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Old 12-01-2012, 04:24 PM
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Christmastime Charities

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the prevalence of charities and the spirit of charitable giving that so many have. Everyone know about the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots, but what are your favorite charities that might be local or have an unusual mission? Here are my favorities

Charity Newsies: a 105 year old organization here in Franklin County, Ohio (the 2nd largest in Ohio and home of Columbus) was formed when some local businessmen saw a newsboy selling papers on a frigid evening. They took of the task of selling the boy's papers to get him out of the cold. The mission of the Newsies is to provide new clothing to school age children, having clothed over 500,000 kids in their history with a current average of over 13,000 kids clothed per year. Our largest fundraiser is on the 2nd Saturday in December when we take to the streets, rain, snow or shine, and continue of tradition of selling newspapers with 100% of the proceeds going to the charitable cause.

White Christmas Food Program This is an effort of local schools and churches in our area in which nonperishable food is donated by the groups and distributed (along with a fresh chicken, eggs, etc) a few days before Christmas to several hundred families in need. All the sorting, boxing, and distribution of the food is done by any volunteer who shows up. For the past several years I've taken our oldest daughter to help, even before she could read the food labels, so that she can develop her own sense of giving.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:49 PM
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Back home,My Nephew always hosts a Toys for Tots Christmas party.To get in all ya do is bring a new,un-wrapped gift.I sure do miss that.Always alotta fun.
We always put money in the pots for local charities here.They used to have the Angel Tree down here,but I haven't seen it this Year.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:05 PM
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Our church does a Christmas gifts for the homeless program that focuses on warm clothing. We support a number of shelters and organizations that reach out to those less fortunate,. My partner and I have coordinated the effort for 15 years. This year we have retired. Not to worry however, because another volunteer worked with us as a trainee and has now "picked up the batton" and we are continuing to contribute gifts and time to the effort.

It is a real eye opener to work on such a project. The people who run these shelters and organizations are amazing. They all could make considerably more money elsewhere but they truly believe in what they are doing. They also see how the number of those in need--many of whom are what are now called working poor--continues to increase every year and they do not have the resources to help all of those who need it. I spite of it all they maintain a positive attitude and are very grateful for any assistance they recieve. I would encourage anyone who has the time to get involved in this type of program. Not only will you see that something must be done about the increasing poverty in the richest nation on the planet but you will meet some truly inspirational people.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:33 PM
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The church where I work partners with a couple of other area churches to do something called "Jubilee Christmas".

The families chosen to participate are invited to "shop" for their children at our event. The parents are invited to choose one $35 gift, one $25 gift and one $15 gift for each of their children. The shopping areas are broken down by age and gender and are OVERFLOWING with toys. No one is ever "stuck" choosing something that no one else wanted.

The parents are paired with a volunteer who carries the gifts they've chosen and helps them through the process - they will even provide a ride if the family doesn't have transportation.

Once they have chosen their gifts they move to the wrapping station where any needed batteries are provided and the gifts are wrapped so the parents don't even have to worry about buying wrapping paper.

They are also given two stocking stuffers for each child along with gift certificates for a local grocery store so they can buy food they need for Christmas dinner.

It's an awesome way to give back at Christmas time!
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