It’s hard to feel the holiday spirit when the Centers for Disease Control say there’s no safe way to hold a holiday gathering and when the governor tells you not to socialize with anyone outside of your household. So you can’t have a party or a big holiday meal, you shouldn’t meet a big group of friends at a restaurant, and going to crowded areas is probably a bad idea.

You still can spread holiday cheer, though—by giving. Volunteering and donating are two easy ways to make yourself feel good while also helping your fellow humans and the world around you. In a study published in March 2020 in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers found that volunteering is associated with higher levels of well-being as well as a positive change in well-being. There are plenty of other studies showing the health benefits to volunteering, too, including less depression, reduced stress, and longer lives.

So how can you spread charitable holiday cheer this year? Here are some ideas.


Set a Regular Volunteer Date

We’re in a pandemic, but we still need volunteers to help clients at our food bank and pantry locations. Volunteers usually help stock shelves and assist clients. Because of COVID-19, we require all volunteers, staff, and clients to wear a mask while inside our facilities. Also, because of gathering and social distancing restrictions, we can’t accept large groups of volunteers at this time.

If you’d like to set up a regular volunteer date, contact our volunteer coordinator at or (801) 691-5220.


Earmark Donations

There won’t be any fun vending machines for making holiday donations this year, but you can still earmark gifts to Community Action Services and Food Bank any day, any time, through our website.

For example,

  • $5 provides a weekend of take-home meals for a school-aged child
  • $10 means a box of fresh produce for a family in need
  • $25 gives a family a special holiday meal
  • $50 would allow us to give 100 meals to people in need in our community
  • $125 provides 250 meals.

Make sure to earmark how you want your money used, and take a photo of you or your family gathered around the computer making your donation. Share your photos on social media using the hashtag #LightTheWorld, and tag @communityaction on Facebook, @CASFB on Twitter, and @communityactionuc on Instagram.


Host Your Own Drive

Does your school host an annual food drive? If it doesn’t, it’s time to start! We have all the information you need to get started on our website. We’ll even deliver and pick up your food barrels to make gathering donations simple.

If you’re interested in hosting another kind of donation drive, then collect items for some of our specialty kits. We provide meals for children in need to take home on weekends and hygiene, birthday, homeless, and back-to-school kits. Don’t forget to set a goal before you get started!


Participate in Community Events for Charity

COVID has undoubtedly put a damper on fun community events—but some are still happening, even if they’re virtual.

  • Wendy’s: On Thursday, Nov. 19, the Wendy’s restaurant at 122 E. 1230 North will donate 20 percent of proceeds to Community Action. You can order delivery through an app, come to the drive-thru, order on the website, or go into the restaurant. All you need to do is mention Community Action Services when you order or in the order notes or special instructions.

YRun: On Friday, Nov. 20, BYU is hosting a non-run. Participants register and commit not to run, and then take pictures of themselves doing anything but running. Registration is free, but all donations go to Community Action Services. Participants also are entered into a drawing for prizes. Register here.