6 ways to give back and get involved in November

Donate bikes, give away books or attend a nonprofit and volunteer fair this holiday season.
Volunteer pushing a cart of frozen turkeys at donation drive. A few people are standing in the background on a grass lawn.
Photo by Beth Skogen.
A volunteer pushes a cart of frozen turkeys from the Goodman Community Center gym to the distribution stations outside.

November has long been a month for giving back, a time when many families look for service opportunities ahead of the busy gift-giving season. There are no shortage of charitable drives and initiatives in the Madison area. Here are six to get you started.

Madison Reading Project Community Book Drive
During MRP’s Community Book Drive — its biggest of the year — you can drop off books at one of the various donation stations across Dane County, buy books from the wish list or make a financial donation. MRP works to provide books for more than 12,000 children to read over winter break, says Ann Christianson, MRP’s development coordinator. The effort supports MRP in giving books to kids through local groups including the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Reach Dane and the Empty Stocking Club. People can also host their own book drive or fundraiser. Nov. 10 to Dec. 10, madisonreadingproject.com/community-book-drive-2022

Free Bikes 4 Kidz-Madison Donation Drive
Free Bikes 4 Kidz-Madison is holding its last bike donation drive of the year. Bring gently used bikes to one of several donation stations in the Madison area or make a financial contribution. FB4K-Madison is also looking for volunteers to help staff the drop-off locations. FB4K-Madison staff and volunteers then fix up the bikes and donate them to local youth-centered organizations, particularly those working with communities that have been historically excluded from bicycling and to low-income families in the area. For a full list of donation locations, visit FB4K-Madison’s Facebook page. Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, fb4kmadison.org

Agrace Thrift Holiday Pop-up Shop
Do some holiday shopping at Agrace Thrift Store’s Holiday Pop-up Shop, located at 1922 S. Stoughton Road. Shoppers can purchase second-hand holiday items for gifts, decor and entertainment. All funds from the event will be donated to grief support services in the area, including Agrace Grief Support Center in Fitchburg. Oct. 27 to Nov. 26, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m, agrace.org/thriftstore

Goodman Community Center Thanksgiving Basket Drive
Goodman Community Center is holding its 34th annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive. People can give money or bring food donations from CCG’s grocery list to 214 Waubesa St. in Madison. GCC is also looking for volunteers to help make the drive possible. Donations will help bring Thanksgiving meals to 4,000 families in Dane County. Nov. 14-15: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Nov. 16-18: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Nov. 19-20: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., goodmancenter.org/thanksgiving

Madison Area Firefighter’s Charity Ball
Firefighters Local 311 is hosting its seventh annual charity ball for a night of dinner and dancing at Garver Feed Mill in Madison. Every year, Firefighters Local 311 hosts an event to support a local cause. This year, proceeds from ticket costs will help support Firefighters Local 311 charities and NextGen Responders Academy, a program to help high school students access Emergency Medical Responder and Fire Training. Nov. 19, 7 p.m.-1 a.m, madisonfirecharityball.com

Nonprofit Night Out & Volunteer Fair
Attend a volunteer fair hosted by Lodgic Everyday Community to learn how to get involved with more than a dozen local nonprofits. Some of the organizations in attendance include Big Brother Big Sister, The Literacy Network and Reach Dane. The fair is intended to support those who want to get involved but aren’t sure where to start. The free event will take place at 2801 Marshall Court in Madison. Nov. 14, 4pm-7pm, register via eventbrite.

Celia Hiorns is an editorial intern at Madison Magazine.

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