How you can give back to your community in Cleveland

By Allison Barwacz | Digital Media Content Producer

NCM donated a variety of items to the Cosgrove Center, including coloring books, stuffed animals and toys.

There’s no shortage of generosity during the holiday season, and the same could be said for the employees at North Coast Media (NCM). While NCM employees volunteer to serve lunches every Wednesday at the Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center, they wanted to contribute more during the holidays.

They did this by donating four large bags of toys, which included cars, baby dolls, board games and coloring books, to Cosgrove, one of the largest day drop-in centers in Northeast Ohio. The company also donated 55 turkeys.

“It was really heartwarming to see how appreciative the families were,” said Debbie Pipik, director of human resources at NCM. “It really puts everything in perspective.”

With that in mind, here are some other ways you can give back in Cleveland during the holiday season — and any other time of the year.

1. The Cleveland Food Bank

15500 South Waterloo Rd.

The Cleveland Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio. It operates a community food distribution center, providing food and other grocery products annually to more than 750 local food pantries, hot meal programs, shelters, mobile pantries and more. Those who want to help can donate money, food or time as a volunteer.


2. The Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL)

1729 Willey Ave.

Calling all animal lovers: The Cleveland APL offers a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout Northeast Ohio. Volunteers can walk dogs, foster animals, learn about a veterinarian’s everyday duties, photograph animals and more at its shelter in Tremont, its PetSmart Charities Everyday Adoption Center, its PetSmart Parma location and other offsite locations. APL also accepts donations, including money, towels/blankets, dog and cat treats, and a variety of other items.

3. Encore Cleveland

4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 200

The mission of Encore Cleveland is to channel the time, energy and talents of experienced Clevelanders into solving community challenges and filling unmet needs. Volunteer opportunities through this organization include becoming a reading instructor, food pantry assistant, usher, library aid, museum volunteer, disaster action team member and respite/companionship volunteer.

4. Cleveland Metroparks

For those of you who love spending time outdoors, the Cleveland Metroparks offers a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout its system. Volunteers can participate in outdoor youth programs, work in the trails division, learn about park history and more.

5. HandsOn Northeast Ohio

HandsOn Northeast Ohio offers a variety of volunteer programs, from dog walking to donation sorting to working at food pantries. The site includes a calendar listing all of the available volunteer opportunities during each month of the year.

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