As you reflect this holiday season on what to give to those you love, it is also a good idea to reflect on how you can give back to those in need. Dec. 5 is International Volunteer Day. Volunteering is an opportunity to serve and give compassion and care to others.

If the gift of time is not something you can give this year, there are other ways to volunteer, one way is to build meal gift baskets for those who may not be able to have a traditional gathering. Be mindful of the items such as cake mix, which will need eggs and milk which are rarely found at the local food bank.

Some items to consider donating are:

  • Eggs
  • Milk (powdered milk)
  • Cheese
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Canned vegetables
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Crackers
  • Dried spices
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice

Aside from food and baked goods, you can also give back to your community by donating gently used or new winter apparel to families in need. Some hospitals may have clothing closets that accept donations to give to patients who come in for trauma where their clothes have to be removed for treatment. Instead of sending the patient out in scrubs, they can send them home in weather appropriate clothing.

If you’re not sure what to give or just don’t have the time to go through your closet, you can always make a monetary donation to your favorite charity or organization. Consider donating to UofL Health and UofL Health – Brown Cancer Center, a national leader in the development of technologies that activate patients’ immune systems against their cancers. Visit

Interested in becoming a volunteer with UofL Health? Consider volunteering for UofL Health – UofL Hospital and Brown Cancer Center. To learn more information, visit

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UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with seven hospitals, four medical centers, nearly 200 physician practice locations and more than 1,000 providers in Louisville and the surrounding counties, including southern Indiana, with additional access to UofL Health through a partnership with Carroll County Memorial Hospital. With more than 12,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission—one purpose—delivering patient-centered care to each and every patient—each and every day.

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