Make a Difference: Toy drive, blood drives, bell-ringing opportunities

Volunteer and donation opportunities.

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Memorial Blood Centers is calling all eligible blood and platelet donors to step up and help save lives. The need for blood is constant, but the supply isn’t. Founded by the community, for the community, donors with Memorial Blood Centers help supply nearly 40 local hospitals and more than a dozen air ambulance bases. All donors will be entered to win a 55-inch TV and daily drawings for $25 streaming gift cards through Dec. 31. We are dangerously low on all blood types at this time. Help hospital patients in need by scheduling an appointment at or by calling 888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253).

Second Harvest Food Shelf is seeking volunteers to help in the food shelf. Shifts are 8-11 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. You must be able to lift and must enjoy working with people. A firm commitment to the chosen shift is very important. Email Sandy at if you want to help out.

The Duluth Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to ring the bells. Donations made to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles at 13 area Super One stores will be matched now through Dec. 24, up to $50,000 thanks to a generous challenge from Miner’s Incorporated, owner of Super One Foods.

To volunteer, go to or call the Duluth Salvation Army at 218-722-7934. These are the numbers as of Dec. 13:

Red Kettles


  • Dollar amount raised: $107,161.62
  • Goal for kettles: $220,000
  • Remaining amount to meet goal: $112,838.38
  • Hours filled by volunteers: 2,743
  • Total volunteer hours for the season: 6,030
  • Hours remaining to be filled by volunteers: 864
  • New ringers in 2021: 270
  • First day of kettles: Nov. 13
  • Last day of kettles: Dec. 24
  • Number of kettle locations: 18 (11 are inside)


  • Food – 10,163 pounds
  • Toys – 1,643

Last year same time (Dec. 7, 2020)

  • Food – 9,789 pounds
  • Toys – 1,590

American Red Cross seeks blood donations. To make an appointment or for more information, download the Red Cross blood donor app, visit , call 800-733-2767 or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Happy Tails Animal Hospital is helping three animal rescues with fundraising. During December, it will match up to $1,000 of donations received for the three rescues it serves: Northern Lakes, PJ's and Warm Fuzzies Animal Rescue Inc. You can designate a rescue of your choice. Mail, call in or drop off your donation to 1327 Banks Ave., Superior. Hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 715-718-2130 or go to .

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank needs 10-12 volunteers who can pick up food from local convenience stores, retailers, restaurants/caterers and deliver it to local food shelves, on-site meal programs or their food bank. This opportunity is available nearly every day of the week throughout Duluth, Superior and surrounding communities. Volunteers need to be reliable, able to stand, lift, bend and carry up to 50 pounds. This opportunity does require a valid driver’s license, proof of acceptable insurance limits and a clean, reliable vehicle. Contact Andrew Haukebo, volunteer and development coordinator, at 218-336-2303.

AEOA's Central Kitchen in Duluth needs volunteers to help in the kitchen, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call Kirsten at 218-409-5991 if interested.

Duluth Art Institute seeks docent volunteers for the weekends. Docents supervise the galleries to ensure visitors and the artwork are safe. The Duluth Art Institute gathers volunteer docents during special events when there are more visitors expected than the average day. Call Liz at 218-723-1310 or email for more details.

AEOA's Meals on Wheels program needs a volunteer driver on Mondays for the Morgan Park neighborhood in Duluth. Meals are picked up at the Central Kitchen in the Lincoln Park neighborhood between 9:30-10 a.m. with an approximate delivery time of about 90 minutes. During the coronavirus pandemic, this service has become more important than ever. Call Kirsten at 218-409-5991.


Ecumen Lakeshore, 4002 London Road, Duluth, is seeking drivers for its home-delivered meals program. Call Jana at 218-625-7822 or email .

Do you like to read aloud? The Lighthouse Center for Vital Living needs volunteers who will read the newspaper once a month. Reading takes place at the Lighthouse in a recording booth that is COVID-19 safe. To learn more, email Michelle at .

Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospice is seeking caring and compassionate people who have a listening heart and may have talents, skills, hobbies or interests to share. Essentia Health Duluth Hospice serves people at Solvay Hospice House, and within a 75-mile radius area including the communities of Silver Bay, Superior, Solon Springs, Sandstone and Saginaw. For more information on volunteer training, call Katie Neff Dawson 218-786-4020 or email . To volunteer in the Grand Rapids area, call Robbie Radaich at 218-327-8780. In the Virginia area, call Katie Bird at 218-749-7976.

AARP Tax-Aide Program seeks volunteers in Lake County and Itasca County for the 2021 tax season. For Lake County; volunteers do not need to be an AARP member or retiree and do not have to have a background in tax preparation to participate. Tax-Aide volunteers receive free tax training. Also needed are district manager and communication coordinator positions in Lake County. These do not have to be filled with trained tax preparers, but have the important role of managing the local program. Greeters who assist those who come to the sites are also needed. To help, call Jerry at 218-595-0268 or email . For Itasca County; they are looking for one to two people for the following positions: client facilitator and tax counselor. If you are interested in either of the positions in Itasca County, or if you would like more information (with no obligation), contact Tax Aide at 218-245-9202 or email , or contact ElderCircle at or 218-999-9233 and leave your contact information.

Second Harvest Northern Food Bank seeks 9-12 volunteers who can help distribute BackPack Program food to children experiencing weekend hunger in Duluth schools. Volunteers pick up food from its facility and deliver it to a Duluth school twice each month (the first and third Wednesday, 9:30-11:30 a.m. pickup). Volunteers need to be able to stand, lift, bend and carry up to 50 pounds. This opportunity requires a valid driver’s license, proof of acceptable insurance limits and a clean, reliable vehicle. Contact Andrew Haukebo, volunteer and development coordinator, at 218-336-2303.

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