Here's a win-win that is fitting for the holiday season: Donate your bow-tying skills and perfect your box-wrapping form at one of these volunteer gift-wrap events, many of which double as fundraisers for charitable organizations or nonprofits. It's a simple way to get into the holiday spirit, while either decking out donated gifts for area children or prettifying your own presents to wow loved ones.
1. St. Cloud, Minnesota
Gift-wrapping ninjas break out the Scotch tape from December 8 to 24 to benefit the Tri-County Humane Society. Volunteers (who can sign up in advance at the Humane Society's website) set up outside the Target entrance at Crossroads Center and work during the mall's open hours. Last year, the event raised $7,000, which funded a variety of medical expenses for resident animals.
Sign up here: tricountyhumanesociety.org
2. Louisville, Kentucky
For a day full of feel-good festivities, on December 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., join the crew at the Shawnee Boys & Girls Club in wrapping a whopping 4,000 donated gifts to be distributed to Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana kids during holiday get-togethers throughout the month. The Jamey Aebersold Jazz Band will ensure volunteers' spirits stay high with a live set of yuletide jams.
Sign up here: bgckyana.org
3. Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Deck out gifts for busy shoppers at the Capital City Mall (outside Macy's) with the cheerful crew from the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) foundation of Central Pennsylvania, December 3 to 24. Bonus: Volunteers often dress up in seasonal garb, so whip out your ugly Christmas sweater and dust off your antlers before joining the fun. All donated proceeds from the event—UCP's most popular fundraising event of the year!—bolster the organization's disability services.
Sign up here: ucpcentralpa.org/ucpfoundationcentralpa
4. Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Let Kaukauna Public Library volunteers gussy up your purchases on December 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and give the gift of enrichment, too: The proceeds support youth programming, including special speaker sessions open to the public. Interested community members can register to volunteer by calling the library, which is also accepting donations of gift-wrap, tape, scissors, and name labels for the event.
Sign up here: kaukaunalibrary.org
Barnes & Noble supports gift-wrapping events to benefit local charities and nonprofit organizations in its stores across the country. See your local store manager for details or to organize one of your own.
Sign up here: stores.barnesandnoble.com
Feeling inspired? Watch how to expertly wrap a box: