7 Ways You Can Give Back This Christmas 2017

Been good all year? Keep it up this Christmas season.
Helping Hands Hawaii
Photo: Courtesy of Helping Hands Hawai‘i


The holidays are hectic every year, so taking the time to volunteer may seem like adding on something else to your never-ending checklist of things to do. But, when it can help make another person’s holidays just a little brighter, you might find it much more rewarding than fighting mall crowds and writing Christmas cards.


Here are seven ways you can volunteer your time and efforts as the weather gets chilly. Happy holidays!


1.  Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies

From Dec. 29 through 31, this maternal, child and family health-care organization needs help moving to its new office in Downtown. Sturdy hands are needed to help move furniture and boxes from Waikīkī to Downtown. On Dec. 18 through 31, you can help paint the office walls. Not your cup of tea? You can also volunteer as a Piko Pals support group leader, where you’ll help new moms and their babies through concerns like postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, baby sleep and more. Training and curriculum will be provided to lead a group of up to 10 new parents for 12 weeks, at various sites throughout O‘ahu.


Interested volunteers can contact Katelyn McIntosh at info@hmhb-hawaii.org or (808) 737-5805 to sign up for all activities. 


2. Helping Hands Hawai‘i

  • From Dec. 18 to 22, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., volunteers are needed to match community-donated Christmas gifts with Adopt-A-Family wishlists.

  • From Dec. 18 to 31, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., extra hands are needed to help sort incoming donations of gently used clothes, household items and more. Detail-oriented volunteers can help staff get organized with data entry, filing, shredding, answering phones and other tasks.


Contact James Li at (808) 440-3812 or jamesli@helpinghandshawaii.org.


3. Hawai‘i Foodbank

Hawaii Food Bank

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Foodbank​


  • Safeway Feed the Need. Volunteers are needed at Safeway locations (Kapahulu, Beretania, Pali, Kāne‘ohe, Kailua, Kapolei, ‘Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i Kai) now through Dec. 26 to help greet and encourage shoppers to add a $10 Feed the Need bag coupon to their purchase to help feed hungry ‘ohana. Shift times are Fridays, 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 to 7 p.m.

  • Check Out Hunger. Volunteers are needed to visit participating grocery stores to help maintain Check Out Hunger displays. Locations vary. Schedule is at volunteer’s convenience.

  • Ward Village Trolley Elves. Volunteers will help greet trolley riders, provide information about the Foodbank and direct riders to the appropriate line or waiting area. Volunteers are needed Dec. 3 through 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly; capped at two to four people.


Apply at hawaiifoodbank.org/become-a-volunteer. You can also contact Marielle Terbio at (808) 954-7869 or volunteer@hawaiifoodbank.org.


4. Read To Me International

On Dec. 23 from noon to 11 p.m., join the enthusiastic Christmas gift wrappers who gather every year at Barnes and Noble Ala Moana. All wrapping materials will be provided during the three-hour shifts.


Contact Shannon Murphy at (808) 955-7600 or shannon@readtomeintl.org.


5. Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels

Hawaii Meals on Wheels
Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Meals on Wheels

There are Christmas holiday meal delivery opportunities all throughout the week leading up to Christmas. The delivery route takes about an hour to an hour and a half, and supplies will be provided the day of, such as insulated tote bags to carry meals. During the orientation, you’ll receive route directions with names, addresses, type of meal and any other special instructions. Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended.


Call Brad Akamu at (808) 784-2756 or brad@hmow.org to find a route and time most convenient for you.


6. Gay Men’s Chorus of Honolulu 

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Honolulu is holding a fab winter concert at the Hawai’i Theatre on Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m. From 8 a.m. through 7 p.m., volunteers are needed to help with backstage activities and props.


Contact Ralph Whitaker III at (703) 899-5916 or gmcofh@gmail.com


7. Lanakila Pacific – Lanakila Meals on Wheels Program

  • On Dec. 20 from 1 to 3 p.m., 10 volunteers are needed to assemble boxes that will hold Christmas meals and gifts. Volunteers should be able to stand, bend and have full arm range of motion and finger dexterity, and be able to use scissors, packing tape, tape dispensers and other packing tools.

  • On Dec. 23 from 8:30 a.m., seven volunteer drivers are needed to drive and deliver meals to home-bound kūpuna and individuals with disabilities in areas such as Waikīkī, Hale‘iwa, and Windward to North Shore. On Dec. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m., eight volunteer drivers are Waikīkī, ‘Ewa Beach, and Wahiawā. Volunteers will need to provide proof of driver’s license, registration and insurance.


For all volunteer opportunities, fill out the volunteer application at lanakilamealsonwheels.org or contact Lori Lau at (808) 721-9138 or llau@lanakilapacific.org. Eligible volunteers will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.