Sometimes when we think of visiting family around the holidays, we think about eating and shopping. But Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving thanks and giving back. So this holiday season, as you come into Topeka to visit family, (or you’re hosting for the holidays and want to give your guests an experience they’ll remember) here is a list of unique opportunities to get involved in the Topeka community with no long-term commitment or extensive training.  Any one of these opportunities is a great way to spend time with family while also improving the lives of others and it is completely free!

Habitat for Humanity has many opportunities that require little to no training. They provide on-site training during volunteer days. Those interested can sign up on the Habitat for Humanity website, This is a good opportunity for people who have a free day and just want to show up and help out! (Photo courtesy of Topeka Habitat for Humanity)

habitat team

The Salvation Army has opportunities for bell ringers. Shifts can be as short as two hours for those with active lifestyles but big hearts. Call The Salvation Army volunteer hotline at 785-233-9648

Topeka Rescue Mission participates in the Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner put on by the Community Thanksgiving Dinner Committee at Agricultural Hall next to the Expo Center. Volunteers may sign up to help with the dinner on the Topeka Rescue Mission website as well as view the volunteer job descriptions. Children must be over the age of 10 to participate.

Meals on Wheels has a meal delivery volunteer positions available.  Training is about one hour and volunteers must fill out a few forms to deliver before they can deliver meals. Contact Kim Williams at 295-3989 or

Your local park! For an easy volunteer job to beautify your community collect litter around the community. A little work can go a long way and make an impact on the community.

Helping Hands Humane Society is always in need of pet care supplies. You can view their wish list:

United Way of Greater Topeka has many opportunities to adopt families in need this holiday season, to read more about adopting a family, check out the webpage: