There is a 21 percent increase in demand for volunteers this holiday season.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
The holidays are here and many people are in the spirit of giving and helping those in need. But what if you want to help but don't know what organization to help or who needs it?
You don't have to look far. Cathy Miller is with United Way of Madison County. She said she sees a lot of folks who want to help.
"The needs are up," Miller said. "I have all kinds of people tell me that the economy has really had an impact on those people who were doing okay and all of a sudden they are really struggling and so I think the needs are up this year and that means the volunteer opportunities are up."
"It's nice to know that you have a place you can go where there is a smorgasbord of opportunities you can choose from," Miller said.
Another place you can lend a helping hand, The Food Bank of North Alabama. The warehouse is stocked now, and some of the food will go to food shelters and pantries in North Alabama.
"We are serving over 100,000 people across North Alabama, so this is more than the population of Decatur and Florence combined and since the economic downturn, we have seen an uptick, a 21 percent increase in demand," Kathryn Strickland, Executive Director of the food bank.
These organizations have volunteers at the top of their holiday wish list. Miller said just a few hours of your time could change a life.
"Not only do you feel good because you've done something, but you know that you've made a difference in somebody's life, and that is what I think volunteering is all about," said Miller.
To contact the food bank, visit www.fbofna.org or call (256) 539-2256.
United Way can be reached at (256) 536-0745.
Workers at the Downtown Rescue Missions said they will need more volunteers for Christmas. If you want to help, give them a call at (256) 536-2441.
Crews at the Salvation Army said Christmas is when they are the most desperate for volunteers. To inquire about volunteering, call (256) 536-5576.