Local shelters in need of a helping hand

(Autumn Cruz/Sacramento Bee/MCT)
Volunteers donate their time at Family Promise of Sacramento, a nonprofit that shelters homeless families. The Salt Lake division of Family Promise as well as other local shelters are in need of volunteers this season. (Autumn Cruz/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

With the hubbub of the holidays just around the corner, sometimes we let the festive frivolities get in the way of our giving spirit. However, whether it’s volunteering in soup kitchens or bringing Christmas to children in need, there are many things you can do to lend a helping hand to charities in need.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to fly half way across the world to make a difference. Here is a list of local shelters and charities to get involved with on your home turf:

1. St. Anne’s Homeless Shelter: Nestled on the outskirts of Ogden, St. Anne’s Homeless Shelter is known for its open heart and welcoming arms. Dedicated to rebuilding the lives of those in need, St. Anne’s provides food, housing and services for the local homeless and poor. Always in need of volunteers, St. Anne’s invites anyone who is willing to help. If you have an hour to spare, you can volunteer in their fully equipped soup kitchen that runs from 12 to 1 p.m. daily. If cooking isn’t for you, you can get creative and host a fun activity for the residents to participate in.

For more information, go to http://www.stannescenter.org/about.html

2. Ogden Rescue Mission: More than just a soup kitchen or a place to stay, the Ogden Rescue Mission is a rehabilitation center that seeks to bring love, peace and hope to those in need.  Welcoming over 610 volunteers a month, the Rescue Mission still encourages more people to get involved. Whether it’s preparing meals for the hungry or helping out at the donation center, there is plenty to do at the Ogden Rescue Mission.

Visit https://www.rescue-mission.org/volunteer for more information.

3. The Road Home: Paving the way for the poor to get back into the community, The Road Home is dedicated to help people overcome homelessness. Even with a team of over 10,000 volunteers there is still room for more. You can  assist clients as a front desk volunteer for emergency services, or if you want a volunteer position with a little less action, you can teach kids how to read and let out your inner child during playroom activities. The possibilities are endless when it comes to getting in the charitable spirit at The Road Home shelter located on Rio Grande Street in Salt Lake City.

For more information, go to http://www.theroadhome.org/volunteer/ongoing-/

4. Family Promise of Salt Lake:  Unlike most shelters, the Family Promise of Salt Lake is a unique center that brings in four  homeless families at a time and provides them with temporary housing, food and comfort. With over 50 volunteers that work to provide a safe living space, others can get involved by donating money or giving items on the wish list to these families in need. Service projects or volunteer time also make an impact through Family Promise.

Get involved at http://www.fpsl.org/get_involved.html.

5. Christmas Box House:  The holidays are just around the corner,  so what better way is there to get in the festive spirit than to help children in need? Although this is not a shelter, Christmas Box House is a statewide movement dedicated to giving happy childhoods to kids from troubled backgrounds. With a “box house” at the heart of Ogden, you can get involved this season by volunteering to help out with local events. You can even donate a gift on the wish list to help bring Christmas to a child in need.

Go to http://www.thechristmasboxhouse.org/ogden-wishlist or visit the Ogden location at 950 12th St.