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9 ways to give back this holiday Christmas season

Give back this holiday season by donating food, toys or celebrating with family and friends while also giving back to the community.


The Christmas season is not just about family and gifts — it's also about giving back.

In addition to your own Christmas shopping and errands, consider volunteering your time, funds, toys and food. 

Below is a list of nine places you can do just that.

1) Donate Toys to Santa Shop

On Dec.23, Volunteers of America will be giving away 5,000 toys to children ages 0-18 years old. People can help by donating new and unwrapped toys to the Santa Shop. 

When to drop off toys: Anytime in November and December before Friday, Dec 20. Toys must be labeled with "Santa Shop." 

Where to drop off: VOA admin building at 2660 Larimer St., Denver, 80205. Sign up here > bit.ly/2OyNzKR

Gifts the shop cannot accept:

  • Toy guns or violent toys
  • Bikes
  • Video games
  • Used items

2) The Fourth Annual Walk For Hope Fashion Show and Toy Drive 

Christmas Unlimited and The Walk for Hope, Kids Helping Kids, will be hosting a fashion show and toy drive in Colorado Springs on Dec.8 at The Social. All proceeds will be donated to nonprofit Christmas Unlimited.

When: Sunday Dec. 8 from 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Where: The Social, Colorado Springs 3506 N. Academy Blvd., Colorado Springs, 80917. 

Admission: $5 for entrance or by donating one new unwrapped gift. 

Website link here > bit.ly/34cqoMR

3) Points of Light Volunteer Event at Eaton Senior Communities

Volunteers are needed to help spread the holiday joy to lower-income older adults at Eaton Senior Communities in Lakewood. Participants will work with an Eaton resident to make holiday cards together to have delivered to residents at a local nursing home. Families and all ages are welcome.

When: Monday Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Where: Eaton Senior Communities, 333 S. Eaton St., Lakewood, 80226.

Registration can be completed at this link > bit.ly/2KI3RQw

4) Toy Drive for Refugees

Project Worthmore is hosting a toy drive for Denver-area refugees. The nonprofit created an Amazon wish list of toys to use as a reference and items they are looking to collect for parent gift packages.  

Where to drop off: Village Exchange Center, 1609 Havana St., Aurora, 80010. Office is located on the lower level.

When to drop off by: Toys can be dropped off until Nov. 29.

Project Worthmore asks for donors to include a note indicating what the toy is.

Link to event page: > bit.ly/2OCsgrN

Other Instructions: If donors choose to donate items not on the list, they ask that gifts should not depict violence or include games with complicated instructions that are in English.

Parent gift ideas:

  • Kroger (King Soopers) or Safeway gift cards. $25 per card is recommended. 
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate or other warm beverage mixes.
  • New hats, gloves, mittens or scarves.
  • Mugs
  • Chocolate or candy.  

5) 12 Bars of Charity 

The third annual 12 Bars of Charity pub crawl is a friendly competition between eight local charities that will be partnering up with 12 Denver bars. Participants pick which charity they would like to support by purchasing tickets underneath the charities' name. This event is for ages 21 and up. 

By donating to one of the eight charities, participants will receive: 

  • A charity team color sweatshirt
  • $15 donation to the charity selected
  • Free shuttle rides
  • Drink specials at all bars from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Free admission at all bars

When: Check in takes place on Saturday, Dec.14 from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Official event time for drink specials and free shuttles takes place from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. 

Where to pick up items: Sports Column, 1930 Blake St., Denver, 80202.

Tickets: Prices range from $33-$109 before taxes and fees. Purchase tickets here > bit.ly/2QJ0Hj6

6) Santa’s Little Hackers

Santa’s Little Hackers sixth Annual Toy Workshoppe will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Legacy High School in Broomfield. This event already has enough volunteers, but people can still donate funds or purchase a sponsor ticket to help offset the costs it takes to put on the Santa’s Little Hackers event. 

During this event, volunteers help make toys more adaptable so the toys can be used by people of limited physical abilities. 

Make a donation here > bit.ly/2XIKJas

7) Snow Day VIII

Join Senior Housing Options for its eighth year of music, food and drinks at Union Station’s Grand Hall fundraising event. Union Station becomes decorated for the holidays and helps raise funds for low-income metro Denver assisted living community residents who may not have the basic amenities to fully enjoy the holidays. 

When: Friday, Dec.6 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Where: Union Station Grand Hall, 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver, 80202.

Tickets/Donations: Tickets for the event start at $100, donations can also be made here > bit.ly/37reTDj

8) Santa’s Elves Denver 

Participants interested in Santa’s Elves Denver are able to select a child or family they would like to help. Santa’s Elves Denver works with the Denver Housing Authority. Once participants select who they would like to help, Santa’s Elves will send a wish list to shop with. Then gifts are hand delivered by the participants to the family or children they selected.  

These are the delivery options:

Where: Coors Field, parking lot B, 2001 Blake St., 80205.

When: Dec.14 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Location #2: 

Where: South Lowell Community Center, 4725 S. Lowell Blvd., 80123.

When: Dec.14 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Home Delivery option: 

Participants have the option to deliver gifts to the child's home between the day of registration through Dec. 15.

Register here  > bit.ly/339YTSX 

Bountiful Boards

A new event this year, formerly known as Bread ‘N’ Boards, is now known as Bountiful Boards and will be held at the Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins. Participants have the chance to obtain handmade breadboards and in return, all proceeds will benefit the Food Bank for Larimer County and help to feed people in the community.  

Where: Foothills Unitarian Church, 1815 Yorktown Ave., Fort Collins, 80526. 

When: Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Link to event here > bit.ly/2s4gw9S

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