Soup kitchens like Open Door Food Kitchen in Downtown St. Joseph are popular volunteer spots around the holidays. The United way holiday volunteer guide gives people knowledge on how to volunteer.

The United Way of Greater St. Joseph helps those wanting to volunteer during the holidays with the annual United Way Volunteer Guide.

The guide provides details needed to help out with United Way partner agencies as well as other local organizations.

United Way Program Director Jay Martin said the guide is a way for people to see all nonprofits in town that have holiday opportunities.

Martin Said the guide is really good at providing only holiday volunteer and giving opportunities, so that different individuals or groups can see what is best for them.

The YWCA is one of the partner agencies featured in the guide. It is looking for help with its holiday store, which is available to the families of the YWCA shelter. Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Traci McChristy said the store allows the families to shop for their children just like they would at any other store.

“Everyone wants to provide Christmas for their kids, and sometimes we need a little help,” McChristy said.

McChristy said that they are always looking for items to fill the store, but are particularly in need of teenage gift items.

“We’re always looking for the newest gear, the hoodies, the Nike socks, and items that all teenagers like for store so that the moms can find something special for them too,” McChristy said.

The setup for the store begins next Friday. The terrace room at the YWCA will transform into the shopping experience where the ladies will meet with a personal shopper who will help them find what they’re needing and will receive the gifts on Christmas Eve to give to their children on Christmas.

Another thing the YWCA will provide is an opportunity for the children to shop for their moms.

“The kids get so excited when they get to shop for the moms,” McChristy said. “They know exactly what mom would like.”

The guide can be found on stjosephunitedway.org by clicking on holiday opportunities.

Clayton Anderson can be reached

at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.