Tired of getting caught up in a holiday shopping season that seems to be trampling through Black Friday and into Thanksgiving itself? This year, connect with your neighbors in need through area non-profits.
Several charitable organizations throughout North Texas have expressed needs from monetary and in-kind donations to volunteers. We've compiled a list of reputable non-profits with critical needs so you can start the season of giving in a truly generous way.
The Well Community (Oak Cliff): The Well Community is the only one of its kind in North Texas that helps provide critical support to adults with serious mental illness. Every Christmas, the Well passes out 120 $50 Target gift cards to their clients at their annual Christmas party.
“Each year we get to witness the wonderful beauty of members using some or all of their gift card to purchase Christmas gifts for family and friends they love,” said Jeff Alsup, the Well Community’s director. “They get the chance to both receive and give — both life-giving actions!”
To donate a gift card to the Well Community, order them online here and have them shipped to the Well Community office at 125 Sunset Ave., Dallas, TX, 75208. You can drop off gift cards at the office, too.
Allen Community Outreach (Allen): ACO was recently given notice from United Way Metropolitan Dallas that they were no longer going to receive funds from United Way. ACO’s mission is to provide families in their time of crisis with financial assistance. ACO’s annual campaign, “Christmas in July,” is just around the corner and they hope to raise additional funds to cover the loss of United Way’s support. ACO’s mission is to “Give where you live,” and a donation would help families keep a roof over their heads with rent and utilities assistance, prevent hunger, provide clothing and offer job counseling and referrals.
Make a donation through their secure website here, and for more info, visit here.
Chronic Disease Fund (Frisco): Chronic Disease Fund is an independent, non-profit charitable organization that helps patients with chronic disease, cancer and other life-altering conditions obtain the life-saving medications they need.
Chronic Disease Fund currently supports patients with more than two dozen different diseases, including many types of cancer (breast, colorectal, lung cancer, and multiple myeloma), multiple sclerosis, asthma, and macular degeneration, to name a few. They are limited in the financial support they can provide for each disease, as it is based on the funding they raise each year through grants and contributions.
Chronic Disease has set up a “Good Days” program where people can purchase jewelry to help give the patients a good day. When you purchase Good Days merchandise, 100% of the profit goes to sharing a good day with a chronic disease patient — and you get a little reminder of the good days you helped make possible. Buy something for yourself or for a friend.
Buy Good Days merchandise online here: http://www.gooddaysfromcdf.org/store
Minnie’s Food Pantry (Plano): Texas leads the nation in hunger. Minnie's Food Pantry is a non-profit agency that collects and distributes nutritious, free food to families that can't afford to buy groceries. One in four Texas children remains at risk of hunger. In America, 49 million people experience food insecurity, including 17 million children. Additionally, 55 percent of all childhood deaths worldwide are related to malnutrition. Collin County has more than 43,000 people living below the poverty line, and Minnie’s Food Pantry provides a free supply of emergency groceries once every two weeks per each household for residents who do not have enough food because they lack the resources to purchase it.
Want to donate to Minnie’s Food Pantry, but don’t have time to shop? A Virtual Food Drive is the easiest of all food drives. Find out how to organize one on Minnie’s Food Panty website.
The Samaritan Inn (McKinney): The Samaritan Inn was established in 1984 after community leaders joined together to address the issue of homelessness in Collin County. Twenty-five years late, The Samaritan Inn is still the largest homeless program in a county of over 762,000 residents. All services and support are provided free of charge through funding made from donations by churches, service groups and organizations, corporations and individuals.
Donations help make the difference in the lives of residents at The Samaritan Inn. Online, you can buy a wristband for $5 to help support the Inn. Visit the Samaritan Inn website to purchase a wristband here.
Human Rights Initiative (Dallas): Human Rights Initiative’s clients include victims of human rights abuses seeking asylum in the United States, victims of human trafficking, victims of spousal or child abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, men, women and children who are the victims of a violent crime, immigrant children who flee from violence and travel to the U.S. alone, or immigrant children that have been abused, abandoned or neglected by their parents in the U.S. HRI is the only agency in North Texas providing free legal services to indigent immigrant women and children victims of domestic violence and violent crime.
To help make the holidays a bit brighter for the children and adult clients of HRI, the organization is asking for Christmas decorations for their Dec. 2 party as well as toiletries, new or gently used clothing, hats, and warm coats for their clients. Unwrapped toys are also appreciated. To donate, contact ZAbdulqader@hrionline.org or drop them off at 2801 Swiss Ave, Dallas, TX, 75204. If you wish to make a monetary donation, HRI has a Paypal link on their homepage at hrionline.org.
Park Cities YMCA (University Park): The Park Cities YMCA Adventure Guides and Princesses conduct an annual bike drive to benefit the community of the Park South YMCA. They are looking to collect new bikes, helmets and locks for boys and girls ages 6 - 12. These bikes will be given to families of the Park South Y who apply to the Y for assistance for their family. Over the past 10 years over 250 new bikes have been donated to help make Christmas morning very special for these children
Please donate new bikes, helmets, locks at the Park Cities YMCA now through Dec. 12. All bikes must include a helmet and bike lock.
Monetary donations are also accepted. Contact Jeff Hull, Family Program Director for more information at email@example.com or 214-526-7293.
Best Buddies (Dallas): Best Buddies is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with IDD secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders and make lifelong friendships.
Best Buddies is a volunteer-based organization. Visit BestBuddies.org/volunteer to sign up, or call 214-979-1113 for more information.
Leukemia Texas (Dallas): LeukemiaTexas is dedicated to finding a much-needed cure for leukemia and to improving the lives of those affected by this disease. While monetary donations are accepted, you can also support LeukemiaTexas by donating your gently used clothing and household items. The donations are sold in bulk to local thrift stores and money received from the sale of goods is used to fund patient aid and research programs.
- Clothing (men, women, children, all types and sizes)
- Clothing accessories & jewelry
- Belts & purses
- Linens & bedding
- Household items (all types)
- Kitchenware & glassware
- Books- CDs- DVDs
- Toys, games, tools
- Small working electronics (all types)
Call the free donation pick-up service today at toll free 1-866-955-4589, or visit leukemiatexas.org for more information.
Dallas Challenge (Dallas): Dallas Challenge recognizes the severity of problems faced by today's youth and has worked since 1984 to help turn lives around one child and their family at a time. In collaboration with other organizations in the community, Dallas Challenge is able to provide immediate comprehensive and quality services to youth and families in need.
You can help by shopping online at OneCause.com/causes/dallas-challenge, where a percentage of your purchase will be donated to the organization
Monetary donations are also accepted. To donate by phone or e-mail, please contact Victoria Keifer at 972-566-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GRACE Christmas Cottage (Grapevine/Southlake): The GRACE Christmas Cottage will provide Christmas presents to families who are faced with financial challenges in a private, store-like setting. This year’s Christmas Cottage is expected to touch the lives of more than 600 families with more than 1,600 children who live in the Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake area.
Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE) is asking volunteers and supporters to donate new and unwrapped toys and gifts for children and teens, small appliances and gift cards for parents, wrapping paper, tape, bows, batteries and more. The Christmas Cottage also needs fresh baked cookies, as they expect to go through six dozen cookies a day.
The cottage will be open Friday, Dec. 7 through Thursday, Dec. 20. BubbleLife has more on the Christmas Cottage here.
Santa Cops (Grapevine): Started in 1995, the Grapevine Police Santa Cops program delivers donated toys to economically disadvantaged children in the community. More than 800 children in the area receive toys each year.
The Santa Cops are accepting cash and toy donations, and volunteers are welcome to help with toy wrapping during mutiple dates in December. For more information about the Santa Cops, click here.
Holiday House (Keller): The Holiday House creates a festive toy store where clients can shop for free gifts for their children. The Community Storehouse is asking for volunteers to donate food, toys, gift cards and time. The Holiday House will be held Friday, Dec. 21 at Keller High School. For more information, click here.
Coppell Lions Club (Coppell): The Coppell Lions Club, a community service organization in the city of Coppell, will be having a food and toy drive Dec. 21. The club will be distributing the donated items on Dec. 22. For more information about the Coppell Lions Club, visit their website.
Coppell Nature Park (Coppell): The 66-acre Coppell Nature Park, which is located within Wagon Wheel Park, has community service opportunities Dec. 1 and 8. Anyone who is interested in participating can send an email to Volunteers@CoppellNaturePark.org. For those who cannot volunteer but would like to help out, the park, which is a non-profit organization, accepts donations, which can be made here.