The Need is Still There, Especially this Year

While many traditional holiday volunteer opportunities have been affected by COVID-19, Warrenton Lifestyle was able to confirm the following organizations still in need of your time and talent this season. 

Thanksgiving kicks off a holiday season of merriment where it’s important to have fun, but equally important to give back to the community and help those in need. While financial donations go a long way, nonprofits who help those in need also can benefit from donations of food, goods-in-kind, services, and even what may be the most valuable: your time. Every small act counts! Consider giving even just a small amount of time to help out through volunteer service.

Due to current state-mandated restrictions on public gatherings during Forward Virginia Phase Three, many organizations have either discontinued or restricted in-person volunteer opportunities. The best way to find out if your favorite nonprofit needs volunteer help is by calling them directly or sending them a message via Facebook.

Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine was able to confirm the following volunteer opportunities that are available during this holiday season.

Toy Donations 

Angel Trees / Salvation Army
Visit participating merchants, get a tag from the Christmas angel trees, and purchase clothing or toys for children in need. Return unwrapped gifts to the individual merchants. This program is sponsored by the Salvation Army of Warrenton. A list of participating merchants receiving donations will be listed at the LetsVolunteer.org website operated by the PATH Foundation in Warrenton.

Angel Trees / Prison Fellowship
Purchase toys and clothing to benefit children whose parents are incarcerated. This program is sponsored by the national nonprofit Prison Fellowship and is operated by Individual churches that choose to participate. 

Receiving locations:
Community Christian Fellowship Church, Warrenton. (540) 428-2924
Zoar Baptist Church, Catlett, (540) 788-9750

Comfort for Seniors

Children and their families are encouraged to work from home by preparing craft kits, making simple homemade gifts, decorating Christmas ornaments, or making greeting cards to donate to seniors. Drop-offs are always welcome and appreciated.

Receiving location:
Fauquier Senior Center, Warrenton, (540) 347-7729

Clothing and Home Furnishing Donations

Your no-longer-wanted clothing, toys, and home furnishings become new-to-me items ready to help people in need. Donate to the only community store where customers can “purchase” items for free.

Receiving location:
Hope Heals, Warrenton, HopeHealsFreestore@gmail.com

Food Donations

Host your own food drive by posting to neighborhood message boards such as NextDoor, enlisting children to assist with collection efforts, and donating non perishable boxes, bags, and cans of food to local food pantries.

Receiving locations:
Community Touch, Inc., Bealeton, (540) 439-9300
Fauquier Community Food Bank and Thrift Store, Warrenton, (540) 359-6053
Fauquier FISH, Warrenton, (540) 347-3474

Volunteer Services

Children, teens, and adults can help by sorting donated foods and other items, stocking shelves, and ensuring a neat distribution site for clients. 

Locations: 
Community Touch, Inc., Bealeton. (540) 439-9300
Fauquier Community Food Bank and Thrift Store, Warrenton, (540) 359-6053
Fauquier FISH, Warrenton, (540) 347-3474
Hope Heals, Warrenton, HopeHealsFreestore@gmail.com


Various Volunteer Opportunities Updated Weekly

PATH Foundation operates the PATH Volunteer Hub, an online portal that lists volunteer opportunities in Fauquier, Rappahannock, and northern Culpeper counties. The website works with many nonprofit groups to market their volunteer opportunities in one central location online. The service has become well-known in the area; it lists volunteer opportunities for families, students, and drivers, and even includes a section on virtual volunteering.

Lynn Lauritzen manages the volunteer hub, working with nonprofits to get their volunteer needs listed on the website and also helps people from the community find meaningful volunteer projects to work on. Lauritzen calls this service a volunteer match, hoping to make a great connection when both parties receive something of value out of the volunteer efforts. 

Lauritzen encourages anyone wanting to volunteer to consider looking at a nonprofit’s needs through a more self-reflective lens that focuses on the specific personality traits, interests, subject-matter knowledge, and professional skills of the volunteer. “If someone from the community has a skill, they should call PATH to volunteer…10 people with the same skill set [may] want to use it differently. We act as mediators. We want to make it easier for the community and the nonprofit,” noted Lauritzen.

The PATH Volunteer Hub anticipates having its annual Season of Giving section with more holiday volunteer opportunities operational starting on November 1. The PATH Foundation is located in Warrenton. Access the hub at LetsVolunteer.org; contact Lynn Lauritzen for more information (540) 680-4148. 

Amanda M. Socci
About Amanda M. Socci 12 Articles
Amanda M. Socci is an Alexandria-based freelance writer who loves exploring different regions to interview people and write profiles about people, places, and things. Amanda splits her time between freelance writing and writing a manuscript for her first book, a faith-based memoir. Learn more about Amanda at her website: http://www.AmandaSocci.com. Contact Amanda by sending an email to SocciWriter@gmail.com.

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