To communicate the opportunity to visit people in institutions and provide leadership to volunteers to do visits.
Each year, more than three million people spend their holidays in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, and other institutions. Many will not have visitors during the holidays because their relatives and friends are no longer living or their families have moved too far to visit. Founded in 1980, the Holiday Project brightens the lives of institutionalized people by recruiting visitors who want to volunteer during the holidays. The organization is led by one employee, a part-time executive director, and a volunteer board of directors.
In thirty-one cities across the United States, the Holiday Project organizes visitors by coordinating with selected institutions, training team leaders, and recruiting volunteers. The teams spend at least a few hours at each institution to make sure residents understand that people want to visit them during the holidays.
The Holiday Project also encourages youth to become volunteers. It organizes school classes to make greeting cards and delivers them to residents in institutions. Its Adopt-A-Home project helps teachers and others who work with children and adolescents organize visits to nursing homes. Potential participants can sign up at the Holiday Project's Web site to receive a kit to get started on their adoption project.
Last year, the Holiday Project posted its volunteer opportunities on the Web site, which generated more than 650 inquiries to visit institutions. The group hopes to continue attracting new visitors online and has encouraged its local branches to register their visits at the site.
The Web site of the Holiday Project offers a number of ways to , including visiting, organizing volunteer visitor teams, and wrapping gifts, and provides for setting up and managing visits. The site also connects potential volunteers with local leaders through its , which has contact information for team leaders across the U.S.
Funds to operate the Holiday Project are raised at the local level and are supplemented by several national fundraising events. The project's Web site includes instructions for making a to the organization.