Holiday celebrations are everywhere. People are going to office parties, social gatherings, and visiting with family and friends. It can be a joyous time, but it can also be a stressful time for a lot of people.

Regardless of where you land on the 8 weeks between late November and early January, one thing is for sure: the holidays can be stressful.

Meanwhile, all the “time of giving” narrative we hear in Hallmark commercials is decptive. A new study[1] found that donations actually decrease around the holidays among people inclined to give dollars. This is linked to stress. When people are stressed out or spending money on gifts, they might not think to give to a cause. It’s understandable, we’re all human. But herein lies some opportunity.

Introducing 3 Ways Volunteer and De-Stress During the Holidays!

1.   Find a Nonprofit Board to Join

Be honest. If you’re in an office reading this, you’re in one of two kinds of environments: Financial Year-End or mid-year fiscal. Nonprofit boards in Northeast Ohio have an average of 3-6 board vacancies at any point. With 14,000 nonprofits in Cuyahoga County alone, there are more than 42,000 board vacancies at the low end. BVU makes the process easy for you by navigating the way and matching you to a board that meets your interests. Do a little self-examination, ask yourself what you’re interested in outside of work, and then reach out to BVU or your management team to start the process. It is an extremely meaningful thing you can do to help.

2.   Swap a Workout with Volunteering

With the average personal trainer costing $70-$120 per session, why not sweat it out packing food for needy families, or shoveling mulch in a community garden? Researchers have shown that active volunteerism has serious physical health benefits.[2] Everything from swinging a sledgehammer to playing basketball with teens, volunteerism can be your workout-of-choice.

3.   Re-Invent Family Time

I don’t know about you – but holiday get-togethers can be somewhat overwhelming. Watching Aunt Edna and Cousin Eddie argue about politics after dinner, although often entertaining, it can be exhausting. Why not find another environment? Sign up for a fun and rewarding volunteer project for your family and friends to participate in instead. Be warned: people will initially resist this activity because watching family members squabble has become part of some weird holiday tradition. But, if you do the legwork on setting up the volunteer opportunity, your relatives may actually come with you. Trust me – Edna and Eddie will still be just as feisty after you escape for 2 hours and come back for the egg nog.


At BVU, we work with companies and professionals to connect them with the community. We are the one-stop shop for community engagement solutions including pro bono projects, volunteer opportunities, and nonprofit board referrals. Check us out at to learn how you can blow up the holiday lull, and take back for yourself a little bit of what the holidays siphon off.