Tis the Season: 6 Easy Ways to Spread Joy This Year  

Published on November 15, 2022 in

Volunteers from United Way partner DTE Energy helped to prep food and sort donations at Zaman International in October.

The height of the holiday season is here. 

For some, that means hanging decorations, preparing for family meals and gatherings, or heading to the store to check one more item off the kids’ wish lists. For others, the holidays mean added pressure on already tight budgets.  

“The holidays are always a time of great need in our community,” said Kristen Cibulskis, engagement director at United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “With the ongoing pandemic, inflation, supply chain issues and more, the need this year is especially great.”  

United Way partners are here to help with a wide range of programs and supports that ease the burden on local families. But they can’t do it alone. 

“Many of our partners run holiday programs that provide gifts, holiday turkeys, meals and cold weather clothing items. They rely on dedicated volunteers to get these items organized and distributed to those who need it most.” 

By volunteering just a few hours with family, friends or coworkers, you can capture the spirit of the season and spread joy. To get you started, we’ve compiled six simple ways you can help Light the Way this holiday season. 


Each year, United Way partners with Scholastic, Inc to boost literacy by offering free books to students at schools across the region. These My Home Library Book Fairs offer the latest titles to get young readers engaged and excited about literacy. In early December, volunteers are needed to help students pick out books aligned with their age and interest, assist with the checkout process and more. Sign up today!


Each year, Oakland Family Services brightens the holidays for dozens of families with its Adopt A Family program. In 2021, the organization provided 286 families with gift cards to purchase gifts. This year, the program is returning to its original format where donors purchase and wrap gifts for families. They need your help to organize the items for pickup. Sign up today and witness the smiles on family’s faces as you load up their cars with fun gifts and needed items.  


Long lines and empty shelves aren’t a problem when you skip the mall and help out at Haven. The organization’s Gift Giveaway allows clients to shop for themselves and their children. The event, which runs from Dec. 2-9, includes opportunities to donate, sort, assist with shopping, clean up and more.  


While you’re packing your grocery cart with cranberry sauce, canned green beans, and stuffing mix, consider adding a few extra items to help a family in need. Zaman International is seeking nonperishable food items to fill plates this holiday season. Donations can be dropped off at the organization’s Hope for Humanity Center in Inkster from now through the end of the year.  


Leader Dogs for the Blind has an exciting opportunity for volunteers who like to mix work and play. On Dec. 10, the organization will host its annual Light Up Leader Dog event where all are invited to browse the marketplace, enjoy tasty food and walk the path of luminaries on the Rochester Hills campus. Volunteers are needed to assist with luminary deployment, photos and more to help make the event a success.  


On Tuesday, Nov. 29, join millions across the globe in performing acts of generosity that make our communities better. When you give to United Way, you help local families put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads and access the support they need to move past crisis. On Giving Tuesday, every dollar goes further and your impact is doubled thanks to a generous donation match from Masco 

For more easy ways to give back year-round, visit our Volunteer Portal