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6 Virtual ways to help those in need this holiday season

VolunteerWhile many holiday traditions and volunteer opportunities may not happen this year with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the giving spirit will continue as more families are in need of food and clothing than ever. The following organizations are offering virtual opportunities to make a difference while staying safe this season.


  1. The Greater Chicago Food Depository – Our partner is working to support neighbors who are most vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus by offering virtual food drives. With just a few clicks, you can purchase nutritious fresh produce and protein, start your own virtual food drive or host a traditional food drive. Learn more and participate.
  2. Meals on Wheels Chicago – The home meal delivery program in Chicago now serves over 10,400 seniors and individuals with disabilities, a 67 percent increase in enrollment compared to this time last year. This means more than 60,000 meals are needed this holiday season! Help send meals to this population by making a donation and participating in their virtual events.
  3. Salvation Army – Unemployment rates are expected to be higher this season due to COVID-19, and resources are needed to serve up to 155 percent more people. COVID-19 has also decreased the number of traditional red kettles you’re used to seeing on street corners and at store entrances each Christmas season. The Salvation Army is taking both monetary and clothing donations.
  4. Feeding America – The U.S. Hunger Relief Organization’s headquarters are located in Chicago and recognize that Thanksgiving is different this year. Far more families are visiting food banks this Thanksgiving, help with a donation.
  5. One Warm Coat – The need for coats this winter is greater than ever before, and One Warm Coat is looking for Coat Drive Ambassadors. As an ambassador, you can host a virtual coat drive, a socially distant one in your neighborhood or make a donation. Learn more here.
  6. Toys for Tots – The new Virtual Toy Box allows donators to support a child’s holiday season virtually. Simply select the child’s age and toys you would like to give and your donation will be distributed across the country to children who need them the most. Toys for Tots will take care of the delivery.