This holiday season marks the end of an eventful, or some might say tumultuous, year. A global debt crisis, natural disasters and political stalemates all have sparked civic engagement in new ways.
So in the spirit of engagement, why not consider a volunteer opportunity this year? Check out a couple options for donating your time, money or food to a cause.
1. , 3910 West Lake Street, Glenview: Donate food and stock shelves at the pantry, which now serves more than 2,000 people in the township.
2. , Northbrook Public Library: Teens in grades six through 12 can get in on the spirit of giving by helping to put together holiday gift baskets with books for kids at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the . Pizza, pop and a gift raffle included.
3. Food Drive: GBN is collecting food for the Northfield Township Food Pantry as well as the ARK, a health and human services agency that supports the Jewish youth community, and Vital Bridges, a nonprofit that helps individuals with HIV or AIDS. Dr. Mike Tarjan, assistant principal of student activities, asks for a variety of food donations, such as cereal boxes and pasta. Donate kosher food products to The ARK, which supports the Jewish community.
4. Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook Holiday Gift Program: Sponsor a child or a whole family with your donation to Youth Services' gift program. Volunteers are also welcome to help with wrapping. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
5. , Winnetka Forest Preserve: Bring canned goods, donate a jacket or run in the Thanksgiving race on Nov. 24 at 9 a.m. for the Wings Organization, which supports abused and homeless women and children. Entry ticket is $25.
6. , 378 Park Ave., Glencoe: If new patients donate 10 items for the Niles Township Food Pantry, they receive a complete history and consultation with the doctor, a chiropractic examination and report of findings. Return customers receive a free AquaMassage.
7. The Volunteer Center or HandsOn Suburban Chicago: If you're looking for more options, check out the websites for The Volunteer Center or HandsOn Suburban Chicago, both of which connect volunteers with nonprofits in need of help. The Volunteer Center lists opportunities in the North Shore while HandsOn focuses on the northwest suburbs.