Especially during the holiday season, many people are wondering how they can give back to their communities and help those in need. Whidbey Island is home to some wonderful organizations that are working to help our neighbors, and below you’ll find 6 great ideas for spreading cheer and giving back to the Whidbey community!
North Whidbey Community Harvest’s Thanksgiving Dinner
“Every year for Thanksgiving we spend the day volunteering at the Community Harvest Feast put on at the Elks Club and the gift that Scott Frazier has given to the community,” shares Tacey J. “They're always looking for volunteers, and the food is always awesome!”
According to this article on the Whidbey News-Times, they expect to have 3,000 people attend the meal this year. If you’d like to request a meal or are interested in volunteering, you can find contact information at the bottom of this article. You can also follow North Whidbey Community Harvest on Facebook so you can stay in the loop and plan for next year!
Toys For Tots in Langely
Back in 2006, Ed Donery & Tom Keltner (two local marines) formed an official Toys of Tots site with the Toys for Tots Foundation and the South Whidbey Marine Corps League. Their goal is to make sure no child is without a Christmas gift, and the effort has expanded each year to reach thousands of local children.
If you would like to contribute to Toys For Tots, you can find more information about how to donate here. Thanks to Julie C. for sharing this great idea!
Holiday House by Readiness to Learn
Help income-eligible families shop for gifts for their kids this season! Every year, the Holiday House creates a “store” where families can come and select gifts for their children. In 2018, the shop will be open from December 11-18th at the South Whidbey Community Center. You can learn more about donating or volunteering HERE.
Good Cheer Food Bank Garden
This wonderful organization offers relief to our community in so many ways, and they serve an average of 850 families each month (and even more in the winter months). There are several ways to contribute: You can donate food, make a monetary donation, donate to their thrift stores that in turn support the food bank (household items, clothing, furniture, and working appliances are all accepted), or volunteer in the food bank or garden. Click here for more information.
The Forgotten Children’s Fund
The FCF works to bring Christmas to families in need each year! This organization serves families in several counties in Washington State (including Island County), and delivers items like toys/gifts, books, warm clothing and blankets, and food (including both staples and supplies for Christmas dinner) to families.
If you’d like to contribute to their efforts, they’re always in need of monetary donations and volunteers! Help wrap gifts, assist with logistics, and help make special Christmas deliveries. Click here to learn more about different ways to volunteer.
Whidbey’s Hope 4 Christmas
This wonderful organization works to provide children in need with gifts for the holiday season. Applications to participate have ended for 2018, but you can follow Whidbey’s Hope 4 Christmas on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity for next year. The application process typically begins in September, so mark your calendars to be on the lookout for notifications when next year rolls around! (Thanks for the tip, Julie C.!)
And of course, the holiday season isn’t the only time we can give back! Erica W. has some great ideas that she shared with me on Facebook: “I would suggest volunteering time! Coach a youth sports team, become a big brother/sister, help serve food at the community harvest! There are so many ways for everyone to support the community. Support what you’re passionate about too!”