The holiday season is all about giving. And throughout southeast Michigan, you’ll find plenty of charities for holiday giving to help you and your kids do just that.
Help make someone’s spirits a little brighter by partnering with one of these nonprofit groups in the metro Detroit and Ann Arbor regions.
Bonus: You and your family get to spend some quality time together – all while helping worthy local groups.
Or, if time is at a premium, why not make a donation to a great cause? You’ll also find local groups on our list that are worthy of your dollar contributions now and any time of year.
Browse this list to see where your family can volunteer — or give to — this holiday season and beyond. Having trouble deciding which charities to donate to, or wondering how to pick one whose mission you support?
Click on the name of each charity for additional details, and learn more about guidelines for giving to steer your family in the right direction.
Note: Due to COVID-19, some organizations may not be accepting new volunteers or offering in-person opportunities. Check with your chosen organization for ful details.
- Address: 2366 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor
- Phone: 888-992-2273
Arbor Hospice offers comfort and support to caregivers and patients who face life-limiting illnesses. Volunteers can offer support to caregivers, donate time helping with administrative tasks, spend time with patients and more.
Interested in financially supporting the organization? That option is available, too.
Area Agency on Aging, Meals on Wheels
- Address: 1333 Brewery Park Blvd, Detroit
- Phone: 313-446-4444
Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties
- Address: 29100 Northwestern Highway, Suite 400, Southfield (serving Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties)
- Phone: 800-852-7795
The Area Agency on Aging provides a Holiday Meals on Wheels program — along with Meals on Wheels throughout the year. You can also donate to both organizations. For more details on each program and what is needed, visit their websites.
- Address: Based in Livonia
- Phone: 313-407-9805
Art Road offers art classes with supplies and teachers for schools that do not have a program. Families can volunteer in class or at events — or donate money to this organization. All ages are welcome.
- Address: 20179 McKernan Road, Chelsea
- Phone: 734-270-6845
Volunteer opportunities include mucking barns and coops, raking and pasture cleaning. Many of the farm animals will come visit you while you’re working, too. Visit the website to apply.
Big Family of Michigan
- Address: 23500 Pare St., St. Clair Shores
- Phone: 586-415-6968
Big Family of Michigan strives to serve the needs of Michigan’s foster children and young adults. You and your family can help out in various opportunities including organizing a drive and giftwrapping during the holidays.
Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Meal Programs
- Addresses: Conner Kitchen (serves working families and seniors), 4390 Conner St., Detroit; Meldrum kitchen (serves chronically poor), 1264 Meldrum St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-822-8606, ext. 4217 (Conner); 313-579-2100, ext. 2218 (Meldrum)
Volunteerism is at the heart of this long-time local program, from serving meals and sorting clothes to working in the Earthworks Garden and tutoring children and teens. Young and old are welcome to help: It’s rewarding hard work, the website notes. Check ahead to see when you can jump in.
Cass Community Social Services
- Address: 11745 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit
- Phone: 313-883-2277 ext. 203
This Detroit-based charity works throughout the metro Detroit area to provide food, health, housing and jobs in places overcome with poverty. You and your children (over age of 10 preferred) can volunteer in many ways. Make monetary donations online, over the phone or by mail.
Coalition on Temporary Shelter
- Address: 2211 E. Jefferson Ave., Suite 400, Detroit
- Phone: 313-831-3777, ext. 224
Based in Detroit, COTS provides emergency shelter for the homeless and families in need, complete with beds and food. COTS also offers transitional housing and permanent supportive housing. COTS has various ways to give back and donate. Contact them to find out about opportunities.
- Address: P.O. Box 44444, Detroit
- Phone: 586-775-6139
There are many ways to help this organization give kids and families a joyous holiday. Each year, the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund of Detroit puts together Christmas gift packages. Participate in the Doll Program (issuing dolls to girls 5-9 years old) and Package Distribution Program. Kids can also join the Junior Goodfellows Program. Donations are welcome, too.
- Address: Based out of Southfield
- Phone: 313-908-0294
Contribute to the growth and success of women and girls. You can work with the FIERCE team to customize your own volunteer experience. Apply to be a volunteer on the website. Opportunities range from diaper drives to being a mentor to a young girl.
- Addresses: Warehouse: 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor; Community Kitchen: 312 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-761-2796
Food Gatherers provides food to 150 local community programs directly serving adults and kids in Washtenaw County. That assistance takes the form of hot meals, nutritious snacks and emergency groceries. Volunteers help sort and package the food at the warehouse, plus prepare and serve meals in the Community Kitchen. You can also volunteer monetarily.
- Address: 21800 Greenfield Road, Oak Park
- Phone: 248-967-1500
Forgotten Harvest aims to relieve hunger in metro Detroit by gathering extra food from grocery stores, bakeries and more — to distribute to emergency food providers. Volunteers are able to help pack food.
Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age, and volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Forgotten Harvest is enforcing strict safety protocols that all volunteers and staff must follow.
Gleaners Community Food Bank
- Address: 2131 Beaufait St., Detroit
- Phone: 866-GLEANER (453-2637)
Donate food, money or time to this local food bank. Make one-time or monthly donations online. “Every dollar you donate provides three meals to a hungry neighbor,” the organization’s website notes. Find out more about how you can help out this holiday season by calling.
Macomb Charitable Foundation
- Address: 18215 24 Mile Road, Macomb Township
- Phone: 586-232-3473
This nonprofit seeks to help kids living at or below the poverty level in Macomb County. It provides financial assistance for items such as food, clothing, rent/utility assistance, educational aid and more. Volunteer opportunities include fundraisers and summer camp for homeless children.
Macomb Food Program
- Address: 21885 Dunham Road, Suite 10, Clinton Township
- Phone: 586-469-5100
Providing food to the hungry in Macomb County since 1975. The organization works with county food pantries. Volunteers are needed in the warehouse to sort and box food seasonally; call for details. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult; kids must be older than 10 to volunteer. Donations of nonperishable food items accepted (call ahead). Monetary donations also accepted.
- Address: 1600 N. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor (youth shelter); 102 N. Hamilton St., Ypsilanti (drop-in center)
- Phone: 734-662-2222
This community-based nonprofit agency helps young people have safe, healthy and productive lives through intervention and prevention services. Volunteers can help with projects, host fundraisers or a homeless simulation, work at special events or assist with other duties. Fill out a volunteer application online to get involved.
Ronald McDonald House of Southeast Michigan
- Address: 4707 St. Antoine St., Suite 200, Detroit
- Phone: 313-745-5909
This organization provides a “home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children” focused on supplying health and support services to those in under-served communities. You can volunteer by raising funds, cooking, selling merchandise or working in the office, among other options. Or pitch in with monetary donations, as well as gifts of non-perishable food.
- Address: P.O. Box 2336, Southfield
- Phone: 248-788-5899
Southfield Goodfellows is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization providing food and toys to families in need for more than 50 years. Families come and sort foods and gifts before packing them. Parents must accompany young children for food sorting. Teens recommended for gift sorting.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this organization is not collecting gifts for food this year. Monetary donations are still being accepted.
The Bottomless Toy Chest
- Address: 425 Elmwood Ave., Troy
- Phone: 248-646-8931
Ring in the holidays by sending a gift to a sick child. Help them celebrate by hosting a toy drive or a wrap party. Monetary donations go to P.O. Box 623, Bloomfield Hills. Call for more information.
United Way for Southeastern Michigan
- Addresses: Main: 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 500, Detroit; Oakland County: Bank of America Headquarters, 2600 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 160, Troy
- Phone: 313-226-9200 (main Detroit office)
United Way aims to make a difference in Southeastern Michigan. Its method? Ensuring kids graduate ready for college and a career, and providing individuals and families with access to food and shelter and to help them eventually become financially stable. You can help by choosing one of the many volunteer opportunities offered at United Way.
Variety the Children’s Charity
- Address: 600 S. Adams St., Suite 230, Birmingham
- Phone: 248-258-5511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This children’s charity is focused on helping kids, no matter what the need is. Variety allows you to volunteer in a way that interests you.
Wigs for Kids
- Address: 30126 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores
- Phone: 586-772-6656 or email email@example.com
Wigs 4 Kids is a nonprofit focused on kids and teens/young adults with hair loss, helping them deal with social acceptance based on their appearance by providing them with an age-appropriate wig at no cost their family. Wigs 4 Kids has many opportunities for you to volunteer based on your interests, from easy money donations to an “Adopt-A-Kid” option and volunteering time. Make donations to the organization as it is trying to open another permanent facility and continue serving children. Call for more information.
This post is updated regularly.
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