Helping At the Holidays


City of Tempe Municipal Volunteer Program

I want to help at Thanksgiving or Christmas....

Everyone thinks of volunteering at the holidays, and as a result, opportunities to prepare and serve meals tend to fill quickly and early (like September!). Listed below are some organizations who serve the homeless and needy who may still need help for the holidays. Call and give it a try--better yet, call and volunteer any other day of the year. They would love your help!


The City of Tempe offers an array of free holiday-themed special events for children and families that utilize volunteers. If you can help with any of the following, call the volunteer office at 480-350-5190.

Saturdays and Sundays, the first three weekends in December, Danish Christmas Celebration
The Ptersen House Museum, an 1892 Queen Anne Victorian farmhouse in Tempe, will be open to the public (only time during the year) and decorated for the holidays in the Danish style of its original occupants. Volunteers are needed to help greet visitors, serve refreshments, direct visitors to the second floor and help as needed.

Saturday, December 22, Winter Estraordinaire at the Tempe Public Library
Volunteers are needed from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to help run craft activities, cookie decorating and to help as needed.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 27, 28 and/or 29 at the Kiwanis Wave Pool
Christmas is over and Santa needs a break! He will be riding the waves in the pool, while Mrs. Claus will be runningn fun games and activities at the side of the pool. Volunteers are needed to help Mrs. Claus!

Tempe Community Action Agency
2150 E. Orange St., Tempe
Needs donations of toys for their annual "Toy Chest" program which allows low-income families to come "shop" for toys for their children. New unwrapped toys can be dropped off at IKEA on December 14 and 15. Also, volunteers are needed in the "Toy Shoppe" during distribution days. TCAA also has a small food bank and a "meals on wheels" program.  Call 480-350-5883 or visit  
The TCAA Community Gardens are open and looking for volunteer help. Contact Dave Tally
at 480-350-5896 or signup online.

Tempe Salvation Army
Volunteers can assist with meal prepration by cooking a turkey, serving or clean-up. Dinner is served in the morning on Thanksgiving day. Individuals and groups, including adult supervised children's groups are welcome to participate.
Volunteers are also needed for the Christmas Angel program to work the tables at Arizona Mills Mall and Tempe Marketplace, as well for sorting toys for distribution.
Bell ringers are needed at 20 different sites throughout the city.
Call Diane Fernichio, 480-677-1177, Stephanie Bridgeo, 480-980-6376 or George Eastlick, 480-967-8649.

Phoenix Rescue Mission
Located at 35th Avenue and Cocopah, this organization is holding a turkey give-away on November 10 and a food box give away on November 17. Volunteers are still needed for both. Christmas opportunities exist also. Contact Sophia Ontiveros at 602-346-3388.

Tumbleweed Youth Resource Center
Help support homeless youth; the center could use backpacks, blankets, sleeping bags, hygiene items, movie tickets, socks, shoes, coats, etc. Call 480-966-2036, ask for Jana or visit The Phoenix location still needs help with cooking and serving Thanksgiving dinner. Contact Paula Aiken at 602-271-9904.

Shoebox Ministries Sock Drive
This organization collects new adult men's and women's socks that are distributed to 53 Valley homeless and domestic-violence shelters, especially during the holidays. Volunteers are needed to gift wrap the socks on December 8 and 15; no sign-up is needed, just show up. Drop off locations and times are:
Saturday December 8th 10:00am – 2:00pm
1) Cross in the Desert
12835 N. 32nd Street ( 32nd Street & Sweetwater)
2) Resurrection Lutheran Church
4930 E. Greenway Rd.

Saturday December 15th 10:00am – 2:00pm
1) Christ Church of the Valley Scottsdale
19030 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale (Pima Road North of Hwy 101)
2) Mountain View Presbyterian Church
8050 E. Mountain View Rd. Scottsdale (Hayden & Mountain View Rd.)

Age Requirements: 5+ All minors must be accompanied by an adult
Contact Info: or call Laura at 480-905-1610.

Project Homeless Connect
Volunteer for this quarterly event that connects needy individuals with services in the community. Volunteers are needed on December 13 when the project will convene at Sun Valley Christian Church in Tempe. Call Erika Moore at 602-631-4897 or register online at

Paz de Cristo (Mesa)
Looking for donations of food, disposable razors, diapers, deodorant, men's and women's socks and underwear, men's coats in sizes large-XXL, as well as cash donations. Holiday meal service opportunities are already spoken for, but help is needed the rest of the year. Call Christine at 480-464-2370 or visit 

Save the Family
Provide a food basket for Thanksgiving or adopt a family for christmas. Your gift will help provide a safe home, employment and self-sufficiency through the Save the Family Holiday Sponsorship. To sponsor a family, call 480-898-0228 ext.216 or visit

United Methodist Outreach Ministries (Phoenix) 
UMOM is collecting new winter coats to be donated to homeless families. Donations must be received by December 1.
UMOM is seeking volunteers to wrap and sort gifts weekdays during business hours. Contact Michelle hargreaves at to sign up.
Volunteers are needed to read to children on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 p.m. RSVP to participate at

St. Vincent de Paul Charity Dining Room (Phoenix)
Canned food and turkeys are collected and distributed at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holiday meal service opportunities should be scheduled well in advance; Christmas serving opportunities still exist at several of their Phoenix locations. Call Max at 602-850-6734. Volunteers are still needed for a large playground building project on Saturday, November 17; call 602-261-6886 for information.

St. Mary's food Bank
Event: Turkey Drive, help accept and distribute turkeys
Date: Monday through Wednesday, November 19-21, 2012
Shifts: 7:00-10:00 AM, 10:00-1:00 PM, 1:00-3:00 PM, 3:00-6:30 pm
Address: 2831 North 31st Avenue, Phoenix, 85009
Age Requirements: 12 & Up
Contact: Jennifer Gonzales
Limited spots available

Tempe Community Foundation
Give a year-end bequest or planned gift. your gift will help support local community needs while meeting your own financial and philanthropic goals. Call 480-858-2322 or visit

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