As we come to the close of another challenging year on the economic front for many, local nonprofit groups throughout the area are struggling to make ends meet and address growing needs in the community.

These groups and the people they serve need our help more than ever.

Below is a listing of local organizations seeking donations of either money or items, or both. In this season of giving and Thanksgiving, please share your blessings by giving to those less fortunate.

40 West Assistance and Referral Center Inc. provides emergency food, counseling, and financial assistance with evictions, temporary shelter, utility turnoffs, prescriptions and transportation. 410-233-4357.


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Wish List: Copy paper (white and assorted colors), HP printer cartridges No. 22 and/or No. 57, canned or boxed non-perishable foods for food pantry, clean, unused or new baby, infant or toddler clothes, assorted diapers, bath soap bars, dish washing detergent and laundry detergent.

Baltimore Child Abuse Center mission is to provide all reported victims of child sexual abuse in Baltimore, and their non-offending caretakers, with comprehensive interviews, medical treatment, referrals and crisis counseling services with the goal of preventing future child sexual abuse. 410-396-6147 or http://www.bcaci.org.

Wish List: Monetary donations. Also, crayons, colored pencils, markers, coloring books, construction paper, glue sticks, child-friendly scissors, stickers.

Fund for Social Welfare supporting Baltimore County Department of Social Services provides assistance to clients through ongoing programs and yearly projects. 410-853-3021 or dward3@dhr.state.md.us.

Wish List:. Inquire about sponsoring a family for the holidays.

The Believe In Tomorrow National Children's Foundation provides hospital and retreat housing services for critically ill children and their families. The Believe In Tomorrow Children's House at Johns Hopkins offers families a sense of home where they can stay for days or weeks at a time while their child undergoes treatment or surgery for a life threatening illness. Believe In Tomorrow also offers families five beach and mountain retreat homes, which they can utilize year-round, free of charge, to renew their spirits and reconnect as a family. Believe In Tomorrow's unique programs bring comfort, hope and joy to critically ill children and their families. 410-744-1032. http://www.believeintomorrow.org.

Wish List: Two matching reclining lounge chairs, love seat sleeper sofa, two traditional sofas (leather or fabric), three-four multi-colored Adirondack chair sets for deck furniture, two air hockey tables.

Casey Cares Foundation provides uplifting, heartwarming, and continuing programs with a special touch to critically ill children and their families throughout Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic area. 443-568-0064. http://www.caseycaresfoundation.org.

Wish List: $10 or $25 gift cards for Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Ledo Pizza, Pizza Hut, Pizzeria Uno, Three Brothers Pizza, Taco Bell, or Subway. $10 or $25 gift cards for other national restaurants, big box store and movie theater chains. New, two-piece pajamas (adult and infant sizes are our most needed)

Caritas House Assisted Living serves seniors who can no longer live independently, offering assistance with daily activities, medication management, housekeeping, and recreational and cultural activities in a comfortable home-like environment. 410-646-6570. http://www.cc-md.org.

Wish List: Monetary donations made at http://www.cc-md.org/donatenow, Karaoke machine, CDs (oldies and music from the 50s), and DVDs (family movies).

CEFM Network, formerly known as Catonsville Emergency Food Ministry, is a community assistance center that provides food and financial assistance with evictions and utility turnoffs. http://www.cefm.org or 410-747-HELP.

Wish List: Cash. Nonperishable canned goods.

Center for Pregnancy Concerns is a pregnancy resource center providing free physical, emotional and spiritual help and guidance to women and children. 410-243-6823. http://www.cpcforhelp.org.

Wish List: Baby clothes: (Preemie to 4T, new or gently used). Outfits (especially 0-3 months), Onesies and undershirts (especially 0-3 months), Sleepers (especially up to 3 months), Booties, socks, shoes. Baby/mom items: Bibs, blankets, receiving blankets, sheets, hooded towels, disposable diapers (Preemie to size 6). Similac Advance Formula, new baby bottles, lotion, oil, powder, shampoo, toys and stuffed animals, maternity clothing (new or used in good condition), Umbrellas for women and children (new or used in good condition). Gifts for women: Lotions, hand creams, coco butter, night gowns, shampoo, baby books, parenting books, cosmetics, nail polish, small jewelry items, volunteers at our centers and monetary donations.

Children's Home in Catonsville provides residential and community services to young people and families who experience disruption in their lives. 410-744-7310. http://www.thechildrenshome.net.