Las Vegas may be known for its high rollers and fancy casinos, but the sad truth is that families here suffer as much as they do elsewhere in the country. Many fine organizations provide for these individuals throughout the year, but they often need volunteers or donations to fill the coffers or supply people needing assistance with day-to-day living. The holiday season brings its own stress for struggling families who are already barely eking out an existence. You can help in many ways by being a volunteer, adopting a family during the holidays, working at a soup kitchen, joining groups to pack necessities or in providing supplies to see a family through a weekend (or longer). Here are just a few of our finest organizations and how you can volunteer.
4190 N. Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89115
The sad reality is that out of 30 children in a classroom in Nevada, 15 of them may be hungry. Clark County School District offers reduced-cost meal assistance during school hours, but what about the hours after school, during holidays and school breaks or on the weekends? This is where Three Square comes to the rescue with its “Backpack for Kids” program. Volunteers pack kid-friendly food into bags delivered to children at the end of the school day on Fridays. This may often be the only source of nourishment for homeless families over the weekend. Three Square is always looking for volunteers, including families and groups, to assist in this effort. These helpers fill the bags with food, stock shelves and prepare the bags for placement into school bins. Volunteers must be 10 years of age or older. If you can’t assist in person, you may prefer to make a donation at any of the convenient locations.
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System
North Las Vegas VA Hospital
6900 N. Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89086
Our troops give their all on the battlefield and in strategic strikes while serving in the military. Some find difficulty in adjusting to civilian life upon their retirement or at the end of their tour of duty. Others have been injured and need to be housed in hospitals or assisted-living facilities due to injury or infirmity. They deserve our help every day and this is your call to volunteer to provide for the comfort and well being of veteran patients. When you make a monetary donation, this is used to purchase bus tickets, hygiene products, refreshment products and allows them to participate in recreational activities. Donations of items needed to make their stay in the hospital more enjoyable are always appreciated. Volunteers and those willing to make donations may call (702) 636-3034 for more information. Please remember our veterans, especially during the Christmas season.
1640 E. Flamingo Road #100
Las Vegas, NV 89119
HELP of Southern Nevada meets the needs of our changing community by helping the poor, the homeless and those in crisis who come to them as a last resort. According to the website, “HELP provides assistance to low-income families, homeless teens and adults to help them become more self-sufficient through direct services, training and referrals.” This organization is seeking volunteers to help with several programs this holiday season. These include the Thanksgiving Turkey-A-Thon, where HELP provides over 1,200 families with all the ‘fixin’s’ for a Thanksgiving dinner. You can host a food drive, make a financial contribution, provide turkeys and other necessities for the packages or give of your time. To learn more, contact Joan Lima at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (702) 369-4357 ext. 1247. The Holiday Assistance/Toy Drive gives approximately 3,000 families the chance to shop at the HELP toy store, while over 19,000 families will benefit from the actual toy drive. You are invited to donate new toys for area children after November 1 or give during the annual toy drive held between November 29 and December 10, 2012. There are also opportunities to make a monetary donation. If you decide to Adopt-A-Family, you have the opportunity to provide families with some of the items on their “Wish List” to bring their hopes and dreams for Christmas to life.
921 American Pacific Drive, Suite 300
Henderson NV 89014
S.A.F.E. House helps battered women and their families escape the spectre of domestic violence. This group provides assistance, safe lodging, advocacy, counseling and education to help stop the cycle of abuse. S.A.F.E. House teaches members of the community how to avoid and protect themselves against domestic violence and educates teens about date violence prevention by empowering them to choose safe, loving relationships. S.A.F.E. House needs your help as a volunteer or in assisting its programs and outreach with donations of items needed for the residents.
1 W. Owens Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89030
The Shade Tree provides safe shelter to homeless and abused women and their children. This organization teaches them how to regain a normal existence with various programs including education, legal counsel, housing and job assistance. Shade Tree helps these families overcome the abuse and become self-reliant members of the community, without charge. It is always looking for able volunteers and has an active list of urgent and other needs to provide for its residents. In conjunction with Shade Tree, Noah’s Animal House is the first full-service pet sanctuary on the grounds of a women’s shelter in the western U.S. This program allows women to escape abusive situations without leaving their pets behind. It also gives them the comfort of knowing their abuser will be unable to control the relationship by using the pet as hostage. Noah’s Animal House provides families with some form of normalcy, knowing that they can visit their beloved four-legged friends during their stay. This helps the healing process. Noah’s is also in need of monetary donations and staple items such as cat litter, dog food and more. Please contact Shade Tree for more details.