1. Volunteer to be a docent at art museums or the children’s museums—any museum! You get to meet new people, learn some history, and share valuable information with kids and other visitors. http://www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org
2. Volunteer at the theatres! Did you know that you can become a volunteer at the Alley Theatre or the Wortham and other of Houston’s icons of culture and hear and see wonderful performances? Well, you can! Just call each theatre, and find out if they need ushers or other kinds of helpers. http://www.alleytheatre.org http://www.houstontheatredistrict.org
3. Volunteer at the festivals! From the Houston International Festival to the Italian Festival, there are plenty of opportunities to help these fun events function! You usually get a free T-shirt and entry to the festival, plus there’s often a volunteer area with free munchies. What better way to feel a part of the city and enjoy the people and diversity of Houstonnot to mention all that music and entertainment! http://www.houstonitalianfestival.com http://www.ifest.org
4. Volunteer at the hospitals. If you love to nurture and want to share some time well spent for a worthy cause, visit the medical center, and see what they need. You can volunteer to hold babies or play with sick children or just to hold hands and visit those who long to see your smile. http://www.volunteermatch.org
5. Volunteer at any one of the shelters in Houston…from the Houston Area Women’s Center to Star of Hope, there are people who need your able hands. http://www.hawc.org http://www.sohmission.org
6. Feed the hungry. The Food Bank and other services provide food on a regular basis, and they always need people to sort and stack and gather. Food is the most fundamental need, and you can be a cog in the wheel that makes it happen. Don’t forget the holiday marathon dinners that often are held at the George R. Brown Convention Center and other large centers. Serving the needy can be an important thing to remember to do on any holiday! http://www.houstonfoodbank.org
7. Build a shelter. You and your organization or corporate group can volunteer to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. Or you can just go by yourself! Learn to wield a hammer, or just be a gopher, and then watch your efforts grow. You’re not just volunteering; you’re providing a home for some needy family. http://www.houstonhabitat.org or http://www.habitat.org
8. Get in on the excitement of a charity bike ride or fun run! Even if you can’t do the miles, you can still enjoy the thrill by helping the event happen! Go to http://www.signmeup.com to find a charity event in your area.