Our Favorite Ways to Spread Holiday Joy. Volunteer Opportunities.

four people wearing blue shirts

Tis’ the Season of Giving

Looking for ways to give back this holiday season? Want to “get involved” but don’t know where to start? We’ve put together a short list of how you and your friends or family can volunteer to serve others in the community.

United Board of Missions

hand and toys

Director: Mae Terro
6650 9th Ave Port Arthur, TX 77642
(409) 962-5661

UBM is a coalition of of Mid and South County churches and dedicated volunteers providing support programs to assist the residents of Mid- and South Jefferson County. UBM provides many different volunteer opportunities, making it easy to find something that feels comfortable for each person desiring to serve their neighbors. A few ways you can help out, both short and long term include:

  • Interviewer – Do intake on clients, discuss needs, and make sure all necessary paperwork is completed
  • Clothing Store- Sort and size clothing. Assist clients in selection of clothing
  • Food Pantry – Stock pantry shelves, fill food orders for families, rotate stock as needed
  • Meals on Wheels – Assist in preparation and delivery of meals to our elderly, disabled and home bound each Tuesday and Friday
  • Back to School – Assist Taking applications, sorting school supplies, and issuing supplies
  • Share-A-Toy- Assist in interviewing applicants Christmas needs, sort toys into ago appropriate groups, assist in distribution
  • Mission Attic- Assist customers as needed, sort donations, size and price clothing, serve as cashier as needed, clean and price household items, and organize items on sales floors for visual
  • Furniture Pick-up – Strong persons needed to assist in furniture pick-up from homes that have large items they are donating

Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas Hospitality Center in Port Arthur

three ladies serving food

Director: Christina Vara Green
3959 Gulfway Drive
Port Arthur, Texas 77642-1722
(409) 924-4406 or 1-888-982-4842

The Hospitality Center is a clean, safe and dignified environment where a hearty, daily meal is provided for the elderly on fixed incomes, temporarily needy, working poor, disabled and homeless persons. All in need are served, regardless of age, race, gender or religion because all persons have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. This belief is the core value of the Hospitality Center, and daily we strive to serve guests with the utmost respect and dignity. There is no charge or fee for receiving a meal at the Hospitality Center.

Volunteers are essential to the Hospitality Center.  They are the key to keeping the center open.  Approximately 125 volunteers are the heart and soul of the Hospitality Center. Volunteers are needed to facilitate every aspect of the Hospitality Center, such as:

  • Head Cooks – Coordinate the meal for the day, gather ingredients and cook for 250 people.
  • Cook – Prepare meal for clients. Assist the Head Cook with meal prep and follow through.
  • Driver – Pick up donations and deliver them to the Hospitality Center. Pre-Approval required.
  • Servers—Serves help serve lunch to clients and clean up when finished.
  • Donate – Visit their website for a list of accepted donations

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas

woman holding heart

Volunteer Director at (409) 853-5762
2555 Jimmy Johnson Blvd, Port Arthur, TX 77640

The Medical Center’s volunteers provide caring and compassionate service in support of the hospital, its patients, staff and guests. Volunteer opportunities are available for individuals who are 55 years and older and willing to share their time and talents to help others. .Most volunteers devote 8 hours per week to the hospital. As a member of the volunteer team, you will be placed according to your skills and the current needs of the hospital. Volunteers currently work in these areas:

  • Information desk
  • Surgery waiting room Medical records
  • Materials distribution
  • Clerical positions
  • South East Texas Food Bank

Southeast Texas Food Bank
Volunteers at the Food Bank

President and CEO: Daniel Maher
Volunteer department: Tamara Jarrell 
3845 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway
Port Arthur, Texas, 77705-4114
(409) 839-8777

The Southeast Texas Food Bank’s mission is to find innovative ways do increase the quantity and improve the quality of food available to partners and agencies. The team strives to raise public awareness of issues related to hunger in the area. Volunteer/donation opportunities include:

  • This is the 25th anniversary of 12News and the bank uniting for a holiday food drive. Businesses, schools, churches and other groups are encouraged to host a drive and share food and funds gathered by Dec. 19 and consider being part of a promotional broadcast on Thursday, Dec. 5.
  • Suggested drive/donation items: peanut butter, chili, canned stews and soups, canned luncheon meat, canned tuna, beans, rice, macaroni and cheese, cereal, canned fruits or vegetables and canned or shelf-stable milk.
  • Walk-in sessions are Mondays through Fridays, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Volunteers may find themselves in a variety of tasks from stuffing envelopes or helping with food drive signs to food sorting or helping with the school tools project.
  • Fridays is senior box assembly.
  • Saturdays from 8:30 to 11 a.m. volunteers are welcome to arrive for various tasks.
  • Volunteers are needed year-round and especially in the summer, when regular volunteers are on vacation.

Port Arthur International Seafarers’ Center

Three people posing in life ring

Executive Director: Fr. Sinclair Oubre, J.C.L
401 Houston Ave.
Port Arthur, Texas, 77641-1646
(409) 982-4504

For 80 years the Port Arthur International Seafarers’ Center has offered a space for seafarers from the United States and foreign ports. The center, near the busy Port of Port Arthur, offers phone services; free WiFi; pool, ping pong and darts; American Merchant Marine library services, religious services and ministry; and transport to shopping areas. How can you support the center?

  • Friendly personalities are invited to make a pot of coffee and visit with guests about Port Arthur attractions. A welcome team is appreciated when regular workers are out driving seafarers.
  • Gently used books and magazines are popular in the library. Texas Highways and other publications featuring our great state are also attention getters for those from far away.
  • The Christmas at Sea program gets gifts to those on board ships or in the hospital. Donation ideas include basic toiletries, warm knitted caps, warm socks and drawstring bags.
  • Monthly luncheons help fund the center. Help by buying a ticket to dine or cooking and serving meals

two ladies packing food

Here is a short list of things you can do with friends or family:

  • Deliver cookies and food to local first responders and law enforcement
  • Go caroling at a nursing home
  • Ring Bells for the Salvation Army
  • Intentionally smile and thank others
  • Leave a Christmas card for your mail carrier
  • Visit those who are lonely or without a family
  • Adopt a classroom, child or needy family
  • Call your local service clubs, like Rotary, Sertoma, Community Care Prayer Outreach or Key Club, and join in on a ready-made give back project in the community

No one would argue against the inherent busyness of the holiday season. We all have our to-do lists, and we are checking them twice. But we hope this list has helped you slow down and think of ways you can serve others this season, or all year long. When in doubt, just do it. A little action will go a long way in encouraging a spirit of service throughout the year.

Happy Holidays and Happy Volunteering!

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