Reason for the season: practicing compassion


The hustle and bustle of the season is upon us! As the end of the year draws near, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the stresses and commitments of the holidays. But as we continue to explore our greater purpose this month, a few hours spent giving back could be just the thing for relieving stress and inspiring well-being – both in your spirit and in your community. Here, we’ve compiled a few opportunities for you and your family to give back this season:

Fight hunger. Volunteers at Community Harvest Food Bank collect, sort and distribute food to those in need. Each year, the food bank delivers 12.98 million pounds of food to more than 90,000 individuals in our community. 

Make a difference in a child’s life. Stop Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN) works with children and adults throughout northeast Indiana to keep children safe and make families stronger. SCAN volunteers can participate in education services, family restoration, reading, mentoring or clerical assistance.

Care for the homeless. Since 1903, The Rescue Mission has been working to provide a home for the homeless, food for the hungry and hope for the future. They are often in need of volunteers to drive residents, teach, wrap gifts and more.

Serve an animal in need. The Allen County SPCA has been providing a safe haven for homeless cats and dogs for more than 65 years. A variety of volunteer opportunities exist here, including administrative tasks, preparing pet care kits, foster care, maintenance or animal enrichment programs. 

Help families rebuild. The mission of Mustard Seed Furniture Bank is to provide household furnishings to families and individuals who have suffered disaster, personal tragedy or other misfortune. Volunteers may sort and shelve donations, complete clerical tasks or share their talents at a special event. Mustard Seed also accepts donations and is currently in need of twin size bed sheets, blankets, pots and pans, mattresses, dressers and sofas.  

Change someone’s life. In Allen County, there are 30,000 adults age 18 or older who do not have a high school diploma. The Literacy Alliance is dedicated to helping those adults improve the skills they need to succeed at work, at home and in the community. Tutoring, office support, photography and research are among the activities volunteers may take on with this agency.

No matter the cause, challenge yourself to give back this holiday season, and strengthen the well-being of your mind, body, spirit and – most significantly – your community. Looking for more volunteer opportunities? Visit to search for causes in our area specific to your interests.