Interested in giving back? Volunteer opportunities for Mitzvah Weekend 2021

Posted at 5:40 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 17:40:45-05

(WXYZ) — There are a number of volunteer and giving opportunities happening throughout Mitzvah Weekend 2021. Mitzvah Weekend brings together volunteers across faiths to visit organizations throughout Detroit and metro Detroit

“As the Christmas holiday takes place on a Saturday this year, we knew it would be beneficial to both the participating organizations and volunteers to expand the program’s length,” said Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of Jewish Community Relations Council/American Jewish Committee, in a press release. “For the nonprofits offering opportunities, we have found that some are planning different or expanded activities since Christmas is not during the week. For our more observant volunteers who mark the Sabbath, this change will allow them to give back on Friday before sundown or the day after Christmas.”

The Jewish Community Relations Council sent out a list of places that could use assistance:

Brilliant Detroit[]
Volunteers are asked to put together at-home activity kits for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is January 17, that will be distributed to families in Detroit neighborhoods that Brilliant Detroit serves. The organization will provide bulk materials, including books, a game and more, and instructions for the kits, which will then be assembled individually. As part of the project, volunteers will be asked to reflect, using the provided prompts, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy. Their responses will be included in the kit and all are encouraged to share their thoughts on social media closer to the holiday, using the hashtag #MLKisBrilliant.

Kits are available in quantities of 10 so please indicate how many you would like. They will be available for pickup at the Max M. Fisher Federation Building at 6735 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills 48301 tomorrow Thursday, December 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or Brilliant Detroit's headquarters at 5675 Larkins Street, Detroit 48201 through December 22 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. If choosing the latter, please indicate the date and time of pick-up when registering.

After completing the kits, please drop them off at the Federation Building on Wednesday, January 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or at Brilliant Detroit between January 3 and 7.

To register, please contact Aryeh Perlman at 734-846-2196 or

Cass Community Social Services[]
Volunteers are needed to help prepare food and clean up on Christmas Day and Sunday, December 26 from 7:30-10:30 a.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m. There are eight spots available for each shift. Cass Community is located at 11850 Woodrow Wilson, Detroit 48206.

To register, contact Rev. Sue Pethoud at (313) 888-2277 ext. 203 or [].

Help is needed to unpack, sort and repack boxed gift donations in COT's Evans/Progressive Distribution Center (36501 Van Born Rd., Suite 160, Romulus), a temperature-controlled warehouse. To be considered, please fill out this application []. Must be 18 years of age or older and able to lift 20 lbs.

Questions? Contact Rachel Minion at

Emmanuel Bethel Church (Royal Oak)[]
Emmanuel Bethel Church is one of seven churches participating in Welcome Inn, a weekday, daytime shelter for the homeless who are transported to churches in the evening for overnight shelter in the winter. In conjunction with the South Oakland Warming Centers, each offers a one- or two-week commitment to host overnight. The Church is assigned to host through December 26.

Volunteers are needed during this period to perform a variety of tasks including preparing evening meals offsite to overnight supervision and guest registration. For more information and to review and register for available opportunities and dates, click here []. Emmanuel Bethel is located at 4000 Normandy Road, Royal Oak 48073.

Questions? Contact Robert L. Scales at

The organization is in need of the following new items: pillows, towels, hygiene products for women and children, bath soaps, loofahs, twin bed sheets, twin or larger bed blankets, kids/toddler underwear and socks.

Drop off weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 801 Vanguard Drive, Pontiac 48341. Please call Taylor at (248) 334-1284 before drop off, if you are dropping off a large amount or have any questions. Please do not drop off any used items.

Jewish Senior Life- West Bloomfield[]
Help is needed on Friday, December 24 and Sunday, December 26 at Fleischman from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Volunteers will help back bags for meals and help servers during meal time by filling beverages and clearing plates. Volunteers are needed only on December 24 at Hechtman at 11:30 a.m. and Meer at 11 a.m. to polish silverware and set tables. A total of two-to-four volunteers are needed per location and all must be masked.

Please reach out to Leslie Katz at or (248) 592-5062 to sign-up. Those interested must fill out this application [] and submit a copy of their vaccination card.

Jimmy's Kids[]
On Christmas Day volunteers are needed to deliver Christmas gifts to neighborhood families. To sign-up, email or call 248-821-0461.

All participants are to meet at St. Stephens Lutheran Church (1235 Lawndale, Detroit 48209) at 9 a.m.

Kids Empowered[]
Kids Empowered is looking for individuals or groups to Adopt a Family for Christmas. For more information and to sign-up, click here []. In addition, the organization's Book Buddies program is in need of buddies (two volunteers in different households per child in Pontiac) to read to kids via Facetime or Zoom. Books are delivered to the child in need, and the volunteers also will receive a copy. Please register here [].

Questions? Contact Kimber Bishop-Yanke at 248-840-9858 or

Michigan Humane[]
Volunteers are needed to wipe down dirty cages, hose down and scrub kennels, change out soiled bedding, change litter pans, unfold newspaper, prepare food dishes, sweep, mop and taking out trash. Volunteers can choose to work with either cats or dogs and should be comfortable with: working around barking dogs; cleaning up animal waste; bending, kneeling and standing during shift; and wearing a mask.

Volunteers must possess good observation and communication skills, as well as abide to COVID related rules and be patient and willing to follow Michigan Humane's service standard: "Every person and animal deserves my best self, my best service, and my best care." Limited opportunities available and all volunteers must be 18 or older.

Volunteering at the Westland Shelter
Berman Center for Animal Care (900 N. Newburgh Rd., Westland 48185)
Saturday, December 25, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Register here []

Volunteering at the Detroit Shelter
Mackey Center for Animal Care (7887 Chrysler Service Dr., Detroit 48211)
Friday, December 24 and Saturday, December 25, 9 a.m. to noon
Register here []Piquette Square (Southwest Solutions)[]
On Christmas Day at 2:30 p.m., six volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve dinner, as well as distribute gifts. The facility is located at 6221 Brush Street, Detroit 48202.

To sign-up contact Chery Allen at (586) 770-9449.

Pope Francis Center[]
Located currently at Huntington Place (formerly TCF Center) - Parking Garage is at 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit 48226, the Pope Francis Center is seeking volunteers to help with laundry, serve meals, pass out clothes and toiletries and other special projects. A variety of shifts for individuals or groups are available daily. Please click here[] for more information and to register.

S.O.U.L. (Source of Universal Love)
A nonprofit that helps to transform the lives of individuals and families in adverse situations is hosting its holiday party this Sunday, December 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. at 23030 Mooney Street, Suite A, Farmington 48336. They are seeking volunteers to help set up tents and preparing for the outdoor gathering, as well as clean-up at 4 p.m. To sign-up contact Patty Gillie at (248) 672-0616 or

Trinity Lutheran Church[]

Four volunteers for each shift are needed on Christmas Day to serve breakfast and prepare lunch. The Church is located at 38900 Harper Ave., Clinton Township 48036. All volunteers must wear a mask and gloves, which will be provided in the kitchen. Two shifts are available: four people from 8 a.m. to noon and four people from noon to 4 p.m.

To sign-up email Karol Thomas at or call 586-206-0711.

Vista Maria[]
The organization is in need of stocking stuffer items. Those interested can view the wish lists set up on Amazon [] and Target [].Western Oakland Meals on Wheels[]
Volunteers are needed on Christmas Day to deliver holiday meals to seniors in Western Oakland County in cities including Holly, Highland, Milford, Wixom, Novi, Walled Lake, White Lake and West Bloomfield. Meals must be picked-up between 9:30 and 10 a.m. at 9525 E. Highland Rd., Howell 48843.

To register, email Cassidy by December 10 at or call (810) 632-2155.