The holidays are here once again. It’s an exciting time of year, but for those struggling to get by, the holidays can be filled with more stress and worry than ever. This is the season of giving and if you can spare something for those less fortunate this holiday season, there are a number of opportunities to donate toys, food, and clothes to various drives and charity organizations.
We’ve compiled a list of organizations throughout the areas that we serve that are always looking for volunteers or donations. If you would like to help, we suggest including your whole family in the process and consider making it a yearly tradition.
CMPD Explorers Christmas Project
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has been sponsoring the Explorers Christmas Project since 1974. The program is designed to help provide at least three gifts to each underprivileged child and provide grocery store gift cards for each family to purchase a holiday dinner.
You can help by dropping a toy donation off to any Charlotte fire station or CMPD division office. Keep in mind, toys must be new and “non-violent”, meant for children 0-14 years of age, and they must be unwrapped. You can also set up your own food or toy drive with CMPD, or you can volunteer at the Explorers Christmas Project Warehouse.
Toys for Tots Foundation
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation collects toys and gifts for distribution throughout Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Toys can be dropped off at their warehouse until December 11th. Drop-off times and warehouse location can be found here.
If you’d like to make a monetary donation to Toys for Tots, you can do so online, through eBay, or by mail. You can also make a donation in memory of someone or as a tribute to a friend or family member.
The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte
The Salvation Army makes it easy to give back this holiday season. They have countless donation and volunteer opportunities to suit the needs of just about any age and ability level. You can drop off toys, clothes, and shoes to any of the Salvation Army drop-off locations or you can sign up to be a bell ringer at a local retail store.
One of their most popular programs is the Angel Tree. Local businesses and companies can place a tree in their office that is decorated with paper angels. Each angel contains the name, age, and gender of a child who is in need of presents. Participants can adopt an angel (or two) and purchase age appropriate gifts to help make the holidays a little bit brighter. If you’d like to participate, you can find Angel Tree locations here.
American Red Cross – Western North Carolina
The Red Cross offers a truly unique way to give back this year. Visiting their website leads you to their 2015 Holiday Gift Catalog. Here you can “shop” for gifts that go far beyond the traditional toys and food to help children and adults all over the world.
One opportunity allows you to donate the funds to provide lifesaving vaccinations to children in countries where medical care can be scarce. You can also gift a comfort kit to a U.S. service member or veteran, help provide hot meals to disaster survivors, or provide a day of shelter to victims of emergencies.
H.O.P.E. for Union County
H.O.P.E. (Hearts Of People Everywhere) for the Christmas Bureau of Union County, is a non-profit organization (501c3) formed out of a need to assist underprivileged and low-income families in Union County.
The Union County Christmas Bureau was organized in 1983 to help meet the needs of low-income families in our communities. The Christmas Bureau became a collaborative effort of many agencies within Union County including churches, civic groups, schools, and businesses. The Christmas Bureau was also formed as a clearinghouse to help prevent duplication of assistance among families.
If you are interested in helping this Union County Organization, please click here for more information.
The Salvation Army of Cumberland, Moore, Hoke, Scotland, & Robeson Counties
The Salvation Army has many opportunities for volunteering and giving. There are programs to assist those in need year round as well as during the holidays. The Salvation Army has an Angel Tree program that pairs children in need with volunteers that are able to provide gifts for them.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating to the Salvation Army of Cumberland, Moore, Hoke, Scotland, & Robeson Counties, please visit their website for more information by clicking here.
Loaves & Fishes
Loaves & Fishes is a grocery provider that functions off of food drives. Their program works by providing a week’s worth of nutritional foods to families and individuals who are going through a time of crisis and/or need. In 2014 alone, Loaves & Fishes donated groceries to 78,602 people in need, almost half of which were children.
Loaves & Fishes works with families throughout Mecklenburg County. If you’d like to help their cause, you can find food drop-off locations here. You can also make a one-time or reoccurring donation that will help make a difference all year round.
At the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we are passionate about giving back to the communities that we serve. Every year, we participate in numerous community initiatives. This holiday season we will once again sponsor an Angel Tree in hopes of making the holidays brighter for local families in our community. Many of our team members will volunteer to purchase gifts and presents for children which will be given to them by our partners at the Salvation Army. It is one of our favorite holiday traditions.
We encourage you to get out this holiday season and make a difference. You don’t have to give a fancy or expensive gift, and you don’t have to spend a lot. Even a small gift, a few cans of food, or a couple of hours working in your local soup kitchen can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. We hope that you’ll take advantage of one of these donation or volunteer opportunities. From everyone at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, we wish you a Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!