Too many volunteers this holiday season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Too many volunteers this holiday season

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PASCO, Wash;--The holidays are of course a time of giving, and this year at the Union Gospel Mission in Pasco, calls came flooding in with people wanting to volunteer. In fact, so many people that not all could made the list.

"Most of our volunteers are already in the books by the end of October," Chaplin of Union Gospel Mission, Mark Heritage said. "By the time November shows up people start thinking, "hey, Christmas is coming," by then we're well on our way of getting everything filled."

With a 90 percent increase this year of people coming to the shelter in need compared to the last holiday season, Mark says he's thankful for people wanting to contribute and it's painful when he must turn so many away. He hopes his facilities will one day expand, allowing more people to volunteer and spread their kindness.

"People always have a heart, especially in this community. We thank them," he said.

Mark advised those looking to donate their time to plan several months in advance and reserve a spot for next year. Each Christmas the Union Gospel picks about 40 people to assist, and each non holiday they chose four or five.

--Hilary Whittier. If you have a story idea please email her at