This holiday season, many people still feel the pinch from tough economic times. When giving time or money becomes more difficult, even a little bit can mean a lot to someone else. Although community giving can happen any time of year, the holidays provide an opportunity or a reminder for us think a little less about ourselves and more about others. Make a plan how to help now or in the New Year. Include your children in the planning process. Teaching our children to help others is a wonderful gift to share.
Our friends, Jason and Ilira at Rag and Bone Bindery have helped out the hungry at Crossroads in the past by making 250 bagged lunches (pictured) with their daughter. If you and your family are looking for ways to give, here is a list below of charitable community places seeking holiday donations or volunteers this holiday season. If you would like to be added to the list, please supply your information in the comments section below.
AIDS Care Ocean State
This agency is looking for volunteers willing to donate $50 to adopt a family for the holiday. Checks made payable to ACOS can be sent to ACOS, 18 Parkis Ave., Providence, RI 02907. Donate accepted online.
Camp Street Community Ministries
This group seeks toys, books, games, socks and tights for children and toiletries, stationary and trinkets for adults. They also need winter clothing and coats for all ages. Donations should be dropped off at 194 Camp St., Providence. Call first for delivery times. Monetary donations may be sent to Camp Street Community Ministries, 194 Camp St., Providence, RI 02906. Call (401) 421-5474
Child and Family
Children’s Holiday Hope Fund
A monetary donation to this fund, a collaboration between The Providence Journal and the Pawtucket-based Hasbro Inc., will help provide hats and mittens to children, ages one through 12, who receive services from the state. Hasbro also contributes games and toys as part of the Holiday Hope Fund. A check or money order should be made payable to the Children’s Holiday Hope Fund and sent to The Providence Journal, c/o the Children’s Holiday Hope Fund, 75 Fountain St., Providence, RI 02902.
Badger Realty’s Operation Blue Bag is in need of non-perishable food items, new toys, coats and mittens for distribution to needy families on Dec. 12. Bags can be picked up at 459 Central Ave., Pawtucket, and returned between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily through Dec. 11. Those who drop off a new toy or an $8 donation will have their photo taken with Santa. Call 495-4756.
The Cumberland Happy Basket Program
This program seeks canned and/or packaged foods, money for food and gift certificates for turkeys for food baskets and toys and new clothing for children. Donations may be dropped off at the Cumberland Senior Center, 1464 Diamond Hill Rd., Cumberland, RI 02864. Cash donations may be sent to The Happy Basket Program, P.O. Box 7611, Cumberland, RI 02864. Call John Johnson at 487-1282 or Lee Drury at (401) 334-2555.
Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale
This emergency food pantry seeks canned vegetables, pineapple, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy mix, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, boxes of quick bread and pie crust mix. Donations must be received by Dec. 11. They also seek gifts and gift cards for children and the elderly. Call (401) 284-0303 to schedule a drop off date and time.
Office of Community Services and Catholic Charities-Diocese of Providence
This organization seeks donations of new winter clothing, retail gift and gas cards to assist families during the holiday season at its satellite offices. Call Jim Jahnz at 421-7833.
Operation Holiday Cheer
Lt. Gov. Roberts has launched the 8th annual campaign to provide holiday care packages for National Guard troops stationed overseas. Donations to pay postage and “wish list” items for 600 packages will be accepted Dec. 11 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the North Main St. Armory in Providence.
View the troops’ wish list: www.ltgov.ri.gov/ohc/
Rhode Island Foster Parents Association
This agency is looking for monetary donations and/or groups to “adopt” a group home to provide gifts for teens in DCYF care. Checks made payable to RIFPA can be sent to Holiday Gifts for Teens, 55 South Brow St., East Providence, RI 02914, or donate online at www.rifpa.org. Call Abby Klieman at 438-3900, ext110, or e-mail aby.klieman @rifpa.org.
This residential program for women recovering from substance abuse and their children seeks toys, clothing for women and children, grocery certificates and cash donations as well as volunteers willing to “adopt” a family for the holiday season. The program is at 80 East St., Cranston, RI 02920. Call Diana Inman at (401) 463-6001 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Judy’s Kindness Kitchen
Judy’s Kindness Kitchen is a Sunday soup kitchen. Food is prepared at Congregation Beth Sholom on the East Side of Providence and is served at Crossroads Rhode Island in downtown Providence. Children ages 8-12 can also participate in the children’s program which runs every Sunday 9:30-10:30. With the assistance of a children’s supervisor, the children make and pack sandwiches.
NEED: Volunteers for an hour or two on Sunday mornings in December and more needed for Sundays in 2011.
HOW: Contact David Mandelbaum at David_Mandelbaum@brown.edu
Located at Congregation Beth Sholom, 275 Camp Street, Providence RI.
Project Cover Up
New and gently used hats, gloves and coats for adults as well as new blankets can be dropped off at Rhode Island Donation Exchange, 20 River Ave., Providence. Call 226-3537 to arrange a pickup.
Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
This organization is looking for donations to help fund emergency winter shelter for the homeless. Donate online at www.rihomeless.org/wintershelter.
The Samaritans of Rhode Island
This free suicide prevention hotline/listening line seeks monetary donations. Make them on-line at www.samaritansri.org or mail them to P.O. Box 9086, Providence RI 02940. You can also support them by registering them at GoodShop.com and shopping at the more than 50 major online retailers who will then donate up to 30% of your purchase amount to their cause. Emergency? call 911. Need to talk? Call (401) 272-4044 or 1 (800) 365-4044.
Photo credit: Jason Thompson of Rag & Bone Bindery