 7800 SW Barbur, Portland, OR, 97202. We are open M-F, 9-5

To drop off items on the east side (Rockwood area), or to arrange for a pickup, please contact Aly Sneider, 503-892-5396 x 110.


Tryon Creek Watershed Council 

Items Needed: We are in need of a few various items that would help our non-profit. Many of these items will help us better execute our restoration projects, field projects and also help our office operations. As a small non-profit, our budget is small and we rely on donations to help us get the equipment and supplies we need. 

  • Gift Cards to use for work party snacks (grocery stores, coffee shops, etc.)

  • Hand-held pruning shears

  • Sit-stand desk

  • Waterproof camera

  • High accuracy field GPS unit for restoration site, invasive species, habitat mapping

  • Hip or chest waders (preferred not neoprene)

  • Laptop for Council Coordinator. Specs: >500 Gig hard drive, >4 gig ram and chip, 15”+ monitor, long (5+ hrs) battery life. Not older than 2 yrs.

About Tryon Creek Watershed Council: We work to protect and restore the ecological integrity of Tryon Creek watershed. The majority of TCWC projects involve restoration of riparian native vegetation on streambanks. As a watershed council, another key role that we fill is coordination of partnerships, watershed planning, and monitoring.

How to Donate: Individuals interested in donating items to the Tryon Creek Watershed Council should contact Corrina Chase, Watershed Coordinator, at 

We are happy to pick items up from individuals. Items can also be dropped off at our office:

Tryon Creek Nature Center
11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd
Portland OR 97219

Please e-mail us first to let us know what time you are dropping items off so we can make sure to be in the office. 

Cherry Park SUN Community School (Metropolitan Family Service)

Items Needed: We are looking for gift cards or green cleaning products or supplies for families attending our winter Healthy homes workshop. Many of the families we would like to reach in this community lack access to healthy cleaning products and may not be aware of the dangers of household air quality. The gift cards would be an incentive to create a healthier environment at home and would be the first step to creating a chemical free zone for their children. 

About Cherry Park SUN Community School: Metropolitan Family Service (MFS) helps people move beyond the limitations of poverty, inequity and social isolation. Through social innovation and focus on prevention, MFS delivers proven programs to help people succeed at home, in school and in the community. One such program is the Cherry Park SUN Community School program, which offers services to the Cherry Park community by offering after school enrichment classes and recreational activities for children, health and wellness based community events for the community and families, and connects families with social services. 

How to Donate: Items can be dropped off at the school-

Cherry Park Elementary
SUN Community School Office
SE 104th Avenue, Portland OR 97216

Highland Elementary SUN School (Metropolitan Family Service)

Items Needed: Our families are in need of food & gifts for the holiday season. We'd like to help them celebrate the holidays with love & cheer by providing gifts for their students and food for their families. Gifts range from a variety of different things but mainly elementary aged appropriate.

By providing these items families are moving beyond the limitations of poverty and help them succeed at home. We support our families with food and gifts for the holidays allowing them to enjoy this time together. Connecting families to these resources is vital in helping them succeed in life and inspire them for the future. 

About Highland Elementary SUN School: Metropolitan Family Service (MFS) helps people move beyond the limitations of poverty, inequity and social isolation. MFS delivers proven programs to help people succeed at home, in school and in the community. We are here to support parents and students.  We are here to help our older neighbors. We are here to connect working families with vital resources. We are here to energize volunteers and inspire future generations.

How to Donate:

Drop Off Donations at
Highland Elementary School,
295 NE 24th St Gresham OR 97030.

During school hours 7:30am-4:00pm

Pick Up by: Anne Duncan, 503-880-6454,

Store to Door

Items Needed:  
1) a new laser color printer
2) collapsible hand carts to carry up to 100lbs each
3) reams of 20lb copy paper for office use and
4) gas cards for delivery drivers.

Services we could use include building a storage cabinet to house office cleaning equipment, taking professional photographs that illustrate our mission and framing services for wall photos.

Each of these items will help us reduce expenses, increase efficiencies, support our volunteers and/or help Store to Door communicate our mission to the public. The color printer will be used primarily to print outreach materials. Hand carts will be provided to our volunteer delivery drivers to carry bins of groceries to clients' doors. Reams of copy paper and free gas cards will reduce our overall expenses, allowing more funds to go directly to the cause. A storage cabinet increases capacity in our small office and custom, framed photographs will help express how we serve our community.

About Store to Door: Store to Door supports independent living for Portland area seniors and people with disabilities by providing a low-cost, volunteer-based grocery shopping and delivery service.

How to Donate: Please contact Barb McDowell at 503-200-3333 ext 008 or email to set up drop off or to arrange for pick up.

Union Gospel Mission

Items Needed: We are in need of hats, scarves, and coffee for our Thanksgiving Day event and on into the winter months. 1 lb. packaged grounds of coffee are preferable. 

Having these items will help us "love our neighbor" in tangible ways throughout the winter months. The majority of the hats and scarves will be used in gift bags that we will hand out at our Thanksgiving Day event.  Any additional hats and scarves (or those that are received after Thanksgiving Day) will be distributed out of our clothing closet. The 1 lb. packaged coffee grounds will be packed into the 500 Thanksgiving Food Baskets we aim to provide to families in need this year. Any larger quantities of coffee (or coffee that is donated after Thanksgiving Day) will be prepared and served to our homeless guests in our Day Room.

About Union Gospel Mission: Our mission is to feed the hungry, restore the addict, and love our neighbor. Union Gospel Mission provides over 200,000 meals per year to the homeless and people in need. In addition to meals, Union Gospel Mission provides food boxes, a dayroom with coffee and snacks, clothing, hygiene items, referral services and emergency cold weather shelter to the homeless.

Union Gospel Mission is home to the LifeChange program. LifeChange is a Christ-centered recovery community. The purpose of LifeChange is to transform lives and break free of addiction and destructive life patterns.

How to Donate: All items can be dropped off at 3 NW 3rd Avenue between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Questions? Contact Teresa Dosh: or call 503-274-4483

Christmas Family Adoption Foundation

Items Needed: Wrapped gifts, clearly labeling each package.

Please purchase a gift card for the family’s Christmas meal. They recommend $25 per family member (a family of 4 would receive a gift card for $100.00, a family of 5 would receive one for $125.00).

About Christmas Family Adoption Foundation: The Christmas Family Adoption Foundation (Adopt-A-Family) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that provides assistance to those who would otherwise not have a holiday celebration. They achieve this by connecting people in the community to families in need.

Their goal is to adopt at least 100 families this holiday season to provide children with toys, clothing, and other necessities. In addition, they provide the entire family with household essentials and gift certificates for a wonderful holiday meal.

How to Donate:  Read about available families.

Contact Linda Trigg to verify the family is still available.

Decide how involved you want to be with that family.

  • Do you want contact with the family or stay anonymous?

  • Would you like to deliver the gifts yourself or have the foundation do it?

click here to see more organizations 

Need us to answer a question that is not included on this page?

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