Don’t Let That Grinch Heart Keep You From Volunteering this Year! Here are Some of the Best Ways to Give Back in DC



The season of thanks and giving is upon us and there is more to the season than a tryptophan-induced coma. So how do you give back without trying to single-handedly run a canned food drive? Easy! Check out these four fun ways to give back this holiday season. Even better, all of these can be done with friends and don’t necessitate long commitments. Have fun seeing the kind of impact you and your friends can have this season!

Suited for Change:

Founded in 1992, Suited for Change empowers women by increasing their employment and job retention potential by providing professional attire, mentoring, and job readiness education. Through those services, they help women achieve financial independence. Call your girlfriends and buy that Trader Joe’s wine and host a Ladies Night / Professional Attire Clothes Drive. Have everyone bring at least 5 items from their wardrobe (and whatever jewelry has been sitting in that dresser drawer unused), and let every participant browse the items brought and pick one (if they want it) and donate the rest to Suited for Change. You get quality time with the girls, you free up some space in your closet, and most importantly you get to do something great to lift up other women. More information available here.

So Others Might Eat:

Photo Credit: Crc Cares

SOME is an interfaith community based service organization that helps residents of DC who are experiencing homelessness or living in poverty. They provide meals, showers, health care, addiction treatment, and work towards affordable housing solutions. The work they do supports the most vulnerable among us and they are certainly a worthy place to invest some time this holiday season. Sign up for an early morning session serving breakfast with your friends and then head out to brunch after to process the experience. More info about how to get involved here!

Martha’s Table:

Photo Credit: 4P Foods

Martha’s Table has worked to support strong children, strong families, and strong communities through educational programs, food access programs, and community support services. One way they serve the homeless population in DC is by sending out McKenna’s Wagon, a daily mobile food truck. Invite some friends over (perhaps make this your Friendsgiving activity while the turkey cooks!) and assemble sandwiches or trail mix that will stock the McKenna Wagon. They make it so easy to give back to the community from the comfort of your own home (and Netflix account). Check out their website here for more details on how to make sandwiches and trail mix!

Turning the Page Book Donations:

Photo Credit: Turning the Page

Crank up the carols and clear out the books that have been cluttering your shelves, coffee tables, and desk and donate them to Turning the Page. Turning the Page is a nonprofit operating in Washington, DC and Chicago. They work to support public schools, families, and the community by providing valuable educational resources and a high quality public education. Books can be donated at Carpe Librum bookstore locations (Union Station or Friendship Heights)! Even better, do some shopping at their pop-up and check some folks off your gift list while you support a great organization. The details can be found here!

Photo Credit: Will Food For Work

#FrayLife Tip: Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café is partnering with Miriam’s Kitchen to serve the homeless community this holiday season. Now through November 21, you can feed two people at Miriam’s Kitchen when you purchase any Kramer’s dessert. Available on dine in, carryout, and Postmates delivery orders.  With a partnership like this, even your dentist can’t fault indulging your sweet tooth. More information available here!

The only thing sweeter than Thanksgiving pumpkin pie is the knowledge that you genuinely helped someone. Relish in the feeling this holiday season and help out wherever you can. Let us know in the comments how you like to give back and be sure to tag us on social media with #FrayLife and #DCFray next time you go out and volunteer!


Looking for some fun ways to get active and escape the dreaded treadmill? Check out our article on DRILLS: a new, cutting-edge, football training-inspired workout.

View More Articles By Catie Merino



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