Give the gift of time this holiday

Give the gift of time this holiday

Perhaps the best present you can give during the holiday season is your time. With many ways to give back to those in need, here are just a handful of the numerous opportunities out there.

Those interested in service can volunteer at an animal adoption center or give a kitten a new home this holiday season. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Provide companionship for a hospice patient at Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care this holiday season. Enjoy listening to music, watching movies, or just chatting with another. You’ll not only be bringing joy to the patient’s life, but you will also temporarily relieve the caregivers during this busy time of the year.

Scheduling is flexible, and all that is required is a background check and an orientation session. If you’re interested, you can fill out an application form here. The closest Seasons Hospice is located at 1840 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, Md. 21208.

Animal lovers could spend some time at the Owings Mills Petco Adoption Center. Help care for and play with kittens up for adoption from the Feline Rescue Association. You can come by at least one morning per week; times are flexible and all you need to know is basic cat maintenance. The shop is located at 10383 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills, Md. 21117.

World Vision’s Knit For Kids program unites volunteers across the world in fighting poverty through knitting. (Photo from World Vision)

Those who would like to give back in an artsy-craftsy way this year, consider knitting or crocheting handmade items for the World Vision’s Knit for Kids, currently being hosted at all A.C. Moore locations. All of the items are donated to children living in poverty all across the world.

If you don’t have any design ideas, or if you are new to knitting or crocheting, there are step-by-step projects provided on the A.C. Moore website. The closest store location is at 8115 Honeygo Boulevard. Suite D, Nottingham, Md. 21236.

Bring some light to someone who may be struggling during the holidays by applying to become a volunteer for Crisis Text Line. The application is very simple; after filling out a form with a background check and completing the web-based training, you will be sent text messages from people explaining their difficult situation. As a Crisis Counselor, your task will be to help them feel calm and comfortable.

All you really need is access to a computer with an internet connection, since you can provide support to people from anywhere. Before signing up, you should know that this opportunity requires that you commit at least 200 hours of your time, but the length of times it takes to complete the hours is at your discretion. The shifts are two hours at a time, and volunteers can choose their shifts. If you would like to help, apply here.

Giving back during the holidays doesn’t always require money; the gift of time is sometimes all it takes to have an impact on someone’s life. For more volunteer resources and opportunities local to Maryland, visit