Volunteer Opportunities in Las Vegas: Charities, Organizations & More

Giving is extra vital than ever this 12 months.

Three Square Food Bank

Photograph by Jeff Scheid for Three Sq. Meals Financial institution

It isn’t a simple holiday season in Las Vegas. As a tourist-based metropolis, we have been hit laborious by the COVID-19 pandemic, a decline in journey, and a short lived shutdown that left the Strip trying like a ghost city this previous spring. Charity efforts are particularly vital this 12 months, and whereas social distancing continues to be an vital think about curbing the unfold of the virus, there are lots of methods to assist the area people. Share a little bit of your time or assets as Las Vegas works its method again to being not solely a scorching vacation spot for guests, however a house we will all share. Here is methods to assist: 

Assist conquer homelessness

Homelessness is an issue that impacts households and youngsters all through Las Vegas. HELP of Southern Nevada is seeing its assets stretched to the restrict. So participate in a distinct sort of vacation buying this season and canopy a couple of objects on the Amazon Wish List for the group’s Shannon West Homeless Youth Center. Objects vary from pencils and paper plates to garments and bedsheets. HELP of Southern Nevada’s most high-profile annual fundraiser is the 98.5 KLUC Toy Drive, through which the superior Chet Buchanan camps out on prime of a 30-foot scaffold for 11 days, encouraging donations to assist households rejoice the vacations.  

The Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth may also use your help this vacation season. Volunteer efforts embody mentoring, cooking, restocking donation objects, and far more. Reach out via email for the newest info.  

Share Village was initially based as Veterans Village with a deal with serving to struggling former service members. The mission expanded over time and now consists of two campuses the place these in want can discover help with housing, meals, and job-seeking. Volunteers are needed for quite a lot of companies, together with assist with a daily food pantry and a holiday season project to renovate a senior citizen’s home.

Photograph by Jeff Scheid for Three Sq. Meals Financial institution

Assist feed the hungry

Not having sufficient meals is an issue that not solely impacts the homeless, however households throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Three Square is the biggest meals financial institution in Southern Nevada, coordinating distribution efforts with Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Las Vegas Rescue Mission, TCMI Church, and dozens of others. Three Sq. runs a top-flight operation at its North Las Vegas warehouse, stretching each greenback in donations to cowl six meals. Volunteers are always welcome to assist pack meals deliveries and meals for college kids, though strict tips are in place to restrict the unfold of COVID-19. Should you want to set up a donation drive or contribute meals or provides, please contact Three Square directly first. The group’s annual Holiday Match Challenge is underway with donations doubled by taking part sponsors. 

Catholic Charities is at present suspending in-person volunteer efforts, however is encouraging donations to assist with its thirty fourth annual turkey drive and participation in remote services like youth mentoring, vacation reward packages, and winter accent knitting. 

A more recent effort is Delivering with Dignity, born this 12 months in response to the coronavirus disaster. Native cooks and restaurateurs from nice Las Vegas eating places like Honey Salt, Graffiti Bao, Valencian Gold, and the Jolt Coffee Co. have rallied across the trigger, which not solely helps these down on their luck, however retains restaurant workers working. Volunteer to be a part of the Food Hero team that delivers a mean of 6,500 meals per week in Las Vegas. Monetary donations are being accepted too.   

The United Way of Southern Nevada is searching for volunteers to assist with its Operation Thanksgiving initiative. You may also donate money immediately or contribute holiday food or supplies

Las Vegas Great Santa Run
Photograph courtesy of Las Vegas Nice Santa Run

Assist the disabled overcome challenges

Opportunity Village is among the most inspiring success tales in Las Vegas. The family-founded group helps adults with disabilities discover employment and private fulfilment. One in all its largest annual fundraisers, the Magical Forest winter park, was suspended this 12 months because of the pandemic. Nonetheless, you possibly can nonetheless give, shop, and volunteer. One other annual fundraiser, the Las Vegas Great Santa Run, historically has crowds of individuals operating down Fremont Road in Santa outfits. This 12 months, the occasion goes digital. Simply take part by yourself time between December 5 and December 26. You possibly can even get your pet involved.

New Vista is one other nonprofit that helps individuals with mental and developmental disabilities. The group is understood for its beer and wine stroll fundraisers, that are on maintain proper now. Check in with the volunteer department for the newest alternatives to assist. 

One of the vital rewarding methods to donate your time in Las Vegas is thru the Nevada chapter of Best Buddies. The group arranges one-on-one mentorships and friendships between volunteers and other people with disabilities. In current months, digital volunteering was launched, permitting individuals to become an e-buddy. You may also donate, shop, or be a part of a Friendship Walk scheduled for early subsequent 12 months.

Serving Our Kids
Photograph courtesy of Serving Our Youngsters

Assist kids form a brighter future 

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children offers a caring setting for youngsters and younger adults (as much as age 25) who’re homeless, at-risk, and/or victims of abuse. Volunteers are at all times wanted to work on the 40-acre ranch, together with the thrift retailer, mail room, and donation sorting stations. Be a part of the Red Heart Giving Society and decide to a month-to-month donation of your selection. As a bonus perk: Egg Sammie will give a free breakfast sammie, facet of smashed taters, and a espresso to anybody who is available in inside per week of signing up for this system.  

Communities in Schools of Nevada is devoted to preserving dropout charges low and commencement charges excessive. Be part of the Today for Tomorrow fundraiser to assist coordinators convey on-site steering and mentorships to greater than 75,000 college students in 75 faculties. 

Spread the World Nevada encourages literacy amongst kids with the distribution of books and in-person studying periods. Volunteerism is at present on maintain because of the pandemic, however fill out an application to be notified about future plans. 

Serving Our Kids places collectively weekend meals for younger college students in low-income households. Volunteers are welcome. The group additionally wants food donations, monetary donations, and child sponsorships as properly. You may also buy a Crisis Pack, stuffed with meals objects to get a scholar by means of a weekend. 

Assist underserved communities

The Center is a pivotal useful resource and house of inclusion for the LGBTQ neighborhood. Volunteer  to assist with occasions and packages. The Heart is offering a drive-thru Thanksgiving Day meal for seniors, ready by a few of the greatest cooks in Las Vegas. Meals is picked up 1-5 pm adopted by a drive-in film at 5:30 pm. Email the organization to study extra.  

The Black Community Organizations Network (BCON) celebrates African-American heritage, welcoming volunteers for efforts targeted on college students, together with scholarships and graduations. Donations are accepted, however contact the organization about one of the simplest ways to assist. 

The Nevada Minority Health & Equity Coalition is drawing consciousness to the issue that minority communities are disproportionately affected by well being circumstances and insufficient care. Make a donation, participate in the latest projects, or submit your own testimonial about COVID-19 for a social media marketing campaign.  

Earlier than the Vegas Strip or the Hoover Dam was even a thought in somebody’s thoughts, the Indigenous people of Nevada made Southern Nevada their house. The Las Vegas Indian Center offers companies for these with Native American heritage. Donate or contact the organization about how one can get entangled.

Rebuilding Together
Photograph courtesy of Rebuilding Collectively

Assist present a roof to those that want a house

Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas builds houses for low-income households at zero-interest mortgage charges. Volunteer efforts are at present suspended, however are anticipated to choose up subsequent 12 months. Within the meantime, make a donation or assist the underside line by buying at one in every of two ReStore areas in Las Vegas. 

Rebuilding Together offers house repairs for gratis to these in want, particularly seniors, veterans, and other people with disabilities. The companies had been essential in the course of the shutdown earlier this 12 months. Assist out with a donation or sign up to be a volunteer, No job is just too small. Native companies are additionally inspired to sponsor projects.

Assist the leisure neighborhood make a distinction

Mondays Dark is a implausible instance of Las Vegas entertainers becoming a member of collectively for the larger good. Organized by native performer Mark Shunock, Mondays Darkish is a bi-weekly selection present (on Monday nights, when reveals usually go “darkish” with an evening off) of native singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, actors, and others donating their time and expertise to boost a purpose of $10,000 for a distinct trigger every time round. This 12 months, Mondays Darkish has shifted focus to a virtual online format with performances nonetheless going down at The Space off the Strip. Help the hassle by participating within the annual December anniversary celebration, which is historically the most important occasion of the 12 months and when charity companions for the next 12 months are introduced. A restricted variety of individuals can be allowed inside with spaced-out seating, however the occasion will be considered on-line, whereas inserting public sale bids (by texting MDLV to 76278). You may also participate in a virtual 5K by means of the tip of November.      

The Tyler Robinson Foundation was based by Las Vegas’ personal Think about Dragons in honor of a younger fan who handed away from a uncommon type of most cancers. The nonprofit raises cash to assist these affected by pediatric most cancers and different life-threatening circumstances. Volunteer for numerous causes and occasions, together with a toy distribution occasion with a socially distant meet-and-greet with Santa at Floyd Lamb Park 4-6 pm on December 18. Objects to be handed out will be bought from a virtual wish list.

Assist Las Vegas animals dwell a greater life

The Animal Foundation is the biggest animal shelter in Las Vegas, saving greater than 20,000 canine, cats, and different furry mates annually. The group is not at present accepting volunteers, however you possibly can examine in on the fifteenth of every month, when updates can be posted. If you cannot undertake, apply to foster a pet for a short-term interval.  

Different pet-friendly organizations that would use your assist embody the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, Those Left Behind Foundation, A Home for Spot Animal Rescue, and Southern Nevada Beagle Rescue Foundation, which helps beagles utilized in lab testing (as a result of their docile demeanor) acclimate to a correct, deserving life. Examine with any of those organizations about volunteering, donations, or adoption, fostering, and sponsorship alternatives. 

Should you choose one thing a little bit extra grand in scale, there’s at all times the Lion Habitat Ranch, house to dozens of lions and different large animals in Henderson. Sponsor a lion for $8-10k or spend rather less and buy a portray by Ozzie the giraffe for $40 (customized items go for $100). Proceeds are directed towards the care and feeding of the animals on property.  

Assist others costume for well being and success

The Las Vegas Fashion Council has put collectively a Mask Task Force, bringing designers and wardrobe professionals along with volunteers to supply masks for first responders, healthcare employees, grocery retailer workers, charities, and others on the frontlines. Volunteer to help create masks or distribute them. Or just buy one for yourself

The Southern Nevada affiliate of Dress for Success offers new garments, networking, and profession improvement instruments for lower-income ladies on the job hunt. Fifty bucks might cowl an outfit for a day, whereas $250 covers per week. So donate clothing or money should you can. Volunteers fill the roles of boutique assistants, picture consultants, and extra.  

The American Cancer Society of Nevada is launching Purses for Hope. Native benefactors and companies are being requested to donate a designer purse (price $500 or extra) for a web based public sale. Cash raised will go to the combat in opposition to most cancers. Email to study extra. 

The Goodie Two Shoes Foundation has a easy mission that lives as much as its identify: present deprived youngsters with footwear and socks. Volunteers are always needed for distribution occasions, which historically occur two to 4 instances a month. 

Assist maintain ladies and youngsters secure

The Shade Tree offers shelter and assets to ladies, kids, and pets leaving abusive relationships—a step that is generally more durable to take in the course of the chilly winter season. Volunteers are particularly wanted to assist kids with on-line studying proper now. Whereas the shelter has acquired numerous donations to cowl vacation presents for the children, objects for grownup ladies are extra desperately wanted. Check in with The Shade Tree and see the place assistance is at present being sought.  

SafeNest helps victims of home violence with shelter, counseling, and different assets, together with a 24/7 disaster hotline (702-646-4981). All companies are confidential. Volunteer your time or ask SafeNest concerning the donations wanted most.  

It doesn’t matter what occurs on this loopy world, female hygiene merchandise will at all times be in want. Project Marilyn helps offset “interval poverty” by encouraging sponsors to donate $10 a month. Volunteers are additionally wanted to pack luggage and distribute merchandise to those that can use them.  

Proceed to assist and assist past the vacation season

Most charitable giving occurs within the final two months of the 12 months, however there’s nonetheless extra work to do. The 10 Month Project is a neighborhood effort to rally small companies and proceed the spirit of giving in the course of the different ten months of the 12 months, when donations and volunteer companies are sparse. So be happy to contribute your time as a lot as you possibly can to all the organizations included on this story—not simply now, however within the weeks and months forward. Our neighborhood will want the assist as we head into 2021. 

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for greater than seven years. His work has additionally appeared in Journey + Leisure, Trivago Journal, Refined Dwelling, Trendy Luxurious, Leafly, Las Vegas Journal, and different publications. Observe him on Twitter @rkachelriess.

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