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California Needs Volunteers: How You Can Help

SACRAMENTO (CBS) - The holidays have been dubbed the, giving season -- a time to give back to those who need it.

In Sacramento, the needs of Afghan refugees are only growing.  While home goods, clothes, and pantry staples are important, one organization needs help to bring holiday joy to refugee children.

Volunteers are needed in California to respond to the demand for services at food banks and beyond. What started during the pandemic, a 70% drop-off of volunteers at food banks statewide, continues to be a need for nonprofits that rely on volunteer help to run.

"We've seen the demand at food banks skyrocket, we've seen the need for people to donate blood, we've seen the need for people to check on their neighbors significantly. We're seeing a need for people all over the state," said Josh Fryday, Chief Service Officer for the State of California.

Fryday said 'Californians for All' has helped fill in the need for volunteers, but more are needed especially heading into the holiday season.

To volunteer in California, Fryday said, the best way to find opportunities is online.

'Californians for All' was created to encourage more volunteerism statewide.

Other nonprofits, like Opening Doors Inc., rely on donations to fulfill their mission. Recently, that mission has included thousands of Afghan Refugees who fled Afghanistan because of the Taliban, to find safety.

Alongside the organization's mission of supplying 'welcome kits' to refugees that include necessities for their homes and clothing, the holidays have created a new need.

"Having a toy or something special to bring them a bit of joy is going to go a long way in making them feel welcome in their new communities," said Opening Door CEO Jessie Tientcheu.

Tientcheu said gifts can be brought to specific locations, listed online at Opening Doors, or volunteers can contact the organization directly to set up a pickup.

The Opening Doors gifting program lasts through the end of the year.

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