Calendar of Caring

holiday boy image

Welcome to  United Way 2-1-1’s Holiday Calendar of Caring. Here you will find many great resources that we’ve hand-selected for this holiday season. Each weekday from December 1 until December 24, United Way 2-1-1 is going to provide you a new service opportunity, tip for having a more frugal holiday, or free event happening near Salt Lake City. If you want to play along, then like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. If, however, you can’t wait for a new surprise each day then you can look at our resources now! Many organizations find themselves in great need for volunteers this time of year. Check out the service opportunities through the United Way 2-1-1 Volunteer Center United Way 2-1-1 Volunteer Center.

If you, your family, or someone you know is in need this holiday season, then we encourage you to use United Way 2-1-1’s online resources or call us and speak to one of our information specialists. Let us connect you to the resources that will help you have a happy holiday!

Red: Nifty Gift Ideas  |  Green: Good Holiday Ideas  |   Gold: Volunteer Opportunities

Monday Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday 


Have you decided to make this a holiday with less clutter?

Meet with your family over dinner or an activity and talk about your choices. Make sure everyone understands that there is still going to be plenty to look forward to this year! This season is going to be filled with memories and affection that will last much longer than material goods.


Catholic Community Services

Donations: Gift of the Drummer: Start a holiday tradition with your family, friends or company and sponsor refugee and low-income children with holiday presents this year. The items needed are: diapers (all sizes), coats, sweat shirts, sweaters, under garments, gift certificates (shoes, clothes, etc.), gloves, hats, scarves, educational toys and/gifts without batteries, toiletries, and set of twin sheets. Simply go shopping and then bring the unwrapped gifts to CCS for distribution.

Donations will be accepted from December 1 - December 5.

To participate in the program and be assigned a child today, email your contact info to, or visit our website for more details.

Contact: Janet Healy, 801.428.1242 (


Red Butte Garden Holiday Open House

This December, Red Butte Garden will be holding its "14th Annual Holiday Open House." The Garden will host a Christmas market, wreath-making classes, and several local artisans at NO COST! Is there a better phrase this time of year than, “free hot chocolate or hot cider”?

December 5 and 6: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Lend a hand with the Salvation Army

Donations: Clothing and gifts for our Angel Tree and Golden Tree program.

Volunteers: We need volunteers throughout November and December to help with the Angel Tree and Bell Ringing Programs. Tasks vary and schedules are flexible. This opportunity is fun and rewarding as you will be working directly with the public that will be receiving the assistance.

Contact: Vickie Young, 801.988.4204 x 2106 (


Larger than Life Gingerbread Houses

Take the family on a fun adventure for free. The Gingerbread House Display at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake is one of the most impressive and scrumptious of the season and there is no cost to see them! This life-size display remains in the ballroom corridor until New Year’s Eve.

Monday - Friday: 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


The Governor's Mansion is dressed up for the holidays!

This is perhaps the best-kept holiday secret in Utah. You’ll rarely see decorations like those at the Governor’s Mansion when it is all dressed up for the holidays. Come enjoy the splendor of this beautiful home on a FREE guided tour, provided by volunteers of the Utah Heritage Foundation.

December 1 - 17th

Tuesdays and Thursdays

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Mansion Location:

603 East South Temple Downtown Salt Lake City

Parking: Available East of the Governor’s Mansion behind the Utah Arts Council Building. The lot is accessible from H Street.


Call 801.538.1005


Holiday Fun at Thanksgiving Point

Thanksgiving Point is helping care for a couple of Santa’s reindeer before their big day. Stop by the “Water Tower Plaza” to meet them! The reindeer will be staying there from Friday, November 27 - Wednesday, December 23.

Thanksgiving Point also offers many other holiday activities, so stop by with your family to enjoy the holiday lights and sip hot chocolate. On Saturday, December 19 the visit with Santa at the “Water Tower Plaza” is FREE!   


Elf Displays & Scavenger Hunt at Gardner Village

Santa’s little helpers are back at Gardner Village as they prepare for the Christmas season. Enjoy our fun-filled displays and participate in our Elf Scavenger Hunt. Grab your camera and bring your kids as you make memories with the magical elves of Gardner Village!

December 1 - December 24

Monday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.


Christmas Carol Sing-a-long 

The Larry H. Miller family hosts an annual Christmas Carole Sing-Along! It’s a special evening filled with beautiful music and entertainment for the Salt Lake community. It will be held at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The concert provides an opportunity to spend time with loved ones while enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays in downtown Salt Lake City. Audience members are provided with printed programs with song lyrics and are encouraged to sing-along. The concert is FREE and open to the general public.

Monday, December 14
Doors open
: 5:30 p.m.
Event starts: 7:00 p.m.


Call 801-563-4100 or email


UAID Utah Association for Intellectual Disabilities

Ongoing activities are available throughout the holidays where groups or individuals can go spend two hours teaching our participants arts, crafts, playing games, or even watching movies.

This season you can help

The Holiday Gift Box Program: Adopt an ornament and help low-income individuals with intellectual disabilities celebrate the magic of the holidays! The “Holiday Gift Box” goal this year is 1,000 individuals! Adopt an ornament online at

Donate: Arts & craft supplies, hygiene products, towels, bedding, gift certificates, movie passes, restaurant certificates, gloves, underwear & socks.

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed to help with decorating, gift wrapping, and event preparation. Individuals, families & groups are welcome. UAID serves the entire state of Utah, including the Reservations throughout the state. Volunteers are needed to help make sure all participants receive gifts.


Call 385.887.4405


Cathedral of the Madeleine Christmas Concerts

The Cathedral of the Madeleine continues its tradition of exemplary Christmas concerts. Come hear old and new songs of the season, as well as some forgotten greats. Admission is free but limited to those ages 6 and older.

The “Christmas Carol Service” takes place:

December 17 - 18: 8:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve: 4:00 p.m.

A “Ceremony of Carols” takes place:

December 22 - 23: 12:15 p.m.


Turn City Center for the Arts

Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to lead music, visual arts, theater, writing, or dance classes. TURN enjoys hosting performances from; day programs from other areas. They come to our program to enjoy the performance with us. Around the holidays, we would love to have holiday-themed performances! Christmas carolers (secular-music only), dancers who incorporate holiday music, and more would be appreciated.  Anyone 18+ is welcome.

Contact: Allison Michel, 801.924.0347 (


"Excellence in the Community" Family Fun at the Gallivan Center

Enjoy a Free Concert today! The Gallivan Center is a green and gracious ‘living room’ for downtown. The venue hosts a series of rousing concerts, bringing together audiences of all ages. The folks at "Excellence in the Community" are key players in bringing prominent Utah artists to the venue year-round. The Gallivan Center has hosted the likes of jazz quintet, Blue Haiku, Lark & Spur and the Utah Symphony.

Thursday, December 17: 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.


Wrap It!

Let’s face it; the best part of the holidays is unwrapping presents. So wrap everything! A single candy bar, event tickets, gift cards, or your own hand-made items; big or small, it doesn’t matter what it is. Wrap it!


Giving around the Globe

Donate/Volunteer: Create personal hygiene kits containing shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, and dental floss in quart-sized zipper plastic bags. Prepare and sort medical supplies by sorting, packaging and preparing items for shipment.

Fall/Winter volunteer hours:

Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Contact: Liz Fuller, 801.977.0444 (


Team Up with National Ability Center

Volunteer Ski & Snowboard Program

Volunteers: Volunteering at the National Ability Center means you will help provide life-changing activities to people of all abilities. Many volunteer roles are available to suit your passion, abilities, and recreational interests. This great opportunity is in Park City, where you will be able to share your talents and take part in an activity you love. To learn more about volunteering, attend a general volunteer orientation.

Volunteer orientations:

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Board Room at the National Ability Center.

Check out the online calendar to find an upcoming volunteer orientation date or other training opportunities. Volunteer training is required to volunteer in programs. It is mandatory to RSVP to any training with the volunteer coordinator

Contact: Heidi MacNaughton, 435.649.3991


Reindeer Games

Plan a Christmas morning game where the participants are rewarded with inexpensive prizes or treats instead of presents during a fun game can be great fun and make a great substitute for presents. Check out this site for several great ideas!


Make Holiday Dinners a Family Affair!

Instead of asking the adults to labor in the kitchen all day, why not get everyone involved? Plan recipes together! Pick out a special cookie or treat recipe with your kids and make them together. Make something you’ve never made before and watch as your family suddenly has something new to look forward to each year!