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Snuggle with cats, visit a vet, help build homes; 11 places to volunteer in South Jersey-like for Beacon of Hope in Mount Holly

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Celeste E. Whittaker Cherry Hill Courier-Post

Updated 4:30 AM ET Nov. 24, 2023

In the spirit of holiday season, it’s always fun to think about gift giving and receiving gifts. Or getting together with family and friends to celebrate the season. But something that can be really rewarding is volunteering with a local nonprofit. There are plenty of opportunities — everything from animal welfare, food banks or pantries, veteran’s homes, nursing homes and much more.

The first step is contacting the organization you’re interested in volunteering with and seeing what their requirements are. Some may require that you come in for training ahead of time.

Beacon of Hope, Mount Holly

Founder Darlene Trappier’s nonprofit is primarily a food pantry, but also provides clothes, shelter, and life skills training to people in need, the website states. It encourages people to “volunteer and make a difference in your community to enrich the lives of others.”

Darlene Trappier. the owner and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Beacon of Hope in Mount Holly that provides food, clothes, shelter, and life skills training to people in need, is USA TODAY's Women of the Year 2023 honoree for New Jersey.

Those interested in volunteering can download a form on the website, fill it in and email it or snail mail it. The organization provides Christmas dinner baskets and toy distributions for the holidays. Donations are also always welcomed.