Morning Buzz

Volunteer Opportunities this Holiday Season

Mackenzie Ward
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Mackenzie Ward, Phebe Chen, Alex Ward

(From left) Mackenzie Ward, mom Phebe Chen and sister Alex Ward volunteering at last year's United Paws event. They have been volunteering together with their dogs through Faithful Paws for about two years. Read more about Mackenzie's volunteer experience with Faithful Paws here.

Mackenzie Ward, a junior at Emory University and graduate of Bellaire High School, is interning at The Buzz this winter break. Below she compiled a list of upcoming volunteer opportunities to consider. 

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, with so much shopping, cooking and socializing to do, not to mention all the fun seasonal festivities. Volunteering with friends and family is a great reminder that the holidays are about more than just presents and good food. We’ve rounded up a list of easy ways to give back to the community and spread the joy this holiday season.

Faithful Paws at United Paws event
Dec. 21-23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
2800 N Terminal Rd, Houston, TX 77032

The airport can be a stressful place during the holidays as people hustle impatiently – until they see the sweet faces of Faithful Paws’ therapy dogs. United Airlines’ annual United Paws event is Dec. 21 at IAH in terminal C. If you have a therapy dog certified with Faithful Paws, sign up and join us or, if you are travelling during the holidays, come by to visit us for some stress relief! Pictures with the dogs are encouraged. United Airlines is donating a dollar per hashtag to Faithful Paws when travelers use the hashtag #UnitedPawsDonation. Volunteering at this event has become a tradition for my sister, mother, and I so keep an eye out for us and our pups at the event!

City-Wide Club of Club’s Annual Christmas Eve Feast 
Dec. 24, volunteers needed 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas Houston, TX 77010

City Wide Club is well known for its annual Christmas Eve Feast, which is held at the George R. Brown Convention Center with volunteer shifts available in the morning and afternoon. Meal service will be served until roughly 5 p.m., although volunteers will be needed to assist the expected 35,000 to 40,000 people anytime between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. In addition to serving traditional hot meals, thousands of people also receive clothing, shoes, blankets, flu shots, medical care, food baskets and other resources. If you cannot make the annual event, there are many other ways to help, including donating canned foods or home goods or even hosting a food and toy drive benefiting City Wide Club.

Serving Love Through a Meal
Every Tuesday and Thursday starting at 3 p.m.
Christ Rose Foundation
2009 Congress Houston, TX 77002

Volunteer Houston needs people to help prepare and serve about 150 meals every Tuesday and Thursday. Preparing includes cutting vegetables, boiling water, and cooking meats and side dishes. Preparation begins at 3 p.m. and dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. At that point, people are needed to pass out meals as well as beverages. Dinner concludes around 6:30 p.m. Visit the website to sign up for a shift in advance!

Marathon Packet Stuffing 
Jan. 5-6 , 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
2400 Wilcrest Houston, TX 77042

Team CanCare has been selected again to be the official packet stuffing organization for the 2018 Houston Marathon. Come help stuff both full and half marathon packets while having fun for a great cause! Packet stuffing will be held on Friday, Jan. 5 and Saturday, Jan 6 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church. There are three available shifts, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 6 p.m. Food and refreshments will be provided.

To view times and to sign up click here

Houston Food Bank 
Reopening December 26
Portwall Headquarters, Keegan Kitchen
535 Portwall Street Houston, TX 77029

The Houston Food Bank offers a variety of different volunteer opportunities, from facilitating the distribution of food to hungry kids, seniors and others who may not have enough to eat to providing school supplies to teachers who work in low income areas. In addition, you can volunteer and/or donate food and supplies to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Visit their website for more details on how you can help others in need throughout the year. The Food Bank will reopen Dec.  26 and is in need of volunteers.

Know of other upcoming volunteer opportunities? Comment below or email and we can update this blog post. Also, see Kids Can Volunteer: Big help from little ones by Angie Frederickson for ideas of volunteer opportunities for kids

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