Beyond the Diag - Off Campus Housing

Snowman hugging Snowman

With the winter holidays coming up, it is a great time to give back to our Ann Arbor community. Spread holiday cheer and help support the less fortunate by donating to local charities. You can also help make someone’s holiday without spending a dime by volunteering your time. The Ginsberg Center has many opportunities for students to get involved with nonprofit organizations and charities throughout the holiday season.


1. Salvation Army Bell Ringing

There are a variety of shifts and locations available to ring bells and gather donations for Washtenaw County from 10am-8pm everyday through December 23rd. This is a great way to spread Holiday spirit throughout the streets of Ann Arbor while also raising money for a great cause! You can also volunteer for Salvation Army by helping out in their Holiday Toy Shop.


2. Christmas Family “Adoption” Program

Help support a family in need in need this holiday season and create Christmas memories for those who are unable to provide gifts for their children. You can volunteer to adopt a family, purchase new gifts for each family member, wrap them, and drop them off at the Hope Center to be delivered for Christmas.


3. Children’s Book Donation Drive

Have extra books that you no longer need? Rather than have them collect dust on your shelf, donate them and help them make a child’s holiday! The Child Care Network helps serve childcare providers and children in communities that struggle with child well-being. Support this organization and help children in need get the care they deserve.


4. Jewish Family Services Food Pantry

The Jewish Family Services Food Pantry offers fresh produce and specialty food items to all families in need throughout Washtenaw County. JFS is dedicated to serving a wide range of needs and accommodating medical or religious dietary restrictions. They are always in need of food donations which can be dropped off at 2245 South State Street, Suite 200 open Monday thru Thursday 9am-5pm or Friday 9am-3pm.


5. Serving the Homeless at Liberty Plaza Park in Downtown Ann Arbor

Every Friday year-round, the Vineyard Church serves the Ann Arbor community at the Liberty Plaza Park at the corner of Division and Liberty. During this time, they give out hot pizza, hot and cold beverages, packed bags of groceries, and donations of jackets. All volunteers are always welcome!


The holiday season is often thought of as a time for giving, but also remember you can give back to your community throughout the year. The Ginsberg Center Connect to Community website provides resources for students to get involved and make a difference no matter what the season. 


Contributed by Sylvie Evarts, Neighborhood Ambassador-Tappan