Opportunities abound to give thanks in your community

We are now officially in the holiday season. It’s our favorite time of year! From the bright lights to the sweet smells. The family traditions and overall air of abundance tends to bring to mind those who won’t be spending the holidays surrounded with family, gifts, and the foods that fills our lives (and bellies) with joy.

Taking some time to volunteer in your community can strengthen those warm feelings, and remind your children that all it takes is a little effort from each of us to make a huge impact.

Omaha is a truly prosperous city, and the opportunities to help others are abundant. This month, we’ve put together an easy family-friendly volunteer guide for those who are interested in lending a hand this holiday!

Not only is volunteer work good for the community, the heart, and the work ethic, it can help teens fulfill their community service requirements for certain colleges and organizations. Read on for opportunities!


Volunteer Match

Opportunities are posted daily for those looking for big and small ways to give! Whether you have the capacity for a weekly commitment or you’re looking for some one and done volunteer fun, Volunteer Match will help you find a way to give!


Project Linus

When we were very young, we knew just how much comfort a warm, soft blanket could offer. For children dealing with trauma, it’s a life saver. Children are taught to make tie blankets, which will be given to those in need. This simple act of service can remind children that they are never truly alone, and remind your children that they have the power to make a difference.


Parks and Rec

Able-bodied big kids and teens can help make a whole community brighter with just a few hours work! Volunteering with Parks and Recreation can mean anything from helping to plant shrubs and foliage to assisting with Santa’s visit. The recent Boo Bash was a success thanks to volunteers, and the activities that keep summer boredom at bay are all thanks to volunteer hours by people who just wanted to give back.


Habitat for Humanity

From cleaning and painting to raising funds, Habitat does so much more than build homes! They help rebuild lives, and can help your teen build a resume. They’ll gain valuable experience, aid in workshops, or assist at a build and help make dreams come true, maybe even their own.

Deliver Meals to Rainbow House, Nursing Homes, Youth Emergency Services, or Retirement Communities

While you’re teaching your children the traditional recipes that make your holiday memories sweet, double the recipe and take your works of culinary art to people who would be more than grateful for a homecooked meal in a time of need.

Rainbow House is a home away from home for those in town while their children receive medical treatments from Omaha’s exceptional hospitals and surgeons. Sometimes a hot meal is the last thing on their mind. Be the one to remember them in their time of need!

Youth Emergency Services helps young adults overcoming high risk situations and hopeless environments to create a sustainable living situation. The organization offers meals, training, counseling, and other necessities to area youths building a life. Donating a casserole, pot of soup, or a gift card can help the organization reach the 600 young adults and teens they serve every month.

Call nursing homes individually to inquire about dietary restrictions and visiting hours. Many residents are the last in their family, alone in town, or without family for any number of reasons. A visit, someone to read to them, recount stories, and share their own traditions with can lift the spirit and strengthen the heart, mind, and body.


Heartland Hope

Children as young as 12 can volunteer at Heartland Hope Mission pantry. Organize a food drive, set up for events, serve, or clean up after. You and your child will spend your time  providing meals that fill more than an empty belly, but a real void in the human experience.


Keep Omaha Beautiful

Litter bugs would leave Omaha a butt-covered mess if it weren’t for the efforts of Keep Omaha Beautiful! The volunteers used intense, focused efforts to clean our city, one block at a time.


Nebraska Humane Society

If furry friends are more your style, The Nebraska Humane Society tirelessly cares for Omaha’s not-yet-homed pets. Official volunteers must be 19 years of age or older, but opportunities to enrich the lives of the shelter’s residents.

This holiday season, remember that Thanksgiving is a verb, and be sure to show gratitude for the people you are lucky enough to share these warm days with!

West Maple Pediatric Dentistry is thankful for each of you, and we look forward to sharing our holidays with the community!


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