Getting involved in local charity and volunteer organizations within the community is a great way for individuals and families to show support for the area they call home. The donation of personal time and services benefits all members of the community, including those less fortunate and also boosts public morale, support, and pride. For those interested in giving back this year, the city of Akron offers plenty of opportunities and options for you to choose from for your community service interests!
The American Red Cross – The American Red Cross Summit County Donor Center is located on West Market Street in downtown Akron and is open during these hours. Here volunteers are able to make platelet donations as often as every two weeks and whole blood donations every 56 days and to benefit anyone in need of blood, whether it be those struggling with health issues or victims of accidents or natural disasters. Additionally, volunteers can also donate their time to services sponsored by the Red Cross and/or make a financial contribution.
The Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank – Recently named Food Bank of the Year, the highest achievable recognition among Feeding America’s national network of 202 food banks, the Akron-Canton Regional Food bank provides food and other critical items to agencies that help feed the hungry throughout eight Northeast Ohio counties. Volunteers can participate at various local food drives, donate non-perishable food items, make a financial contribution, or attend fundraisers that benefit this food bank, such as the annual Portage Lakes Polar Bear Jump!
The Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad – The Grape Escape, Ales and Rails, the Polar Bear Express, and Murder Mystery Dinners name only a few of the themed events hosted by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. This railroad takes passengers on year-round, themed excursions aboard classic locomotives through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. To keep ticket prices affordable and to maintain consistent operation, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad relies on the generosity of local volunteers to help both on and off the passenger train. Keep this in mind come Christmas time and volunteer as an elf at the North Pole for the yearly anticipated Polar Bear Express!
Akron’s Children Hospital – Get pets involved in community service too! The Doggie Brigade at Akron’s Children Hospital is a volunteer program where owners can bring their furry friends into the hospital to visit patients and help put smiles on all their faces! Approved dogs are welcome to enter patient rooms, cuddle in bed with them, and keep them company while they receive care and treatment at the hospital. Enroll your hound today!