by Jodi Teeples, staff writer

The holidays can be an overwhelming time of year. Classes are winding down as studying for finals begins. People are decorating their homes and making plans to spend time with loved ones. People are feeling the stress as they plan the delicious holiday meals and shop for the perfect gifts. Let’s remind ourselves that the most important things this time of year are being thoughtful, caring, and supportive to those we are close to, and those who need our support the most. Let’s remember those in our community who need extra help.

People in our community have little extra money for decorating or gifts. Despite trying to save money for extras, there are those among us who live paycheck to paycheck. There are parents who cannot afford to buy their children the most popular toys, and community members who do not have the resources to put a hot meal on the dinner table. Almost 10% of the Colorado Spring population lives in poverty. 1 in 9 people in southern Colorado face food insecurity. Christmas Unlimited, one of the city’s oldest charities, distributes toys to thousands of children every year.

These community members need our help and support, especially at this time of the year. Volunteering can look like many different things. We can donate our time, money, and items that are needed for an organization. Here are a few places to get us started thinking about how we can help our community this holiday season.

1. Care and Share. Sign up online to be a volunteer and choose a time frame to work. Tasks include sorting items, bagging items for distribution, and collecting turkeys at various King Soopers grocery stores on November 17.
2. Springs Rescue Mission. Donate items such as, hygiene products, clothing, paper products, nonperishable food, or sign up to serve a meal or two.
3. Pikes Peak United Way. Sign up is available to help with distribution of the mobile food market, the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 9:45 am to 1:30 pm.
4. Silver Key Senior Services provides meals on wheels to seniors in our community. Sign up to make a delivery. *Must be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license.
5. Habitat for Humanity. This organization has openings to work a shift in the ReStore, or at the Sand Creek Construction Site building actual homes.
6. Christmas Unlimited. Donate money or goods or sign up for a shift in the distribution center for the annual holiday toy distribution.

Other ways to help out this holiday season include donating to a food drive, donating to a toy drive, donating blood, donating warm clothes (jackets, gloves), or volunteering at an animal shelter. Most organizations take monetary donations if we would like to help but don’t have much extra time. Sharing our time or resources can be rewarding for us and life saving for the community this holiday season.

Photo from