Grand Rapids Charities: Special Events and Giving Opportunities

This list makes it easy to find upcoming charitable events and opportunities to give back to the community during the holiday season.

The holiday season is a time for gratitude and service, and living in the Grand Rapids area puts you in the middle of a bounty of opportunities to give back.

Assemble lunches for hungry kids, decorate a Christmas tree at a retirement home or paint bowls for charity at these upcoming functions. It’s a great time to teach children the importance of giving, and many of these Grand Rapids charities and events welcome kids, too.

Note: Some events require you to buy tickets or register ahead of time.

Bowl Painting for Charity

Nov. 16, 2017

  • Where: 360 Division Ave. S, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/person

Paint a bowl for charity. The Catholic Charities Young Professionals organization will donate the bowl to the Soups on for All events, which raises money to help feed the hungry.

Raising the Woof

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Nov. 17, 2017

  • Where: The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 6:30-11 p.m.
  • Cost: $15/person

Come out to support Hearts of Hope Dog Rescue, a nonprofit network of individual fostering dogs. The event will feature a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, music, a photo booth and a meet-and-greet with dogs in the organization.


Nov. 18, 2017

  • Where: Mulligan’s Pub, 1518 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 3-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Donations welcome

Pets, kids and the whole family are welcome to attend this pet social and raffle event. Proceeds will benefit Pet Tales Rescue.

Yoga for the Mental Health Foundation

Nov. 18, 2017

  • Where: 2333 Beltline Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/person, $1/raffle ticket

Help Western Michigan University’s Student Occupational Therapy Association support the Mental Health Foundation, a charity that campaigns for mental health. Bring a yoga mat.

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Nov. 19, 2017

  • Where: CTeen Grand Rapids, 2615 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Donations of nonperishable goods welcome

CTeen Grand Rapids, an organization for Jewish teenagers, is hosting a food drive at their facility. Stop by with nonperishable goods and make a difference in your community.

Fountain Club Holiday Wreath Fundraiser

Nov. 19 and 26, Dec. 3, 10 and 17 2017

  • Where: Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 9 a.m.
  • Cost: $25/wreath

Stop by the lobby of the Fountain Street Church and purchase a fresh-cut evergreen wreath in support of the church’s high school community service initiatives.

Post-Thanksgiving Ride and Chili Cook Off

Nov. 26, 2017

  • Where: Alger Bikes, 120 28th St. SW, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 2-5 p.m.
  • Cost: Donation of nonperishable foods

Alger Bikes is throwing a food drive featuring a 35-mile group ride followed by a chili cook off. Helmets required!

Gather & Give Back

Nov. 28, 2017

  • Where: Art of the Table, 606 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Donations and goods welcome

HQ, a nonprofit organization in Grand Rapids devoted to helping homeless youth, is holding a fundraiser and goods drive at Art of the Table.

Tree Decorating

Nov. 28, 2017

  • Where: Porter Hills Village, 3600 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Get in the holiday spirit by volunteering at this local retirement facility to help set up their Christmas tree. The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids hosts this holiday service project.

Sweat and Save GR

Nov. 30, 2017

  • Where: Lions & Rabbits, 1264 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 6-7 p.m.
  • Cost: Donations welcome

Interested in protecting Grand Rapid’s natural resources? This event is for you. Grab a yoga mat and get ready to sweat as you learn more about threats to the area’s environment. All proceeds will go to West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

Rock 4 Tots Benefit

Dec. 3, 2017

  • Where: Log Cabin Cocktail Lounge, 2401 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 3-11 p.m.
  • Cost: $10 or an unwrapped toy

Local restaurant Log Cabin Cocktail Lounge is throwing its annual benefit event for kids, featuring five live bands and food and drink specials.

Brushes with Benefits Paint Party

Dec. 4, 2017

  • Where: Harmony Hall, 410 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 7-9 p.m.
  • Cost: $37.43/person

Paint for a cause at this event. For every ticket sold, $10 is donated to Van Andel Institute, a nonprofit biomedical research organization. This event is for adults only.

Holiday Jubilee

Dec. 7, 2017

  • Where: The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 5:30-10 p.m.
  • Cost: $95-plus/nonmembers

This holiday party will benefit the nonprofit charity Well House, which provides safe, affordable housing to the homeless. Festivities at the event include drinks, auctions and more.

Volunteer at Kids’ Food Basket

Dec. 9, 2017

  • Where: Kids’ Food Basket, 2055 Oak Industrial Drive NE, Suite C, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-noon
  • Cost: Free

Serve the community at this event where volunteers will work to assemble “Sack Suppers.” The Sack Suppers program provides a free meal to hungry children in the area. Email if you want to volunteer.

Holiday Happy Hour

Dec. 20, 2017

  • Where: Founders Brewing, 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 5-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Donations welcome

All proceeds from the event will go to the Kids’ Food Basket, a nonprofit helping to end childhood hunger in west Michigan.

A Christmas Carol for Ronald McDonald House

Dec. 21, 2017

  • Where: Grand Rapids Ballet, 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids
  • Hours: 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $50/person

The Grand Rapids Ballet has partnered with the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan for a benefit performance of A Christmas Carol. Half of all ticket sale proceeds will go to the charity, which provides for families of children battling illness.