10 Ways to #GIVE Back this Holiday Season

It’s the 2016 #GIVING SEASON & through our community we have many incredible opportunities to help each other during this time of need for so many. Here is a list of suggestions and ways to #GiveBack to our own local community this grateful time of year (including #GivingTuesday.) Wonderful ways to give back, in thanks. PLEASE feel free to comment if you know of any other organizations, drives, or volunteer opportunities that can benefit those in need (locally & nationally.)


1.) Three Oaks Center: Homeless Women and Women with Children. 


PLEASE HELP US BUY ANOTHER TOWN HOME FOR THESE WOMEN! Because for years there was a lack of shelter for women in St Mary’s County, Three Oakes Center, Walden Inc, and DSS referred women, women with children and women victims of domestic violence to out-of-county facilities when available.  When suitable facilities were not available elsewhere, Three Oakes Center and other referring organizations used motels. This is the least desirable form of shelter for a variety of obvious reasons, the primary which is that the environment does not lend itself well to the delivery of program services and counseling.  In June of 2007 Three Oaks Center opened a 20-bed emergency housing shelter for women with children using four connected town homes.  Three Oaks Center’s goal in this effort was to provide a safe shelter for women with children experiencing homelessness in a setting that is more suitable and that allows better wrap-around service delivery at lower cost per bed-night than motel stays. Three Oaks Center opened an additional facility for single women.  This action came at the request of the community partners due to a complete lack of year round crisis housing for this population in the County.

Due to the enlarged need for shelter beds in St Mary’s County, Three Oaks Center is now pursuing the purchase of additional townhomes.


Click Here to Support and for more information!


2.) $25 SPONSORS A FAMILY A THANKSGIVING MEAL, Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry, Sponsor a Family’s Entire Holiday Meal

thanksgiving-dinner-side-dishes$25 will sponsor a family’s entire Holiday meal.

Click Here to sponsor one or more families.

One of the many ways we can express our thankfulness to God for His provisions in our life is to care for others who are struggling to make ends meet.

Each year, we provide families of the Food Pantry with everything they need to prepare their own Holiday meal. We invite you to join us in caring for families by sponsoring those meals. Along with your sponsorship, you’ll receive a “Family Profile Card” with some general information about the family you’ve provided a meal to. This will allow you and your family the opportunity to be praying for them throughout the Holiday season. Imagine what it will be like, as together, we share our thankfulness to the One who provides all we need. For more information, contact Jackie Head at 410-257-3444 via email at



3.)  Festival of Wreaths to Benefit Calvert Hospice (or Purchase a Poinsettia)

Calvert Hospice is pleased to present the 1st Annual Festival of Wreaths on November 19, 2016 from 10 am to 6 pm at the College of Southern Maryland in Prince Frederick. The Festival of Wreaths is an opportunity for the community to come enjoy beautiful wreaths designed by local artists and businesses. Wreaths will be available for purchase, so come early to be sure to have the best choice possible!

In addition to the wreath display, we are also offering a wreath making workshop in which participants can create their own work of holiday art for their home for just $30, which includes all materials. We will also offer memorial poinsettias, which can be pre-purchased below. Local musicians will provide entertainment throughout the day. There’s something for every member of the family at the Festival! Santa will be there to visit with the children, and everyone can enjoy creating holiday crafts together in our special workshop!

Wreath making workshops are going to be held at 11 am and 2 pm. Cost is $30 and includes all materials needed to craft a beautiful holiday wreath! Admission to the event is FREE to the public, so bring the family and join us to make this 1st Annual Festival of Wreaths a success! For questions or more information, email or call 410-535-0892.

Click Here for More Information.


4.) SMAR Winter Coat Drivecoatdrive3x3

The Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS®’ Community Relations/CARE Award Committee is sponsoring a winter coat drive in order to support local shelters and schools.

You may donate coats, gloves, hats and scarves if clean and in good condition. These are donated to men’s, women’s, and children’s shelters locally in the Southern Maryland area.

Donate Your Gently Used Coats to Keep Someone Warm this Winter, Drop-offs at Several Locations Including REMAX 100, 10665 Stanhaven Pl, Ste 300, White Plains.

Click Here for more drop off locations.



5.) U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program


My step father was a marine so this drive means a lot to me. A little background…

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

You can contribute to your local campaign in several ways. You can donate a toy at one of the area toy drop locations, host a Toys for Tots event at your home, office or other venue & collect toys, or volunteer at the local warehouse, Drop-off Locations throughout the county, Click Here.


6.) Safe Harbor Sheltersafe-harbor

Safe Harbor provides comprehensive services for victims and survivors of domestic violence, rape/sexual assault and child abuse.Safe Harbor is a shelter for abused women and children which provides a safe and secure shelter in which they can re-build their lives in a violence-free environment.

Safe Harbor operates  with the support of the Calvert County Commissioners, the Calvert County Health Department, Safe Harbor, Inc. (a non-profit organization), and private donations from the community. In need of Household Items, Personal Care Items, Cleaning Supplies, etc.

Please Click Here for more information & items needed.



youth-playing7.) Tri-County youth Services Bureau

TCYSB is a non-profit organization serving the children, youth, and families of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Services are focused on the prevention of delinquency, abuse, violence, substance abuse, suicide, and other devastating outcomes for youth and their families.The mission of Tri-County Youth Services Bureau is to provide a respectful and compassionate atmosphere for youth and their families in Southern Maryland to learn through educational and counseling services how to communicate more creatively and how to more effectively understand and promote the values which are unique to each family. They are in need of monetary donations.

Click here to DONATE NOW.


8.) Calvert County United Way Programs


a. Tree of Angels Book Drive

The Tree of Angels Book Drive provides books during the December holiday season to families in need. An estimated 700 children, ranging in age from birth to 16, benefit from the book drive each year. The books collected are wonderful additions to each child’s home library, showing them how magical and enriching the experience of reading a good book can be.

Give the gift of reading by bringing new or gently used children’s books to the drop-off location nearest you by December 9th.


Click here for a list of drop-off locations, including our local library. (See flyer.)




b. Operation Santa Claus

operation-santa-claus-no-logoOperation Santa Claus is a United Way Program of Santa Claus for Seniors, providing gifts and holiday parties for seniors. Donate gifts, party supplies, your time, or money.


Call 410-495-4458 for more information.






9.) The Christmas Connection


The Christmas Connection, a joint venture between Charles County government and community social service agencies, benefits needy families during the holidays. New toys, nonperishable food and cash donations are needed. Toys and cash donations will be accepted between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the Children’s Aid Society, 3000 Huntington Cir., Waldorf.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Charles County Detention Center are also collecting toys for Children’s Aid Society Christmas Connection Program. Employees at the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Charles County Detention Center are joining the Children’s Aid Society and Charles County Department of Social Services to host the Christmas Connection program. Each holiday season, Christmas Connection collects new, unwrapped toys for children between the ages of newborn to 18-years-old.

This year, the program hopes to reach about 3,000 families here in Charles County. Please consider donating a toy to a child. Toys may be dropped off at any of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office district stations located in Indian Head, Waldorf and La Plata; designated boxes are located in each district station lobby.

For more information about Christmas Connection, Click Here.



10.) Project ECHO Inc.


This emergency homeless shelter program needs donations of nonperishable food items, household cleaning supplies, linens and personal hygiene products. Donations will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays at 300 Main St., Prince Frederick. Please call before dropping off large items. Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 2764, Prince Frederick, Md. 20678. Volunteers are needed to answer telephones, serve meals and supervise residents.


Click Here for more information on Volunteer Needs and Wish List Items.



Or Register for the Thanksgiving Day 5K, a fun run to benefit Project ECHO’s mission of helping the homeless. This event is for people of all ages and abilities. Some run and some walk. Many bring their families, some come alone and others run in teams. We always have a few travelers, most live locally, and at least a few are of no fixed address but they call Project ECHO home for the time being. However and wherever we come from, we do it because we believe in Project ECHO, we do it because it’s a ton of fun and some of us just might do it for the guilt-free pleasure of multiple Thanksgiving dinners.




Another way to enjoy the season of celebrating is to treat a friend, co-worker, or yourself to a delicious cup of coffee, tea, or tasty treat at The Lobby Coffee Bar.

The Lobby Coffee Bar is a joint partnership between End Hunger in Calvert County, Honduras Compassion Partners, and Chesapeake Church. They are located in Huntingtown and operate out of Chesapeake Church.



The Lobby Coffee Bar is a full-service coffee bar open to the public that will operate as a non-profit enterprise, supporting the missions of both End Hunger In Calvert County and Honduras Compassion Partners. For more information about End Hunger In Calvert County, visit the End Hunger Calvert County website.

I just can’t stop!

Another great foundation is Samaritans Purse/Operation Christmas Child. In the hands of local churches, every “gift-filled shoebox” is a powerful tool for evangelism and discipleship—transforming the lives of children and their families around the world through the Good News of Jesus Christ!


The Amazing Journey of a Shoebox Gift Begins with You and Results in Evangelism, Discipleship, and Multiplication. From children to seniors, people pack shoebox gifts each year to bless children in need around the world. Parents often use the project to teach their kids about giving. Volunteers support these efforts across the country.Churches and groups of all sizes collect boxes from their communities. Some churches also serve as drop off locations for shoeboxes the third week of November every year. Click on the link above to find out how you can get involved!



AND, there are MANY more ways to Help During the Holidays…

The following link will take you to a list of some area organizations in need of volunteers, clothes, food, money and other items during the holidays. Click Here to view the many needs of our local community (Courtesy of the Washington Post.)



Thanks#GIVING and Christmas Blessings from my family to yours.  – Jessica




Disclaimer: All photos are courtesy of each foundations website. Information was taken directly of each foundations website.

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