Holiday Volunteering Opportunities for Kids and Families in Connecticut

Volunteering in the community can help Connecticut families make the holidays special. Soup kitchen photo courtesy of the Cornerstone Foundation
Volunteering in the community can help Connecticut families make the holidays special. Soup kitchen photo courtesy of the Cornerstone Foundation
11/20/22 - By Jennifer Coe

Connecticut families have holiday volunteering opportunities, where they can brighten the holidays for others. Connecticut kids have a lot of love to give, but finding the right place for them to show it can sometimes be challenging. The holiday season is a great time to give to the community and teach kids priceless life lessons. Get them involved at every stage (from shopping to delivering) so that they can get the most out of it.

Of course, don't forget to check local activities in your town for other opportunities! Local charities are often most flexible in offering space to young volunteers.

Looking for fun and festive holiday events to attend with the family too? Take a peek at these 25 Holiday Activities and Christmas Events in New England and around Connecticut.

Holiday Volunteering Opportunities for Kids and Families in Connecticut

Connecticut Foodshare - Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford, Tolland

There are more and more families that are food insecure in Connecticut. Kids can volunteer in a few different ways. For in-person events like food sorting and give-aways, Foodshare requires that kids are 16 and up. But there are other ways to volunteer, like donating funds, hosting a "virtual" food drive, and collecting food at their elementary school for donation.

Cornerstone Soup Kitchen - Vernon

Cornerstone welcomes volunteers of all ages! There are many jobs kids can do from stocking the shelves with canned food to serving the public. 


Photo of adult and kid volunteering at food pantry in Connecticut. 
Some Connecticut volunteering locations welcome all ages! Photo courtesy of the Cornerstone Foundation

Salvation Army - Multiple Connecticut Locations

Children ages 15 and up can volunteer with a parent or a group in certain roles including food preparation and serving the needy.

Susan  B. Anthony Project - Torrington

Get the kids involved as you sponsor a family in need for the holiday season. The Susan B. Anthony Project helps women dealing with domestic violence. You will be given detailed information about each gift recipient so that you can shop specifically. All presents should be dropped off by December 9, 2022.

Operation Hope - Fairfield

Operation Hope provides relief for food insecure families. They welcome families (as well as large and small groups) to come and volunteer. Roles differ from serving a meal in the community to holding a food drive or fund raiser.

St. Vincent De Paul Place - Norwich

St. Vincent De Paul serves those in need in the Norwich-area. They usually require their volunteers to be 18 and up, but they they will find a "special project" for those who are under 18 and with a parent.

Image of high school student donating toys in Connecticut 
High school student Jaida Foster (shown here with her family) organized a food , toy and gift card drive in 2021. Photo courtesy of  Hands-on-Hartford

Hands-on-Hartford - Hartford

Families with kids over the age of ten can sign up to serve holiday meals and at the annual Toy Shoppe. This well-attended event allows families to "shop" for presents for their children. Volunteers can also host a virtual neighborhood food or toiletry drive.

Project Santa - Windsor

Project Santa is an annual toy drive that serves over 300 kids in Windsor. Families can donate toys individually or sponsor a family. Family sponsors are given the age, gender, and toy request of each child in the family. 

Connecticut Children's  Hospital - Hartford

Local teens (15 and up) are welcome to volunteer at CCMC in certain roles, including administrative and clerical support. Adolescents (16 years old and up) are able to volunteer in the Emergency Deparment, gift shop, and at fundraising events. 

The Spooner House - Shelton

The Spooner House has been providing food, shelter, and support to those in need since 1981. They allow teens 16 and up to volunteer (with a parent) to pack food, answer phones, and greet visitors.

Image of group donating food - Holiday Volunteering Opportunities for Kids and Families in Connecticut 
Gather a group together to offer your services for the holidays! Photo courtesy of Connecticut Food Share

Creative Holiday Volunteering Ideas for Kids and Families in Connecticut

Call your local food pantry and ask what sort of items they need. This time of year, the typical seasonal fare is usually low in stock, such as: holiday meal fixings, school lunch items, and pasta and sauce. 

Ask your kiddos if they would dedicate their allowance for a week or two to purchasing a toy for a child in need. Empower your child to donate to your local Social Services Department.

Gather a group together and call a soup kitchen or charity event to offer your services.

Rake your elderly neighbor's leaves. This tried and true way to help others is still very welcome by most. Make sure to take mom and dad along to meet the neighbors first!

Collect coats and hats. Many town service organizations are collecting hats, gloves and coats for the local homeless population. Allow you children to collect at his/her church, school, synogogue, etc.

Create a care package filled with items like hand warmers, water, granola bars, hand santizier and more and keep them in your car so if your family spots a person in need, you can share it with them.

Call your local senior center and see if they have a need that your family can fill. If they are having a Christmas party, you can asssit in setting up or serving.