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How to Volunteer During the Holidays in Dallas

Lend a helping hand this season.
By Kimber Westphall |
Photo by Chris Plavidal

From the SPCA of Texas’ annual Home for the Holidays event to Vogel Alcove’s Day 1 Dallas, we’ve rounded up a few ways to volunteer this holiday season. For even more ways to give back, head to our D Gives page to donate anytime, anywhere.

Austin Street Center


What it is: Austin Street Center provides shelter, meeting the basic needs of the most vulnerable homeless individuals in Dallas. The Center, founded in 1983, serves 400 adult men and women nightly, as they seek shelter for the evening in a warm place.

What they need: The Center’s biggest need during the holiday season is donations of new or gently used blankets, sheets, towels and warm clothes. They also have several onsite opportunities, where the team needs assistance with volunteers, daily from 2 pm to 6 pm. These opportunities include intake, front desk assistance, and help in the clothing and donation room.

How to volunteer: To schedule a volunteer shift or donate, email [email protected]

Dallas 24 Hour Club’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner


What it is: Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the residents and community of Dallas 24 Hour Club, which is a safe, sober transitional living for homeless men and women. Dinner will be served from 1:15 pm to 3 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Community members are invited to enjoy dinner and stay for the Cowboys game.

What they need: Prepared Thanksgiving dishes ready to be heated and served. Volunteers may sign up to setup, serve, and clean up the meal.

How to volunteer: Individuals can sign up to bring a dish at https://bringthecups.com/Syy-nr1pm. To volunteer for one of the shifts, please email [email protected].

Dallas Life


What it is: Dallas Life is the largest homeless shelter in North Texas.

What they need: Volunteer opportunities range from helping prepare the Thanksgiving meal, decorating tables, serving meal trays to the residents, or post-meal cleanup.

How to volunteer: Dallas Life encourages volunteering in groups, but asks that no more than four sign up together. Individual and group applications are available online for the annual Thanksgiving meal at noon on Thursday, November 22.

DCAC Holiday of Hope


What it is: The Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) is asking the community to support more than 2,000 DCAC clients and their families who are suffering from the ramifications of child abuse.

What they need: Toys and gifts for families the organization serves during Christmas.

How to volunteer: Those who wish to shop for a DCAC family can fill out an interest form, and will then receive a family’s wish list. Donations can also be made in any amount. You can also host a toy drive. Toys must be returned to DCAC offices by Saturday, Dec. 9.

Sadie’s Sleigh


What it is: In 2015, a young Dallas resident, Sadie, asked her oncologist if Santa came to the hospital on Christmas. She wondered how he would find her if she wasn’t home. So, she decided to host a toy drive for the kiddos in the hospital, to ensure a happy holiday for everyone. Three years later, the toy drive has grown from 1,300 to 12,000 donations. Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Children’s Medical Center in Plano, Medical City Children’s Hospital, Our Children’s House, and Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth are the recipients of the drive.

What they need: Toy donations and volunteers to sort the toys and distribute then to the approved hospitals.

How to volunteer: Donations can be made via sadiekellerfoundation.org or Amazon. 

SPCA of Texas Home for the Holidays


What it is: NorthPark Center is home to the annual SPCA of Texas’ Home for the Holidays event. The event partners with Bark + Build Luxury Dog House Silent Auction.

What they need: Volunteers are needed Friday, November 16 through Sunday, December 2, to assist shoppers, answer questions about the silent auction, lightly clean the doghouses, and monitor the cash donation box.

How to volunteer:  For more information, contact Caitlin Savage, Volunteer Engagement Specialist, at [email protected] or visit spca.org/volunteer.

The Senior Source


What it is: The opportunity to spread holiday cheer to the senior community of Dallas County. Holiday donations are needed for low-income residents at the Dallas County nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

What they need: The Senior Source is collecting new, unwrapped items to be distributed as holiday gifts to the senior community on or before Friday, December 7. Holiday items include robes, pajamas, socks, blankets and more. Full list of desired items can be found here.

How to volunteer: Items may be dropped off at the Senior Source, which is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vogel Alcove’s Day 1 Dallas


What it is: Vogel Alcove’s mission focuses on providing therapeutic services to children in Dallas experiencing homelessness. Day 1 Dallas is a free, all-inclusive event designed to bring together children and families from around North Texas to celebrate New Year’s Day at Fair Park.

What they need: Volunteers are needed Friday, December 28 and Tuesday, January 1. Event day volunteer opportunities include assisting with sign in, assistance with activities and booths, and serving as tour guides.

How does someone volunteer: To sign up to volunteer, visit Vogel Alcove’s website under the Get Involved tab: vogelalcove.org/get-involved/.

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