As another challenging economic year nears its end, 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 helping 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.

A. Eugene Hoeper Foundation/Deaf Outreach is a program that aims to lend cheer (by mail) to deaf and hard of hearing persons who are homebound. 301-596-6928, via MD Relay 711.

Wish List: Materials to make cards and Forever stamps to mail cards.

American Cancer Society saves lives and creates more birthdays by helping people stay well, get well, find cures and fight back. 410-781-4316.

Wish List: Relay For Life of Howard County and Western Howard County committee members and luminaria sales in memory of or in honor of a loved one who has battled cancer.

Animal Advocates of Howard County seeks to end the needless suffering of animals in our metropolitan area. 410-880-2488, Ext. 3.

Wish List: Monetary donations for spay/neuter program and rescue program; gift cards to Bark Pawsitive Pet Food, PetSmart and Petco to buy emergency supplies; medium, large and extra large collapsible metal dog crates; and volunteers interested in administrative work or community outreach.

The ARC of Howard County supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 410-730-0638.

Wish List: 4-5 generators, twin or full-size mattress/box spring set with frame for our respite house, gift certificates to restaurants, museums, events and services, musicians to perform for The Arc's Day Supports Services.

Athelas Institute is a service agency serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 410-964-1241, Ext.128.

Wish List: PC computer games, flat screen TVs, DVD movies, boom box, board games (Jenga, Connect Four, Trouble, Sorry, Uno, etc.), five microwaves, two toaster ovens, winter hats and gloves (adult sizes), yard rakes, snow shovels, twin sheet sets, towels, scales, toiletries, gift cards to purchase turkeys and 17 hams.

AT: Last Inc. educates persons with disabilities, their families and professionals on the use, availability, affordability and variety of assistive technology through direct outreach programs and product demonstrations.

Wish list: Monetary donations for our Donor Matching Campaign through Dec. 15, old generation iPads (for loan to individuals with disabilities for communication, social skill building, educational access).

Better Bedrest is a telephone support group for women placed on bed rest due to high-risk pregnancies and offers one-time emergency grants to help pay a small bill. 410-740-7662.

Wish List: Stamps, copier paper and monetary donations for emergency grants.

Beyond All Boundaries aids disadvantaged children, youth, young adults and families across the globe; is building an orphanage in Haiti; and feeding 350 school children daily in Haiti. 410-740-0598.

Wish List: Christmas gifts for 600 children ($10 value), digital camera, HD digital camcorder, musical instruments (keyboards, guitars, trumpets, clarinets), over-the-counter medications, children's and adult vitamins, and baby formula (Enfamil and Similac).

Child Health Foundation seeks to save the greatest number of children's lives at the lowest possible cost. 410-992-5512.

Wish List: Monetary donations.