With the holiday season around the corner, here is a look at some long and short term volunteer options



By Alex Keller, ’14

The Manger Holiday Gift Store

On Dec. 17 through 22, Journey Church in Northwest Columbus will be organizing a Christmas store for families in need. With an entrance fee of $2 per child, parents are able to pick out three gifts for each of their children. All the church needs in return is a few donations and as many volunteers as they can find. Volunteers will be needed to set up and clean, as well as stock the shelves and help customers during their shopping process. For donations, presents ranging from $15- 25 are needed for infants through seniors in high school, both boys and girls, along with decorations to make the shoppers’ experience festive. The event will be held at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church in Hilliard, Ohio. If interested, email TheManger@JourneyChurchColumbus.org.

The Mid-Ohio Foodbank

Since 1980, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank has been striving to make a hunger-free and healthier community. With the help of local companies and farmers, the Food Bank is able to distribute food to 550 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, after-school programs and senior housing sites across central and eastern Ohio. The rate at which the food is distributed to these food pantries, however, depends on the amount of help the Food Bank receives from volunteers. The jobs can be anything from repacking food to preparing care packages for seniors. All volunteers are required to watch a short Food Pantry training video. The Foodbank is located on 3960 Brookham Drive, Grove City, Ohio 43123, and if interested or have questions, email volunteers@midohiofoodbank.org or call 614-317-9703.

Riverside Methodist Hospital

Every year since 1996, Riverside Methodist Hospital has received the Consumer Choice Award for the Most Preferred Healthcare Services in Columbus, according to Ohio Health’s official website. Throughout those years volunteers have invested much of their time to make patients’ stays more comfortable. From escorting patrons out of the building to delivering flowers and other get-well gifts to patients to working the front desk, volunteers can be given many jobs during a shift. Applying to be a volunteer involves a completed teen application, two recommendation letters, a health assessment and a 500-word essay answering the prompt, “Why do I want to volunteer at Riverside Methodist?” Applicants are able to request certain shifts that best fit their schedule with times spanning from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends. If interested, additional information and application forms can be found at https://www.ohiohealth.com/riversidevolunteers.

Image Captions: (1) Two girls help a patient with answering phone calls and moving items around his room. Volunteering at Riverside Hospital is becoming a more common way students can give. (2) At the previous year’s Manger Holiday Gift Store, two women search for presents that their children will be able to open on Christmas day.