Ways to Give and Volunteer in Columbus, Ohio

From an early age I have tried to instill in my children the importance of giving to others.  It feels so good to give!  Not only are you helping those in need but in return you get a sense of joy.  During the holiday season there seems to be a heightened awareness to give but I try to spread it out throughout the year when some need it the most.  Below you will find a wide array of options to give and volunteer in Columbus, Ohio.

Ways to Give and Donate


Nationwide Children’s Hospital

  • Click on this Wish List to see the items needed. (Lego sets, teethers/rattles, Play-Doh, DVDs and more)
  • Gifts to Make (This would be a good family activity or a group project. My kids and I will be making gift bags very soon!)
  • Get Involved
  • Give a Donation

Ronald McDonald House Charities– Central Ohio (I’ve volunteered here before and it was a great experience.)

The James Ohio State University Cancer Comprehensive Center

Food Banks

Mid-Ohio Food Bank needs volunteers for administrative tasks, food reclamation and packaging or maintain the community garden.

Dublin Food Pantry accepts all food donations.  Currently they are most in need of syrup, peanut butter and bar soap.  If you are 16 or older you can volunteer.  Click HERE for more information.

Children’s Hunger Alliance helps feed children in need.  You can donate, advocate or volunteer (completed background check required).

Family Mentor Foundation partners with Columbus and Worthington school districts to provide Buddy Bags of food to students who qualify for free breakfast and lunch programs during the school week but don’t have access to the food on the weekends.


Homeless Shelters

Did you know socks are one of the most needed items in shelters?  Winters in Ohio can be awfully cold so everyone could use a warm pair of socks.  Read more about SOCKTOBER and find a list of shelters in the Columbus area by clicking here: Homeless Shelter Directory.


Churches and Schools

Many churches and schools collect items such as food, coats, items to send to soldiers and missions.  Contact a church or school in your community to see if they are currently collecting anything.


Colony Cats (and dogs) You can donate online, by mail or in person.  They are located right by Chuck E. Cheese on Sawmill Road and I have taken my kids in there to put money in the collection containers and they liked seeing all of the cats freely roaming the building.  They also have a Wish List of items to be donated.

Capital Area Humane Society Here is more information on Donating and Volunteering.

Ohio Wildlife Center is an organization that cares for nearly 5,000 injured or ill animals each year.  There are various ways to get involved.  You can sponsor an animal (get a certificate & photo of the sponsored animal), adult and teen volunteer opportunities (training involved) or provide wish list items .  They have great events here too!


Keep Columbus Beautiful is a campaign to do just what the name implies.  🙂  You can click on the link to find the forms to organize a community clean up, obtain a clean up list of supplies and tools, adopt an area and more.

Toy Drives

Toys for Tots: Drop of toys to Toys R Us or Babies R Us locations nationwide.   Drop off Locations in Columbus, Ohio.

Hands on Central Ohio has a list of 14 organizations that are collecting toys or gifts this holiday season.  Click HERE for the list.

Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse provides information about how to ship shoeboxes filled with items to children around the world.  Yes, I realize this is outside of Columbus but it’s too good to leave off the list.

Good Tidings Christmas Store by Sons Ministries allows families in the Hilliard City School District the opportunity to shop for low cost toys and items that have been donated.  (Toy donations were due by November 20 but they are still slots available to sign up to volunteer to help at the store.)


Volunteer Match is a website where you can find a list of events and volunteer opportunities.  You can type in the city you are looking for and even type in key words such as “kids, animals, etc.” to help filter your search and find opportunities that fit your interest.

Volunteer Match

Welcome Warehouse: Offers several forms of assistance to families living in Dublin, Ohio.  Free Shop- families can select items such as gently used clothing and household items.  Adopt-A-Family give gifts and a holiday meal to a family in need. Emergency Household Assistance allows families to apply for assistance in paying for things such as utilities, groceries, transportation or phone bill.  Bed Donation provides new and gently used mattresses and bed frames so children don’t need to sleep on the floor or a couch. Back to School Outreach provides school supplies to children each August. Volunteer opportunities are available.

American Red Cross- Central Ohio: Donate Blood or volunteer.  Use the link to type in your zip code and see a list of upcoming blood donation locations.  There are lots of upcoming donation locations!

Columbus Metropolitan Library: Support the library by donating money, books or volunteering.

Furniture Bank of Central Ohio will pick up your furniture for free.

Habitat for Humanity Mid Ohio

Support Firefighters and Police Officers– consider dropping off a gift card, meal, letters or cards written by your children.  It is nice to show them appreciation for all their hard work.

Operation Shoebox: ships shoeboxes packed with items to soldiers.  Perhaps your support will reach a resident of Columbus that is a solider?

Nursing Homes– stop by and visit with the residents.  People love to talk with others.

She Has A Name: This organization raises awareness and provides support for the human trafficking that is happening in Columbus, Ohio.

Charity Newsies purchases new clothes for children in Central Ohio that are in need.


Marvel Universe LIVE! and Columbus Charity Newsies will partner with Marvel Universe LIVE! for a winter accessories drive for local children on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. – Noon at Charity Newsies, located at 4300 Indianola Ave.  A ticket voucher redeemable for the Monday, Dec. 28  (1 or 5 p.m.) performance of Marvel Universe LIVE! at Nationwide Arena will be given for a donation of new, children’s winter mittens, gloves, hats and scarves.  A total of 400 ticket vouchers will be distributed; limit two per donating family.  Charity Newsies has been providing new school clothes to children since 1907.

Marvel Live

MoJo TaGo– Give a Meal: While ordering from the food truck Mojo Tago I noticed a donation cup out.  I gladly gave $5 and was given a wooden chip to drop in the cup.  $5 buys a future meal for someone in need.  Love this concept!

Food Truck Give

Donate $5 and give a meal

After visiting all of these websites and reading the statistics I am shocked at the level of need in Central Ohio. Over the years a lot of time, money and items have been given to these various organizations.  I know that I am inspired to find new ways to give back to our local community and donate all year long.  As I am preparing for Thanksgiving with my family I realize how blessed I am but know I need to do more to help those who are less fortunate.  What is your favorite way to give back within your community?

Amy - Post Signature


  1. says

    What a great post! Volunteering and giving back more often is a resolution for my husband and I to do together so I’m thrilled to find your ideas! Thanks!

    • localbusybees says

      Lydia- I couldn’t agree more! I am always trying to find new things to do myself or with others as a way to give back. I hope to keep adding to this list!


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