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Helping Around the Holidays


The holidays are in full swing, with Christmas trees, stockings, and decorations being brought out of storage to fill homes with joy and wonder.

For some, the holiday season is a nightmare. People become overloaded with fear and anxiety about money, family, and work. It becomes difficult for people to enjoy Christmas when they are worried about affording food.

The pandemic only brings more stress for families this year, and as a community, we should acknowledge those around us who need extra support and do our best to help volunteer and remember to give back.

There are many different organizations in Gainesville devoted to helping out residents. An essential place to volunteer is the Georgia Mountain Food Bank (GMFB). GMFB partners with more than 70 agencies to serve thousands of people in the Dawson, Hall, Forsyth, Lumpkin, and Union counties.

Volunteers can register on their website to do either individual, group, or community service.

When volunteering at GMFB, they will hold an orientation where they explain what volunteers will do, such as checking expiration dates and how to separate food. After the orientation, the volunteers are ready to work and help provide meals to the community.


Another popular non-profit foundation is Toys for Tots, which focuses on providing toys for toddlers in need. Last year Toys for Tots distributed 26,619 toys and supported 5,396 children in Hall County. You can help by donating new or unwrapped toys at these local drop-off sites.

  • Camping World RV Sales
  • Cork It
  • Hall County Library – Blackshear
  • Longstreet Clinic – Family Medicine
  • North Hall Community Center
  • Regions Bank (Oakwood)

You can also look at the full Toys for Tots drop-off site to see if there is a location closer to you.


There are many active opportunities to volunteer in Hall County. If you love helping children and being a mentor, the Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a non-profit organization, seeks applicants.

Their mission is to “ensure abused and neglected children have the right to a safe and permanent home.”

They are looking for volunteers to help speak up for abused and neglected children in the juvenile court. CASA explains how volunteers will gather the information on children assigned to them by looking into the child’s history, environment, and relationships.

The volunteer will also look at the information gathered and seek appropriate resources and services for the family and child. In addition, you will be working with a CASA supervisor, following the child’s case in court and ensuring they have the rights they deserve.

There are currently 210 children without a Court Appointed Special Advocate who are seeking help.


If you love animals and are ready to help dogs and cats in need, then the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is calling your name. To volunteer at the Humane Society, you can apply online.

Their process of becoming an official volunteer includes:

  • Completing an online volunteer orientation
  • Scheduling a “phone debrief” explaining the terms
  • Paying a one-time administrative fee
  • Making a schedule


The holidays can be cruel, and if we can make someone’s life a little bit brighter, we are truly embracing the holiday spirit.



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Helping Around the Holidays