You can make a big impact on your community by volunteering. From donating toys or even walking pets, there really is a way for people of all ages to help out others in The Woodlands. Giving Tuesday (#givingtuesday) is a great way to start! It’s a day set aside to give back to others and this year the day falls on December 3. Here are FIVE ways you can give back in The Woodlands area this holiday season and beyond.


Holiday Toy Drives are a great opportunity to teach your children about giving back. Bring them shopping and let them help pick out the toys. Both Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army Angel Tree collect new toys to distribute to families in need. There are also various collection sites around town during the holiday season.


Love animals? You can volunteer with your family to help clean pet areas, walk dogs, wash animals and other things that need to be done at the shelter. Volunteer orientation at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter is every Saturday at 10 a.m. If you prefer a quieter volunteer experience you can even just spend time with a favorite animal at the shelter. They also accept donations of gently used towels and dog food.


If you are unsure of what you can do to help, Interfaith of The Woodlands is a good place to start. This nonprofit social service agency provides support to several programs throughout the year. Thousands of people are helped each year and you can be a part of this! You can volunteer at the food pantry, in Senior Services or at the thrift store run by the organization. (Proceeds go back into the community.) They also run “Veggie Village,” which helps provide fresh produce to people in need.


Love to be front and center for all of the action at events? Here’s a fun way to do just that! There are always open volunteer opportunities in the Parks and Recreation Department within The Woodlands Township. You can help with community events like fun runs, campouts and holiday celebrations. They even need volunteers for events like the Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance. You can check the calendar to see what works with your schedule.


If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to volunteer, the Friends of the Library group are always looking for more people to help out for various library activities year-round. They host special events, book sales and sorting. The main support goes to the South Regional Library and the George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Library. (You can also link up your Kroger card, Randall’s card or Amazon account to give a percentage back to the group.)

Need more volunteer ideas? There are many groups in the area that could use volunteers. Check out our additional list for even more opportunities to help out in your community! Let us know if you have more ideas to add to our list!