Christmas Volunteering Opportunities Across Australia in 2023

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If you are looking for somewhere to volunteer on Christmas Day, this article will give you the updated information you need for volunteering for Christmas near where you live! We have researched and found all the best Christmas volunteering opportunities across Australia.

Although Christmas is a time for joy for many, for those doing it tough – it is often challenging, heartbreaking and isolating. As the festive season approaches – it is becoming increasingly clear that many Australians are going to struggle to have even a modest celebration.

We have divided the article into national Australia-wide Christmas volunteering ideas as well as a city by city guide of places to volunteer on Christmas Day. 

If you don’t have a lot of time to become a Christmas volunteer, we also have this other article about Christmas charities to donate to across Australia for you to check out too!

Australia-wide places to volunteer on Christmas Day

No mater where you are in Australia, you can reach out to these places to who are looking for volunteers at Christmas time to offer your services to volunteer work Christmas day to help those in need.

The Salvation Army Christmas volunteering

The Salvation Army provides over 130,000 meals and more than 36,000 food hampers to individuals and families in need, and Salvos volunteers like you help spread cheer among almost 70,000 households each Christmas.

If you’re looking to give back this Christmas and volunteer Christmas day, please consider volunteering for the Salvos. With your generous donation of time, they can make sure no one is left in need.

Find out more about helping the Salvos here

The Smith Family

Volunteering at Christmas and all year round is very much an opportunity to give back to those less fortunate.  The Smith Family is such an institute where volunteering is gratefully appreciated and was actually started back in 1922 when five businessmen decided to deliver toys on Christmas Eve.  With more than 1.2 million Australian children and young people living in poverty, the ability to share gifts and book packs to some 29,000 disadvantaged children is a great way to help them feel included and help spread some Christmas cheer.

You can visit The Smith Family website here

Meals on Wheels volunteering opportunities

Meals on Wheels is a national institute that welcomes Christmas community service from its volunteers, particularly during the Christmas festivities.  Vulnerable members of the community rely heavily on this institute for, not only food, but a sense of being connected to a social life and this is reflected in the 45,000 volunteers that already help out, so if you are looking for Christmas volunteer ideas and would like to stay in your local community, this is a great way to be involved and make new friends.

Volunteer – Meals on Wheels Australia

Ronald McDonald House

Sick children, families having to travel long distances for care, being away from loved ones as a result are all situations that Ronald McDonald Houses see all year round and Christmas is no exception.  With a number of Houses and Rooms set up close to hospital locations to accommodate families in need, help is required to assist from housekeeping, administration, making cups of tea or just helping to tidy up after a long day at the hospital, there is definitely the opportunity to help a family in need if you are looking at Christmas volunteer opportunities.

RMHC Australia website

Starlight Children’s Foundation

Christmas Day charity work with sick children helping to grant wishes and experiences with Starlight Wish is an opportunity to put a smile back on a child’s face. 

Volunteers can help out with setting up activities, to engaging with children in fun things to do, to assisting with craft ideas and general silliness you will become one of the many gratefully received helpers of over half a million Starlight Experiences created annually for sick kids or even assist a family with a Wish Choice – there are many options available when looking at Christmas volunteering 2021.

Volunteer at the Starlight Children’s Foundation

St Vincent de Paul Society

Vinnies is an international organisation and with more than 60,000 members and volunteers in Australia alone, is a massive institute that helps so many people, particularly during Christmas. 

Each year they put out a call for help with their Christmas appeal which looks at donations of hampers, gifts, assistance within one of their many shops and people who have time to visit the more vulnerable people in the community who need that extra bit of help or company, so if you feel that you can assist in any way this is a great way to give back at Christmas. 

Visit the St Vincent de Paul Society website here

Christmas volunteering Melbourne

With over 22,000 homeless people living in Melbourne, numerous hospitals, Christmas donation facilities, numerous animal housing institutions, vulnerable and elderly within the community, there are any number of groups that need help and becoming a Christmas day volunteer locally is a great way to give back. 

Volunteering over Christmas in Melbourne can involve some of the bigger organisations as mentioned above, or more locally in smaller organisations such as the local animal shelter, the local hospital or even local community to help those out on the streets. 

Melbourne Animal Rescue Bennettswood

If you are a lover of furry creatures, then why not open up your home and help foster a cat or dog, even for a short while.  The organisation has a no kill policy and space is at a premium, with the preferred method of housing animals in the interim prior to adoption being within someone’s home –  if you are able to offer room, and are an animal lover, and at a time of year where pets are often given as unwanted gifts, this is a great way to help out from the comfort of your own home.

Melbourne Animal Rescue Fostering information

Melbourne City Mission Melbourne

This organisation addresses a number of issues, including their Community Visitors Scheme in the western, northern and inner-city suburbs of Melbourne.  This scheme allows people who enjoy a coffee and a chat and are happy to visit our elderly members of the community at an aged care facility (of which many are listed on their website).  If you are looking for a rewarding way to spend your Christmas day and throughout the year, this scheme will put you in touch with a facility and person/people.

Get involved with the Melbourne City Mission here

SecondBite Heidelberg West

Now an international organisation, this charity redistributes food to local not for profit organisations to assist them and those they serve and are constantly looking for volunteers.  This organisation began in Melbourne and are on the look out for people who can help distribute the food as well as sort and package to get it to those places that need it the most – Christmas is extremely busy so help is gratefully received.

Find out more about Second Bite here

Christmas volunteering Sydney

Sydney, with its beautiful landmarks and fabulous light displays around Christmas time has a great atmosphere during the festive season, however there are plenty that need the help of volunteers.  If you are located in this region, there are opportunities to assist on Christmas Day and in and around the Christmas season so why not get in touch with some of these local organisations.

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home Edward Street Carlton

Christmas Day volunteering Sydney – if helping animals if something you enjoy, then offering to help this organisation during the Christmas season would be a great start.  They help rehome over 3,000 unwanted pets yearly and are always on the look out for people to come in and help clean up, grooming, engage in play time, reception or administrative duties or if you prefer, you can become a short term foster helper. 

Sydney Dogs and Cats Home

Magic Moments Foundation Paramatta

If you love spending time with the older members of your community or if you have missed out on having a grandparent around, then this lovely idea of adopting a grandie provides much needed support.  ‘Grandies’ as they are referred to provide a gift list, so Christmas would be a very important time to connect and engage in this scheme whereby the grandie makes a wish list and the volunteers deliver them which makes them feel special, cared for and importantly, not forgotten.

Vist the Magic Moments Foundation website here

Wayside Chapel Kings Cross and Bondi

Wayside Chapel regularly invest time and effort into helping the community and they have a very large volunteer community with approximately 600-650 helpers and Christmas is no exception.  Offering community lunch, they reach out to those in the community to give comfort, food, a safe place and a friendly ear, so if you are looking to be involved in volunteering Christmas Day in Sydney, this would be a great idea.

Find out how to help Wayside Chapel here

Christmas volunteering Brisbane

Brisbane and Queensland has its fair share of homeless and vulnerable people living within the community.  There are a number of national Christmas drives that incorporate Brisbane at Christmas time, in particular Vinnies and the Salvation Army who provide meals to those living locally and on Christmas Day.  A couple of smaller projects can be located below and the local hospitals in the area are always looking for volunteers in the local area.

The Pyjama Foundation Albion

If you are a secret teacher and have patience to educate and get to know a child, this is an opportunity that would be extremely fulfilling.  Matched up with a child in foster care, this organisation requires not just time at Christmas but throughout the year, getting to know and spend time with a child who needs your time and understanding in appreciating skills required to read and learn from educational games. 

Visit The Pyjama Foundation website here

Brisbane Basket Brigade Brisbane

Christmas baskets, packed, wrapped, sorted and delivered together with homeless bags specifically for those living on the streets of Brisbane.  Last year this organisation saw approximately $500,000 worth of food and gifts distributed to thousands at Christmas time and this year will be no exception.

Check out the Brisbane Basket Brigade volunteering options here

Christmas volunteering Gold Coast

This popular location with tourists is a hub of people and families who visit this area during the summer months.  However, there are a lot of retirees and elderly within this location who may feel lonely and unsupported during this time, together with those less fortunate living on the streets.  Whilst the main organisations mentioned above have a number of local lunches on the Gold Coast on Christmas Day, there are also a couple of local organisations that would also appreciate your time.

Gold Coast Private Hospital Gold Coast

Christmas volunteering on the Gold Coast could be as easy as dropping into the local hospital.  Whilst for patient safety, certain checks may need to be conducted, you will certainly be helping out in a great way by visiting someone less fortunate confined to a hospital location during the festive season.  Volunteers pay an important part in any hospital from providing much needed company, to a friendly face and a smile, so popping in and having a chat can go a long way to helping and supporting someone in the community.

Volunteer at the Gold Coast Private Hospital

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Currumbin

This wildlife sanctuary may seem like a strange addition to the list, however they also rely heavily on volunteers either on site to help with the animals directly or the many visitors that pass through their gates, or if you have a skill in creating blankets (knitting, crochet, quilting etc), these are very much appreciated in helping with rescued animals or in the veterinary clinic on site. 

Volunteering oppoortunities at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Christmas volunteering Perth

This cosmopolitan area is beautiful to live in and discover whilst travelling and again, there are always opportunities to volunteer over Christmas in Perth. Christmas lunch is held annually in the park by Mission Australia as it is well recognised that this can be a very difficult time of year for some.  Details of which can be found below together with a number of smaller organisations in the area.

Mission Australia Wellington Square East Perth

Based on the traditional Christmas lunch and having run for over 40 years, this event really sets out to embrace the community as a whole.  If you are looking to provide Christmas community service in a traditional way, volunteers on Christmas Day are sought after to assist from chatting to members of the community less fortunate, to helping serve and clean at the lunch, setting up and clearing away and interacting.  The atmosphere is great and to see everyone smiling and chatting will certainly be a rewarding and fulfilling feeling.

Christmas Lunch in the Park | Mission Australia

Manna Victoria Park

55,000 meals delivered to the homeless on a yearly basis, Christmas is no exception.  This organisation provides soup, hot meals and desserts regularly and volunteers are always on hand to help, from administrative duties, deliveries, cleaners, packing and distributing food there is surely something for you to help and give back!

Find out more here

Christmas volunteering Adelaide

Most of the voluntary work in and around Adelaide during Christmas comprises of offsets from the larger organisations such as the Smith Family, Ronald McDonald House and The Salvation Army (with links located above).  However for more community involvement, Meals on Wheels and Old Aged Care Facilities are a great place to start as they are always looking for volunteers to support and provide companionship to residents. 

Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide

Hospitals and care facilities are always looking for additional support from volunteers.  Christmas Day does not include shut downs or time away so voluntary work is very important for both staff and residents within. If you have time that you can provide to the local hospital, please contact them directly.

Volunteering options at Royal Adelaide Hospital

Fred’s Van Various locations throughout Adelaide

This free service provides food to the homeless and stops at various locations throughout Adelaide.  It also provides clothing and blankets to those in need and volunteers are always appreciated.

Find out more Fred’s Van details here

Hutt St Centre Hutt St Adelaide

This centre services up to 40,000 meals and assists so many people offering help with showers, laundry, health, recreational ideas, employment programs and help to find housing.  Volunteers are appreciated and can assist with donations, assistance, providing time to talk to people, giving people much needed supplies to name but a few.

Hutt St Centre

Volunteering over Christmas in Australia

Above we have provided a list of volunteering on Christmas Day ideas across Australia. If we have missed any that you think should be included, lease let us know!

Join our Facebook group to jumpstart your Christmas planning all year long!

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Janine Mergler

Janine has a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the Queensland University of Technology and works as an editor of the popular Families Magazine. Janine owns the Christmas in Australia website because she is a huge fan of Christmas and everything about the festive season and she wants to share it all with you! Travelling the country to find all the best Christmas experiences in Australia, she can be found celebrating Christmas in July and getting more and more excited as 25th December approaches! Join my Christmas in Australia Facebook group too!

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