Thank you so much for your interest in the Chapel Hill Service League’s 66th Annual Christmas House---a Chapel Hill tradition since 1950. For 66 years now, Christmas House has made the holidays brighter for local families in need. With the generous support of our community, parents and guardians attend a one-day shopping spree to select new toys, books, coats, and in some lucky cases a bike for their children. Christmas House provides gifts for more than 840 local children, all from families referred to us by local school social workers as being most in need of our assistance.
We always welcome community volunteers at Christmas House! We request you sign up in advance (preferably by November 21). We've got roughly 720 volunteer positions to fill, so as you can imagine, we need to monitor open spots closly.
Unfortunately, to maintain the privacy of our guest families, we only allow volunteers 16 years and older to volunteer during Saturday's event. However, we encourage teens to volunteer both Thursday and/or Friday during setup, and also on Saturday afternoon from 4pm-6pm during clean-up. We are registered with the CHCCSD and can sign for Service Learning Hours.
The event is always held the first Saturday of December in the heart of Chapel Hill. For security reasons, we don't publicize the event location. You will receive the location, parking details, and instuctions after you have signed up.
With set-up and the event day, we have volunteer opportunities over three days and operate in 2 hour shifts. Volunteers must be able to work on their feet for the full 2 hours at a minimum and will need to handle light lifting. Volunteers should arrive 20 minutes before their shift for check-in and a brief training.
You will have an opportunity to select your desired shift location (Coats, Books, etc.) when you check out. If the option to "choose an area" is not available, that means that area is full for that shift.
Day 1: Heavy Lifting Day
(2:30pm - 4:30pm, 3:30pm - 6pm, 4pm - 6pm)
Tasks include: Moving furniture, clearing rooms for set-up, and placing tables, book shelves, and racks in place.
Day 2: Set-up Day
(8am -10am, 10am -12pm, 12pm -2pm, 2pm -4pm)
Tasks include: Carrying in and unpacking boxes of books, toys and coats. Sorting, sizing and hanging coats. Bringing in and setting bike and helmet displays.
Day 3: Christmas House day!
(8am -10am, 10am -12pm, 12pm -2pm, 2pm -4pm, 4pm - 6pm)
GUIDES - Escort guests through the shopping areas and help them find appropriate gifts for their children. SPECIAL NEED: Spanish speaking & Karen speaking guides!
BAGGING & CARTS - As guests enter the toy display room, provide them and their Guide with a cart. As each guest checks out, put all their items in a large plastic bag to take home. Carry bag to guest’s car if help is needed. Recycle carts to next guests.staffing tables in Coats, Young Children’s Toys, Pre-Teen Toys, Books or Bikes areas; and bagging toys at the end of the shopping tour and helping carry toys to cars.
BIKES - Help lucky guests select an appropriate bike for their child. Restock from truck.
COATS - Help guests find sizes and styles for their children, keep coat racks supplied with replacement coats, manage the stash area. Tally coats that remain, and repack boxes.
CLEAN-UP [4pm-6pm] - Pitch in to pack up leftovers, fold up tables, sweep, etc.
DONATED TOYS - Help guests find toys they think their children will love. Keep display area neatly stocked. Distribute stocking-stuffer bags.
FLOOR MANAGER - Monitor flow: move shoppers’ carts out of way; watch for shortage or surplus of volunteers; communicate with Supervisors to resolve issues.
HEAVY LIFTING - Help move furniture and return rooms to previous configuration. Help transfer boxes and tables from church to trucks.
INVITATIONS & APPOINTMENTS - Greet guests as they arrive. Review each guest's appointment letter and check them off on a master list. Introduce guests to their Guides to begin shopping.
KITCHEN - Help set up and clean up breakfast and lunch for volunteers.
PRE-TEEN/TEEN AREA - Assist guests with selecting appropriate gifts for their pre-teen children. Restock gift table.
TRUCKING [4pm - 6pm] - Drive or ride rental trucks to loading and unloading sites. Help load trucks at end of day, and unload into storage facility.
VOLUNTEER CHECK-IN - At entrance, give arriving volunteers their nametags and help them know where to report.
YOUNG CHILDREN'S TOYS - Help guests choose toys for their children, and restock toys.
Groups who are interested should contact their organizer who can forward information for your group to us at email@example.com.