‘Tis the Season of Generosity
The giving season this year presented a need for innovation as nonprofits were forced to cancel in-person events and work with limited numbers of volunteers. There is, however, a greater than ever need for gifts of toys, food, clothing and cash. Explore what your favorite charity is doing to deliver comfort and joy in 2020 by following Facebook and Instagram pages.
Online shopping links on many nonprofit websites make short work of discovering needs and making dreams come true for kids, families and furry
friends — at the click of a button.
Christmas is for Children
The Southlake chapter of the national nonprofit invites everyone to help them create as many happy memories as possible by participating in their annual food and toy drive. Wish fulfillment is trifold: provide children with something that is on their wish list, something that they need, and something educational. A bonus is a benefit raffle for a chance to have Santa visit your home on Christmas Eve and other prizes. Purchase tickets at go.rallyup.com/cifc-southlakeraffle2020; drawing is Dec. 14.
Website christmasisforchildren.org; facebook.com/cifcsouthlake
To donate Gift cards to stores such as Target or Walmart are always welcome; drop cards, a new, unwrapped toy or clothing items for any age group, and/or nonperishable food items (assemble a food bag for about $20) to designated fire stations or the CIFC shop at Park Village, 1065 E. Southlake Blvd. Make a cash donation on your phone; text GivejoyCIFC to 855-202-2100 to get a link to donate.
DFW Toys for Tots
The sighting of the ubiquitous drop boxes has long signaled the beginning of the gifting season. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots is a nationwide program dedicated to collecting new, unwrapped toys each year for distribution as Christmas gifts to needy children, newborns to 14-year-olds. Last year, the DFW Toys for Tots campaign distributed 229,207 toys in North Texas, but those interested in other needs should note that the organization also appreciates donations of office supplies, gas cards and prepaid cellphones. This year, due to the pandemic, the local chapter is offering virtual shopping.
To donate Visit the virtual store at amazon.com. All toys purchased online will be delivered directly to the local campaign warehouse. Visit the Toys for Tots website for collection-site locations.
GRACE Christmas Cottage
The Grapevine relief agency that provides food, clothing and financial assistance to those struggling to make ends meet accepts and distributes donations all year but, during the holiday season, the nonprofit allows clients to “shop” at the Christmas Cottage. In an average year, GRACE provides new, unwrapped gifts, housewares and small appliances to 2,700 families; this year, due to the pandemic, the nonprofit expects to serve many more. Gift cards make great donations for teens, and kitchenwares, towel sets and dishes are welcome family gifts. And, because each family that shops the Christmas Cottage is given wrapping paper, tape and bows, those items are valued donations, too.
Website gracegrapevine.org; email Heather DeMoss at email@example.com for information
To donate Drop items at Donation Station, 112 N. Scribner St., Grapevine. Visit the website and click on the Seasonal Programs tab to find a link to shop the Walmart Wish List.
SafeHaven: Santa’s Sack + Adopt-a-Family
The annual toy drive has been shaken up this year, but there is a new way to support SafeHaven of Tarrant County’s two Christmas programs, Santa’s Sack and Adopt-a-Family. To bring holiday cheer to families striving to escape domestic violence, SafeHaven has created an Amazon Wish List that makes short work of shopping to support those in need. And to ensure the event is still fun for recipients, the nonprofit sets up Santa’s Sack stores where moms and kids in transitional housing and emergency shelters can “shop” the selections of goodies. Donations designated for the Adopt-a-Family program are given directly to selected families.
Website safehaventc.org; contact Lindsay Edwards via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate Visit the website through Christmas Eve and click the Events tab to access the Amazon shopping link, select gifts and complete the purchase of presents to be delivered to SafeHaven.
WFAA Santa’s Helpers
It’s the 51st year that WFAA heads up their annual collection of holiday toys for children in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. This year’s drive hopes to beat last year’s record of providing gifts to more than 50,000 kids in the four-county area. New, unwrapped toys for infants through teens may be dropped off at any sponsor’s location including Albertsons, Tom Thumb and Don Davis Auto Group through Dec. 15.
To donate Drive-thru events are scheduled throughout December in Arlington, Fort Worth and McKinney, with the
Dec. 17 finale at the WFAA studios in Dallas. Check the website for all drop-off locations and drive-thru events. Shop virtually via the QR code or look for WFAA Santa’s Helpers 2020 on amazon.com.
Don’t forget our furry friends
Local animal shelters and rescues have been hit hard by the pandemic, too. While numbers of adoptions and those fostering cats and dogs were up in the spring, intake of unwanted and stray pets is a constant. Adoption events, too, were put on hold. Gifts of bedding and blankets and good quality food are needed; many shelters have an Amazon Wish List with specifics such as peanut butter used to stuff enrichment toys, supplements for kittens and puppies, and more. Cash, of course, always is appreciated.
- Don’t Forget to Feed Me The nonprofit partners with area agencies to ensure that no one has to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their pet; dontforgettofeedme.org.
- Grapevine Animal Services Although they remain in temporary quarters as they prepare to move into a new building, they are still accepting donations. Go to animalservices.grapevinetexas.gov for information.
- The Humane Society of North Texas With locations in Fort Worth and Keller, HSNT is one of the largest shelters in North Texas. Check out all the needs (yes, there’s an Amazon Wish List link) at hsnt.org.
- Humane Tomorrow Based in Argyle, this unique organization works with shelters around the state to give unwanted animals a second chance. HT also stresses education and outreach along with a financial assistance program. Go to humanetomorrow.org to learn more.
There is no shortage of ways to make the season bright for the less fortunate. Here are a few ideas to get you started on spreading Christmas cheer your way:
- DFW USO strives to lift the spirits of traveling military members and families with everything from snacks to fleece blankets at Gate B57 at DFW International Airport. Click on the Get Involved tab at dfw.uso.org to find a list of in-kind donation needs; to make an appointment for a drop-off at a center close to you, call 972-973-7708.
- North Texas Food Bank Gifts made this holiday season are matched, allowing the agency to double the number of meals they provide for the hungry. Go to ntfb.org and click Give Now.
- Presbyterian Night Shelter This year’s Home for the Holidays fundraiser has gone virtual. Find out how to attend the Dec. 4 livestream event, buy raffle tickets or participate in the auction at e.givesmart.com/events/dsw. And visit journeyhome.org any day to donate to help the homeless.
- Salvation Army This year, a virtual Angel Tree and drive-thru drop-off spots make contact-free donations to children ages 14 and younger easy. See salvationarmyntx.org and click on the Angel Tree tab.
- Tarrant Area Food Bank TAFB provided access to 60 million nutritious meals in 2020. Find tools to start your own food drive or fight hunger all year long by signing up for the Direct Feed program to set up automatic donations as often as you wish to make them. Visit tafb.org for more information.