The greatest gift you can give yourself this season might be the joy of making others feel loved and cared for during the holidays. Here are some area nonprofits and businesses providing opportunities to give back.
While Thanksgiving and Christmas are a time of joy for many families, they bring stress and anxiety for others who cannot afford a large meal or gifts for their children. Unforeseen circumstances — such as a car accident, illness or job loss — can throw family budgets into crisis mode. With its Holiday Caring program, SPAN makes the holidays merrier for these families, with help from the community.
“We thank all of the community members who have signed up and sponsored families for SPAN's Holiday Caring program,” said Michele Sabean, SPAN’s director of development. “We have a few more families in need of sponsors for Christmas. If you are interested, please contact us at 410-647-0889 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.”
Anyone may sign up to provide a list of items for the holiday meal, and/or gifts for children. For children ages 12 and under, SPAN suggests spending $50 on clothing, a game and/or small toy for each child. SPAN recommends $50 in gift cards for teens. Another option is to send SPAN a tax-deductible donation or gift cards.
“We also gladly welcome food and toiletry donations and tax-deductible financial contributions for our regular client assistance of food and emergency financial assistance,” Sabean said. “Some items currently on our wish list are potatoes, rice, syrup, pancake mix, cake and cookie mixes, vegetable oil, laundry detergent and shampoo.”
Walk the Walk Foundation
The Millersville-based Walk the Walk Foundation is looking for sponsors who can purchase four to six gifts for a child. Walk the Walk will provide the children’s names, sizes, interests and general needs. Also, the group welcomes help from anyone who can purchase a bike and helmet for a child or Walk the Walk can purchase the items for a $150 donation.
To be a sponsor or to donate a bike and helmet, email email@example.com.
Arundel Federal Savings Bank
Arundel Federal is collecting new, unwrapped toys from now through December 17 at its Severna Park, Annapolis and Glen Burnie branches for Toys for Tots. The Pasadena and Brooklyn branches are collecting for the South Baltimore Network.
The toy drive is open to all: customers, employees and everyone in the community who wishes to donate.
“This is our 18th year rallying the support of our customers, employees and the public to donate unwrapped toys for those in our area in need,” said Tom Herpel, Arundel Federal’s president and CEO. “Knowing how stressful the holidays can be for these children and their families, it is truly a holiday miracle. Thank you to everyone for making the holidays bright for local children in need.”
Landmark Roofing will also collect new, unwrapped items for Toys for Tots. The company will share more details in the coming weeks.
The David Orso Team Of Compass Real Estate
David Orso is partnering with the EllaStrong Foundation and will have a toy collection box at his office at 8 Evergreen Road in Severna Park. Collection dates are November 22 through December 20 between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Toys should be new and unwrapped, and they will be distributed to Children’s National Hospital, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Anne Arundel Medical Center and Believe In Tomorrow.
Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy
Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy is partnering with Anne Arundel County businesses for a coat drive to help the homeless population. Integrated Financial Solutions, located at 529 Benfield Road, Suite 250, in Severna Park, is one of the drop-off locations. Now through December 17, anyone can donate winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, thermals and sweaters from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday.
A Call For Coats
Admiral Cleaners is asking customers to warm up someone’s winter by donating gently used or outgrown coats to the office at 40 West McKinsey Road in Severna Park.
During the holidays, the Salvation Army needs help in two areas: bell ringers and support for the Angel Tree program. The Salvation Army Angel Tree program provides Christmas gifts for thousands of children across the country each year. Once a child or senior adult has been registered and accepted as an “angel,” their Christmas wish list is shared with donors in the community who also purchase new clothing and toy gifts. Gifts are distributed to families in need, who are then able to place their gifts under their family Christmas tree.
Volunteers can also separate toys and pack Christmas bags for clients in need of support. Helpers are needed from November 29 to December 23, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Stay for an hour or for the entire duration. The office is located at 814 Light Street in Baltimore.
To become a bell ringer, contact the Salvation Army of Central Maryland’s volunteer and special events coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arnold community is supporting the Be a Santa to a Senior program for the 17th year. Between now and December 3, members of the community can be a “Santa” to a senior and fulfill a wish list of a local senior who may otherwise be overlooked during the holidays. Anyone can get involved, both with in-person tree locations and through Amazon, to help provide gifts for 200 seniors.
The gifts collected, which are often necessity items such as toiletries, clothing, and blankets, make a big impact and help area seniors combat the holiday blues.
“We’ve all experienced feelings of loneliness during the pandemic, and seniors are at a particularly high risk for isolation,” said Nick Konstant, owner of the Home Instead offices in Arnold and Ellicott City. “‘Be a Santa to a Senior’ shows the older adults in our community that they are valued and thought of during the holidays.”
Members of the community can visit www.beasantatoasenior.com and enter their zip code to view wish lists for local seniors on Amazon Business now through December 3. A personalized greeting can be included with the gift which will be shipped to Home Instead, where it will be safely delivered to the senior.
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