food donations(credit: CBS)

This is the time of year that thoughts turn to giving back, and in a city as large as Denver, there are a lot of people in need and a lot of wonderful ways you can volunteer your time and energy to help those in need. There are so many important causes in need of your help, and you can find a lot of great resources to figure out just where you should be volunteering your time. As you are planning your holiday season, consider taking some time to do some volunteer work to support these important organizations that strive to make Colorado a better place year-round.

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Prevent Child Abuse Colorado

Prevent Child Abuse Colorado is a non-profit organization dedicated to “educate, connect and mobilize Colorado communities and families so our children can grow and develop free from abuse and neglect.” There are a lot of wonderful ways you can get involved to support this important organization. Volunteers are needed to distribute pinwheels to local communities and to provide support for Pinwheels for Preventions events throughout the state of Colorado. There is also need for Party for Prevention hosts,  it’s an opportunity to hold a party to benefit Prevent Child Abuse Colorado. You can also help by approaching businesses about selling the signature pinwheels in stores. There are many different ways you can give your time to help this great cause.

Related: Top Spots for Family Volunteering in Denver

Extreme Community Makeover

Much like the television show of the similar name, Extreme Community Makeover is dedicated to improving neighborhoods and home improvement projects in communities throughout many Denver neighborhoods. You can organize a group with your church, school group or scout troupe,  you can volunteer with your family or even on your own. A typical day starts around 9 a.m. and you’ll work through the day targeting specific blocks to remove graffiti, clean up the neighborhood, build fences, work on houses and any other projects that may be needed. It is a full day of work (lunch included) where you can truly impact a neighborhood in need.

Warren Village

Warren Village is a home for low-income and single-parent families that need a little extra help to get back on their feet. It is a safe house combined with a lot of self-help services to help these families in need get the step up they need to provide for themselves and their children. It has been a home to more than 4,000 families since it opened its doors in 1974. There are also several ways you can give your time to Warren Village. There is need for child care, where you and your family can assist in special events and programs for the kids that live at Warren Village while their parent attends classes for important life skills. You can also volunteer to teach a life skills class which could be anything from budgeting to stress management to cooking or any other similar type of class. Check the website, there are always lots of ways you can support this wonderful organization.

Related: Top Spots To Make Holiday Gift Donations In Denver

Mile High United Way

You are probably no stranger to the United Way. It is an organization that works throughout the country in three primary areas; youth success, adult self-sufficiency and school readiness. The United Way provides services to help increase early literacy and graduation rates, while helping adults and families become more economically self sufficient. Of course, such a large organization is always in need of a variety of volunteers. There are holiday parties that need volunteers to help set up and check in, outreach to the Children’s Hospital, as well as mentoring and tutoring services for children and adults. Visit the website for a full list of all of the great opportunities available.

Hunger Free Colorado

The Colorado Anti-Hunger Network and the Colorado Food Bank Association merged in 2009 to create Hunger Free Colorado, a nonprofit organization that seeks to find solutions to all of Colorado’s hunger challenges. It works to increase public awareness and to ensure that all Coloradans have access to affordable and nutritious food. You can support Hunger Free Colorado by volunteering to staff the Food Assistance Hotline, which provides answers and resources to those applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs. Or you can spend time working in the lobby of the Denver Human Services Building, assisting with the administrative work needed for clients applying for resources.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at