Holiday parties: The Volunteer Party

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

These soirees will help you get off the naughty list. Pick a charity, and spend a laid-back evening wrapping your group's contributions or making homemade greeting cards.

Find ideas:

The easiest way to start is local. Try locating toy drives and have guests bring items to donate and wrap, or contact churches to see if there are any items that need to be wrapped for their giving trees.

Call around to nursing homes or assisted living facilities in your neighborhood and see if they'd accept homemade holiday greeting cards, how many they'd need and if you can personalize them at all.

There are also plenty of national organizations looking for donations that could work for a volunteer party, such as the group Support Our Troops, which collects care packages for American soldiers.

Keep in mind:

Two important things to remember: 1. Some people suck and have ruined charities' ability to accept at will. Do your research and be aware of all the details. 2. Let your guests know of anything they need to do to follow these requirements, such as providing receipts.


What you put on your shopping list will depend on the type of work you'll be doing at the party, but try to think of as many details as possible. For example, you'll need plenty of tape, a couple of pairs of scissors and seating for everyone. If you are expecting some timidity as the party gets rolling, have a couple of examples of what you're creating to use as an icebreaker.

Comfort food:

Concentrate on the supplies, and keep the food simple - chips, dip, soda. Treat your guests to quality condiments from North Market vendors such as the dozen flavors of salsa by CaJohn's Flavor and Fire or the Jose Madrid selections from Better Earth.

Music must-play:

"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," by Brenda Lee

What does "new, old-fashioned way" even mean? Discuss.