It’s the 2017 #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 wonderful ways to #GiveBack to our own local community & worldwide this grateful time of year. 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.) SMAR Winter Coat Drive
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.
Beginning each November, SMAR collects 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.
Drop Off Locations through Dec 31st:
Century 21 New Millennium – 3292 Crain Hwy, Waldorf & 9405 Chesapeake St, La Plata
Exit by the Bay Realty – 222 Merrimac Ct, Prince Frederick
Leonard Realty – 22607 Three Notch Road, California
RE/MAX 100 – 10665 Stanhaven Pl, Ste 300, White Plains
SMAR – 8440 Old Leonardtown Road, Hughesville
Click Here to see more Southern Maryland Association of Realtors community involvement and ways to assist.
2.) $20 SPONSORS A FAMILY A THANKSGIVING MEAL, Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry, Sponsor a Family’s 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, families of the Food Pantry are provided with everything they need to prepare their own Holiday meal. Join them 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
3.) Operation Christmas Child – Samaritans Purse
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 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!
Click here to LEARN MORE about Operation Christmas Child
4.) Adopt a Grandparent
It is the 5th year for the annual Adopt-A-Grandparent at the Calvert County Nursing Center in Prince Frederick for the holidays! The goal is to give a gift to EVERY resident in the center (around 150 total.) If you would like to make a donation, please contact Tammie Neall and let her know how you would like to donate. Each gift is around $15. Her and her children deliver the gifts on December 23rd each year. You can donate individually or from a business, all donations welcome. The residents absolutely love it!
For more information, please contact:
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 Shelter
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 and items needed.
7.) Festival of Wreaths to Benefit Calvert Hospice (or Purchase a Poinsettia)
The Festival of Wreaths is an opportunity for the community to come enjoy beautiful wreaths designed by local artists and businesses. In 2016, they had 70 gorgeous wreaths donated. They are hoping to increase that number for 2017! If you are interested in making and donating a wreath for them to sell, please download the Wreath Decorator form and the Decorator Guidelines forms.
The 2017 Festival of Wreaths will be held on November 18, 2017 from 10 am – 4 pm at Calvert High School in Prince Frederick, MD. The Festival of Wreaths will feature a gorgeous display of donated wreaths for sale, wreath-making workshops ($25), visits with Santa and holiday crafts for kids, live entertainment to put you in the holiday spirit, memorial poinsettias for sale, and food from Calvert Crabs.
Click Here for more information on this upcoming local event.
8.) WORLD HOPE INTERNATIONAL Hurricane Response
Our hearts and prayers go out to the thousands of people devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Together, World Hope International is continuing to respond to these disasters to meet the critical immediate and long-term needs of hurricane victims and their communities. Thousands of communities around the world are affected every day by emergencies such as natural disasters and disease outbreaks, leaving the world’s most vulnerable people in urgent need of help to survive and recover. While major disasters often gain much-needed widespread attention from media, outside governments and NGOs, organizations with a history of working in-country are best primed to support relief efforts quickly and efficiently. With boots on the ground supporting their ongoing development programs in some of the world’s most impoverished countries, World Hope International has played an instrumental role in assisting the vulnerable when some of the greatest disasters strike. Take a look at their many outreaches and how you can get involved in their missions by clicking HERE. Amazing!
9.) Farming 4 Hunger
Farming 4 Hunger grows and distributes over a million pounds of free locally grown, fresh food each year. The organization provides access to fresh fruits and vegetables & partners with 27 local farms, 20+ churches, local businesses and schools, the Maryland Food Bank, the Department of Corrections, and a great network of community volunteers to enrich the community & provide food to those in need. They’re local Mission is to feed the hungry and help feed the soul. Hunger comes in many different ways. Healing the mind, body and spirit is at the core of Farming 4 Hunger.
Click Here to find out more about this wonderful community organization.
10.) Charles County Childrens Aid Society & Christmas Toy Connection (partners with United Way)
The mission of the Charles County Children’s Aid Society, Inc. a non-profit human service agency, is to improve the quality of life for struggling Charles County families with children under age 18 by providing them with the basic necessities of life including, but not limited to, clothing, food, and holiday assistance. Christmas Toy Connection provides 1122 families with toys for their children. For every $25 Children’s Aid is able to provide two toys to a child between the ages of 1-17 years old. Help today and make sure that every child wakes up to the joys of toys for Christmas!
For more information about the MANY WAYS to support this cause, Click Here.
Project ECHO Inc.
Project ECHO, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter and supportive housing in Calvert County. ECHO House is their 40-bed temporary shelter where men, women and families have 90 days to stabilize their lives and seek permanent housing. Their aim is to provide a place where the homeless don’t just survive, they grow. They offer several programs that give their clients opportunities to become more self-sufficient, healthier, happier, productive people. Some of these programs utilize the services of other agencies and/or are run by volunteers and community members.
Project ECHO, Inc. has grown from being the first and only full-time emergency shelter in Calvert County to also offering supportive housing. They have a recovery house program and a shared-living program through which they provide affordable housing to several formerly homeless persons. We encourage you to browse their website to learn more about what they do, the people they serve and the people from the community who make it all possible. There are several ways to serve this holiday season, Click Here for ways how.
It’s Turkey Trot time again! The 6th annual Thanksgiving Day 5K will be held on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017. The time and location are the same as last year; the race will begin and end at 355 West Dares Beach Rd. Start time is 7:00 a.m. Click Here for more information.
End Hunger Calvert County & Local Food PantriesOver ten thousand families in Calvert County rely on local food pantries to provide their next meal. That’s one in nine of us. End Hunger In Calvert County is a nonprofit organization whose name and mission are one in the same: end hunger in Calvert County. 100% of all public donations stay right here in Calvert County helping the most needy residents.
Click Here for ways to Get Involved.
As this active year comes to an end, I really wanted to take this last few weeks of 2017 and the Holiday Season to slow down to reflect on many blessings and to express how grateful I am for my community. We hope you will join us as we look forward to another year filled with Joy, Peace, & Love.
From my family…to yours. Happy Holidays!