A Publication of WTVP

Are you looking for a way to give back to your community this holiday season? Would you like to volunteer as a family and instill in your children an attitude of volunteerism? If so, here are some ways for your family to make a difference together in Peoria.

Santa for Seniors

Neighborhood House needs volunteers to wrap gifts and deliver them to seniors. One thousand gifts will be delivered throughout the Tri-County Area, which requires a lot of help. Families are encouraged to volunteer together (all ages are appropriate), especially when it comes to delivering presents. The purpose of this program is to give not only gifts, but time and attention to seniors in our community. Families are asked to spend some time with each senior to whom they deliver presents. Gift wrapping will take place December 4th, 5th and 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Delivery will take place on December 9th from noon until 2 p.m. For more information, call Larry Von Behren at 674-1131 or visit

Toy Shop

Volunteers are also needed to work in Neighborhood House’s toy shop while parents shop for gifts for their children. Families are welcome to serve together, but children must be pre-teens or older. Underprivileged parents who are working or attending school can sign up to shop in the store for $5 per child and leave with $80 or more in gifts. Babysitters are always on hand to watch children while their parents shop in the store. According to Maureen Gooding of Neighborhood House, this opportunity can teach teens and preteens a lesson in humility when they see how difficult some families have it. Volunteers are asked to give at least two hours of time. The toy shop is open from 1 to 7 p.m. on December 13th and from 1 to 8 p.m. on December 14th. For more information, call Larry Von Behren at 674-1131 or visit

Food Basket Delivery

Neighborhood House needs volunteers to help assemble and deliver food baskets for the less fortunate in the Peoria community on December 17th. Beginning at 7:30 a.m., food will be unloaded and distributed into baskets to be delivered between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. A total of 1,000 baskets will be given out, 50 to 60 of which need to be delivered to seniors and shut-ins. Volunteers of any age are welcome to help out, but those of driving age are especially needed. There is no time requirement; give as much or as little time as you want. For more information, call Maureen Gooding at 674-1131 or visit

Stocking Stuffing Store

Crittenton Centers needs young volunteers for its Stocking Stuffer Store, a fundraiser all about kids helping kids. The holiday spirit really comes alive at the store when little shoppers pick out the perfect gift for that special someone on their lists. The store is for children 12 years old and under to shop with the help of a personal shopper their own age while mom or dad waits in the waiting area. A large selection of gifts are priced from $1 to $8. The kids-only store will be open in Northwoods Mall from December 6th to 20th. Store hours are Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. To sign up to volunteer, call 674-0105 ext. 219 or visit

Meal Delivery

South Side Mission needs help from families to deliver 1,500 meals on Christmas Day to people in the Peoria area who are handicapped, all alone, very poor or elderly. “For some, these volunteers may be the only people they see all of Christmas Day,” said Meg Newell of South Side Mission. Help is needed all morning, from 8 a.m. to noon, to deliver meals and spend time with recipients. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their families, but individuals are appreciated as well. This can be a great way to give your family a new appreciation of the circumstances in which they live. For more information or to sign up to help, contact Phil Newton at 676-4604 or email [email protected]. TPW