Holiday Volunteering 2015

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:

Street Roots

Items Needed: We are looking for winter gear so that Street Roots vendors can stay warm and continue working hard throughout the cold season. Specifically, we need hand warmers, socks and gloves.

Street Roots vendors work hard all year long selling the paper to earn an income striving to overcome homelessness and poverty. Donations of warm winter gear will empower vendors to keep selling the paper in the cold and wet which means money in the pockets of people who need it, and solid journalism in the hands of readers. Specifically, hand warmers, socks and gloves are frequently requested by vendors during winter.

About Street Roots: Street Roots creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual and social change.

How to Donate: Donations can be dropped off at the Street Roots office located at 211 NW Davis St, Portland, OR during our hours of operations. We are open 7:30am-3pm Monday thru Friday, 7:30am-2pm Saturday, and 7:30-11am Sunday.

Bicycle Transportation Alliance

Items Needed: We have a Member Holiday Party at our offices every year. This year our party is on December 9th, 2015 from 5:00pm-8:00pm. We have Giving Stations for the Willamette Week's Give! Guide and have a staff chili cook-off! It would be greatly appreciated to have holiday decorations and other snacks donated to this event. 

By providing a fun place for our members during the holiday season, we hope to raise funds to support our bike safety education work in Oregon's schools.

About BTA: The Bicycle Transportation Alliance ® is a non-profit membership organization working to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon. Since 1990, the BTA has worked in partnership with citizens, businesses, community groups, government agencies, and elected officials to create communities where people can meet their daily transportation needs on a bike.

Our Mission: The Bicycle Transportation Alliance creates healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, convenient and accessible.

Our Vision: Bicycling transforms communities by reinventing transportation and offering solutions for the universal challenges facing health, livability and the environment.

How to Donate: Please drop off donated items at our office, 618 NW Glisan St #401, Portland, OR 97209 from 9am-5pm, M-TH. Thank you!


Volunteers of America Oregon

Items Needed: We are in need of new or gently used winter coats and clothing (all sizes infant-adult). We also greatly need hygiene items (new). We accept donations of non-perishable foods (the healthier the better) for our onsite pantry. Gift cards of any amount are appreciated to stores like Target, Fred Meyer, etc. so we can purchase immediate needs for families.

We are specifically seeking donations for our Family Relief Nursery, a child abuse and neglect prevention/intervention program. We work to strengthen fragile families at serious risk of abusing or neglecting their children or of permanently losing custody of their children. 

Our clients face many challenges such as food insecurity, unemployment, mental health diagnoses and more. In-kind donations greatly relieve stress and help families better take care of themselves. In-kind donations provide much needed items otherwise not readily available to our families. 

About Volunteers of America Oregon: Our mission: To change lives by promoting self-determination, building strong communities and standing for social justice.

From at-risk youth to victims of domestic violence, recovering addicts and the frail elderly, Volunteers of America Oregon provides a range of supportive and empowering services to our area's most vulnerable populations - and works with them to rebuild their lives and reach their full potential.

How to Donate: Donations can be dropped off at the Family Relief Nursery located at 234 SE 7th Ave. Portland, OR 97214 between the hours of 8 and 4 p.m. To schedule a pick up, please contact Crystal Ross at or 503-972-9522.

Human Solutions

Items Needed: Blankets and pillows, children's warm jackets, pajamas, socks, boys’ and girls ‘underwear (new only) Toys: soccer, basketballs, footballs,skateboards, dolls, stuffed animals(new only), Legos, blocks, games and puzzles, diapers, blankets, bottles, gift cards for older children (ages 13-17), Gift card ideas – Requested in $10 increments Starbucks, Burgerville, Regal movie cards, Old Navy, etc. These items are needed for our Family Winter Shelter and for families participating in our Holiday Giving Program. 

About Human Solutions: The mission of Human Solutions is to help low-income and homeless families by providing affordable housing, family support services, job readiness training and economic development opportunities. At Human Solutions, our vision is to foster a prosperous and healthy community that is free of homelessness and of the devastating effects of homelessness and poverty.

How to Donate: To arrange drop off location please contact Sara Fisher, or 503-548-0283.


Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization

Items Needed: The items IRCO needs are things that would help strengthen our after school youth academic programs.  This includes general supplies (scissors, glue sticks, markers, colored pencils, etc.), balls (soccer, volleyballs, kick balls), recess equipment (hula hoops, jump ropes, bean bags), board games, and specific equipment for particular groups, including legos for lego robotics, chess sets for chess club, and books.  

IRCO has 12 SUN sites.  SUN, or Schools Uniting Neighborhoods are after school extension programs that focus on educational success through an integrated network of support services for students, families, and their communities.  SUN services provide things such as after school programs for students, food pantries for families, ESL classes, and more.  What’s unique about IRCO’s SUN sites (compared to other SUN sites ran by other social service organizations) are that they provide culturally-specific services in the communities where our clients attend school.  This means that IRCO kids who attend these SUN schools get English as a second language (ESL) classes and mentoring, extra homework help, culturally specific events (celebrating the Chinese new year, Tet, and other cultural holidays), and their families also receive services, such as ESL lessons for adults.    

About IRCO: IRCO is a community-based nonprofit that provides wraparound services for immigrants and refugees in their adjustment to life in the U.S.  We have over 120 programs that provide culturally and linguistically specific services from childhood development to senior services to help people achieve self-sufficiency and build a multicultural community.  Our mission is to  promote the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society.  These items would allow IRCO to provide culturally specific programming to immigrant and refugee children who would not receive the tutoring help, mentoring, and and activities they need to thrive and build relationships to help them adjust to life in the U.S.

How to Donate: Those who would like to donate these items to IRCO SUN schools should drop them off at our main office located on Glisan St.  Our address is:

10301 NE Glisan St. Portland, OR 97220. Items may be left with our Reception Desk.

Open School

Items Needed: Gift cards to Fred Meyers or Safeway, winter jackets (all sizes in men's & women's), art kits/sketch books, converse all stars in black (sizes 8-9 in womens, sizes 10-11 in mens), journals with nice covers, earphones/earbuds, basketball shorts (Nike, sizes m-xL), frozen turkeys/turkey dinners (3-6).

These items will help provide food, clothing, and supplies to support resource needs and community relationships for our students and their families through the holiday season.

About Open School: Open School’s mission: to develop connection, capability, and confidence in disconnected youth through relationship-based, quality learning experiences that result in academic, personal, and community success.  Open School inspires community, sparks learning and transforms lives through Academics, Equity and Advocacy. 86% of our students are low-income, and 75% are youth of color.

How to Donate: Drop off to organization site:

Open School (formerly Open Meadow)
Development Office
7633 N Wabash Ave
Portland, OR 97217

Store to Door

Items Needed: Store to Door is in need of gas cards to give to volunteer delivery drivers who transport shopped groceries to home bound seniors and people with disabilities every week.

Volunteer delivery drivers often pay for their own gas to make grocery deliveries for home bound seniors and people with disabilities. Free gas cards would generously support their efforts.

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: Anyone can donate a gas card of any value to Store to Door. Once notified of the donations, Store to Door will pick up the cards and distribute them to our volunteer delivery drivers. Contact Barb McDowell at 503-200-3333 ext 008 or email

Mother & Child Education Center

Items Needed: Help keep families in need warm this Christmas with the gift of new pajamas!  Mother & Child is looking for ALL sizes of PJs to help families have an even warmer holiday season:

- Infant & Toddler Sizes: 0-3 Mo up to 6T (6 Toddler)

- Children Sizes: 7-16 or XS-XXL

- Women's Sizes: XS-XXL

- Men's Sizes: XS-XXL

A gift of pajamas will help to ease the financial burden that can sometimes be emphasized for families around the holiday seasons. Giving this special gift will allow for parents to gift pajamas to their own children, and build confidence in themselves with the gift of pajamas for themselves. 

About Mother & Child Education Center: Our mission is to create a community of competent and confident parents who nurture their children.

How to Donate: Donations can be brought directly to Mother & Child Education Center anytime during regular business hours.  Mother & Child is located at 1515 NE 41st Ave Portland, OR 97232, and is open Monday-Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-3pm. Please call 503-249-5801 or visit our website at

Impact NW

Items Needed: Create a Holiday Hope Box for a baby, child, teen, family, or senior in need. Pick a group and select suggested items the lists on our website, We ask that all donations are new and unwrapped.

While most of us prepare for a joyful holiday season, many families are struggling to secure food, warm clothing, a safe place to live. The Holiday Hope Drive is an opportunity for you to support people experiencing poverty in the Portland metro area by providing a blanket for a baby, warm coat for a child, food for a senior or other necessities.

About Impact NW: By working with schools, businesses, faith communities, other community-based organizations and governmental agencies we create a safety net and springboard for community members to improve their quality of life and achieve independence.

How to Donate: Drop off at one of our three locations:

Downtown Administrative Office
1111 SW 10th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97206
Mon – Wed, 9 am – 5 pm
Call 503-758-8784 to be let in the building

Dancing Tree Family Center
10055 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97216
Mon – Thurs, 9 am – 6:00 pm

SE Multicultural Center
4610 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97215
Mon – Fri, 9 am – 4 pm

YWCA of Greater Portland

Items Needed: Help make this holiday season bright for women, children, and seniors in need! Using the wishlists on our website ( create hope boxes for one of the featured groups. Fill a box yourself or host a collection at your office or place of worship, then drop off new, unwrapped gifts off at one of our three collection centers.

While most of us prepare for a joyful holiday season, many families are struggling to secure food, warm clothing, a safe place to live. The Holiday Hope Drive is an opportunity for you to support people experiencing poverty in the Portland metro area by providing a blanket for a baby, warm coat for a child, food for a senior or other necessities.

About YWCA: The YWCA's mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

How to Donate: Drop off at one of our three locations:

Downtown Administrative Office
1111 SW 10th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97206
Mon – Wed, 9 am – 5 pm
Call 503-758-8784 to be let in the building

Dancing Tree Family Center
10055 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97216
Mon – Thurs, 9 am – 6:00 pm

SE Multicultural Center
4610 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97215
Mon – Fri, 9 am – 4 pm

Lift Urban Portland

Items Needed: We host a Christmas dinner for 500 residents of NW and SW Portland. In addition to the hot meal, we provide a winter goody bag. We are looking for brand new warm hats and scarves. 

The warm hats and scarves will help the attendees keep warm during the winter season whether it’s while going for a walk, standing in line at our pantry, or helping to keep warm at night.

About Lift Urban Portland: Our mission is to reduce hunger and improve the lives of low-income residents of Northwest and Downtown Portland. 

How to Donate: New hats and scarves can be dropped off at our office:

2701 NW Vaughn St. Suite 102

Our office hours are M-F 8:30-5

We are located in the Montgomery Park building on the ground floor of the east side of the building where Wilson tees with 27th. 


Raphael House of Portland

Items Needed:  You can support the families we serve by donating new, unwrapped items for adults, teens and children, including: coats and warm accessories, shoes, baby items, hygiene and beauty products, household and kitchen items, toys, general supplies, and gift cards.

About Raphael House: We believe that everyone deserves to live a life free from violence. The mission of Raphael House is to engage our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.

As the largest domestic violence shelter in Multnomah County, Raphael House of Portland has been providing life-saving services to adults and children for more than 37 years. Annually, we provide 130 adults and children with emergency shelter; support more than 1,200 callers on a 24-hour access line; and offer ongoing self-sufficiency programming and housing assistance to an additional 400 survivors. We also work to prevent future violence through innovative education and outreach programs that reach 2,500+ teens and adults each year.

How to Donate: 

Donations can be delivered on Wednesday, December 9th from 10am - 2pm and Thursday, December 10th from 3 - 7pm at Sunnyside Centenary United Methodist Church (3520 SE Yamhill St.) on the corner of SE 35th Avenue and Yamhill.

Our final Donation Drop-off event of 2015 is on Thursday, December 17th from 4-7pm also at Sunnyside Church (see above).


The Media Foundation

Items Needed: Shipping materials- packing tape, bubble mailers, etc. 
Old media - CD's, DVD, XBox games, vinyl, etc.

About The Media Foundation: The Media Foundation opened its doors in July of 2013. As a result of providing free technology and funding to the local NFP community, we have seen our collaborative efforts provide significant, measurable impacts to at-risk and impoverished families; at-risk and homeless youth; and those in reentry.


To reduce the dependency that smaller nonprofits have on cash contributions to achieve their vision, while magnifying the impact they are having on our community.


Discovering the increased, measurable results of the organizations we serve as a direct result of our collaborative efforts.


The amazing volunteers that share our commitment to magnify the impact of the local nonprofit community. Without their support, the significant amount of funding made available through The Media Foundation would not be possible.

How to Donate: We invite you to bring your donations to
16131 SW Sumac St, Beaverton, OR 97007
between 8am-6pm Monday-Saturday.
You are also invited to bring your CD's and DVD's that need resurfacing!

Questions? call: Mark 503.649.0134