Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday. The mad dash can get overwhelming. That's why we're excited about the first-ever #GivingTuesday tomorrow, marking the beginning of the volunteer season. New York’s 92nd Street Y gets credit as the catalyst and incubator of this nationwide movement that encourages people to think about ways to give back—whether you're supporting a charity of choice, making a donation to a cause, or helping out a neighbor in need.

GivingTuesday.org has plenty of ideas, but Seattle Met writer Cassandra Callan also put together a list of ways to give back locally. It's one small part of our December cover story, 67 Ways to Stay Sane This Winter. For your consideration:

If you've dreamed of being a carnie...
Work the Westlake Carousel Someone needs to take tickets, help kids board their trusty plastic steed, and eat powdered mini doughnuts. Volunteers may sign up on their own or in groups of six to 12; all proceeds from the holiday carousel benefit Treehouse, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of foster children. Thru Jan 1, morning, afternoon, and evening shifts available from 9am–10pm. 401 Pine St, treehouseforkids.org

If your green thumb is restless...
Bundle Up and Bust Holly Bushes Get out in the mist and help restore our parks. Green Seattle works to maintain 2,500 acres of forest within city limits and could always use a hand cleaning up, clearing invasive plants, and planting trees. BYO clippers and gloves if you have them. Year-round. greenseattle.org/events

If you play Santa’s elf at family parties...
Work a Pop-Up “Toy Store” The Lake City Holiday Project makes the season a little brighter for hundreds of underprivileged children each year. They’re looking for volunteers to staff Meadowbrook Community Care’s “toy store,” bagging gifts and notifying families for pickup. Dropoff donations are welcome as well. Thru Dec 17. 10005 32nd Ave NE, mc-care.org

If shopping is your bag...
Make Care Packages for the Homeless The local YWCA Angeline’s has been helping homeless women find shelter since 1987. So the ladies can put their best foot forward, the YWCA is asking for holiday bags filled with everyday items (toiletries, crossword puzzle books, snacks) and treats like bus passes. Personal touches are encouraged. Drop off bags at YWCA Opportunity Place’s main desk by Dec 6. 2024 Third Ave, ywcaworks.org

If you’re a top chef...
Join the Chicken Soup Brigade The Lifelong AIDS Alliance’s year-round food program brings nutritional meals to Seattleites living with HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Help by delivering groceries and home-cooked dinners door to door or take your culinary skills to the kitchen. Weekly shifts available. 1161 11th Ave N, llaa.org

If you buy your pet presents…
Be a Petparazzi Purrfect Pals, a cat-adoption center that provides foster and hospice care for homeless felines, is pairing with PetSmart to make your pet’s holiday dream come true: Photos. With. Santa. They need volunteers to play St. Nick, wrangle cats, and take pictures—$5 from each photo goes to the cause. Santas must be 18 or older. Dec 1–16, shifts Sat & Sun 10:30–4:30. Suit and photo equipment provided at participating PetSmart stores, email volunteers@purrfectpals.org

If you can’t plan ahead…
Try One-Stop Philanthropy Visit flashvolunteer.org, seattleworks.org, or unitedway.org for round-the-clock volunteer options.