Throughout the area, there are dozens of local nonprofit groups who are committed to serving those in need. These groups can always use our help. 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.
•American Cancer Society is dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer. 1-800-227-2345.
Wish List: New, unused wigs, turbans and scarves for patient programs; shower curtain liners, pillows, dishcloths, sponges, batteries, paper towels and plates for Hope Lodge residents. ACS needs volunteer drivers for the Road To Recovery program and welcomes monetary donations.
•Bread of Life Food Pantry provides food and toiletry items, as well as clothing items when available, to people in need within the community. First Baptist Church of Savage, 8901 Washington St. 301-725-3944.
Wish list: Nonperishable food donations, including breakfast cereal and peanut butter, and toiletry items can be dropped off at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays at the pantry, located at the back of the church building. Call the church office to arrange a special drop-off time.
•Children’s Bible Ministries of Maryland teaches the Bible to children and trains adults to teach children. 410-796-7990.
Wish List: All sizes and colors of copy paper and monetary donations for camp scholarships.
•DDM Insurance is collecting funds and supplies for the Laurel Pregnancy Center, which provides pregnancy tests and other confidential services. The Laurel Pregnancy Center does not recommend, refer or provide for abortions or abortifacients. Donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at DDM Insurance, 10732 Baltimore Ave., Twin Chimneys Office Park, Beltsville, by Friday, Dec. 8. 301-937-1500.
Wish List: Diapers for sizes 4, 5 and 6; baby wipes; onesies for sizes NB, 0-3 months and 3-6 months; infant hats, receiving blankets, pacifiers, baby lotion, bibs, infant socks and booties; infant toys, books, washcloths and towels; and burp cloths and baby powder.
•First Generation College Bound is a grass roots nonprofit whose goal is to increase the number of students who attend college by developing an educational community support system by bridging the resources of the home, church, school and community. 301-490-0911.
Wish List: Monetary donations for college access and retention programs that provide care packages and services for students attending college. Office furniture including desks and chairs, copy machine and floor mats
•FISH of Laurel Inc./Elizabeth House helps needy neighbors in the greater Laurel area by providing dinners, groceries and referral services. Mail checks and monetary donations to FISH of Laurel Inc., P.O. Box 36, Laurel, MD 20725-0036. Address is 308 Gorman Ave., Laurel, MD 20707. Fishoflaurel.org. Webmaster@fishoflaurel.org. 301-776-9296 (main number) or 240-547-9013 (help line).
Wish List: Monetary donations and nonperishable food items all year long; cases of bottled water and packaged snacks for bag lunches; prepared casseroles for dinners; new warm socks, gloves, winter hats and scarves; full-size toiletries; and frozen turkeys and hams for Christmas bundles.
•Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center provides shelter to homeless individuals and families, along with crisis intervention services. 410-531-6006.
Wish List: Gift cards for Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Safeway and Giant; new pillows and blankets; new toys for children, ages 2-13; warm heavy socks; body lotion; and laundry detergent.
•Hope Works (The Domestic Violence Center) provides comprehensive services to women, men and children impacted by intimate partner violence and sexual assault in Howard County. 410-997-0304.
Wish List: $25 gift cards for gas, groceries, Target and Walmart; personal care items, lotion and toothpaste; cleaning items, all-purpose cleaner; latex and non-latex cleaning gloves, Clorox wipes and laundry detergent; paper towels, toilet paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil and gallon freezer bags; diapers and wipes; pop-top canned goods, pasta and sauce, peanut butter and jelly, Ramen Noodles and Cup of Noodles, pancake mix, maple syrup, juice boxes, salad dressing, ketchup, brown and white sugar, flour; crackers in individual packs and granola; Ibuprofen, Tylenol, daytime and nighttime aspirin, cough drops, cough syrup, cold and allergy medicine without alcohol, Pepto Bismol, vitamins, nasal strips, band aids, antacid, antibiotic ointment and aloe; new undergarments for men, women and children; and batteries of all sizes.
•Hospice of the Chesapeake’s mission is to care for life throughout the journey with illness and loss by providing physical, psycho-social and spiritual support services to individuals living with and affected by advanced illness. These services are provided wherever the patient calls home. Volunteer Department, 443-837-1549 or toll free, 800-745-6132. hospicechesapeake.org.
Wish List: Volunteers needed in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties with four-wheel drive vehicles to assist patients and staff with transportation during inclement weather conditions. Active duty military personnel are needed to perform honor salutes for our veteran patients. Veterans and active duty military personnel also needed for our Veterans-to-Veterans program. Volunteers needed in many capacities – from patient care to administrative.
•Howard County Office on Aging and Independence/Project Holiday provides gifts and a visit to low-income seniors who have no family. Many of the seniors we serve will be alone during the holiday season, receiving no gifts, no cards and no acknowledgment. For further information, contact Debby Magin at email@example.com or 410-313-6063.
Wish List: Body lotion, body wash, toiletry gift sets, shampoo, hair conditioner, shaving cream, deodorant, throw blankets and slipper socks. Donations can be dropped off by Dec. 14 at all 50-Plus Centers in Howard County as well as the Howard County Office on Aging and Independence, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 200, Columbia.
•Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services’ mission is to enable homeless and low-income people in Laurel who are in crisis to achieve stability and long-term self-sufficiency. LARS is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and Monday evenings, from 5-7:30 p.m. Monetary donations help fund programs such as eviction prevention and utility assistance. Make checks payable to LARS or to donate online, go to laureladvocacy.org and click “Donate.” Non-perishable, non-expired food donations can be dropped off during office hours at LARS, 311 Laurel Ave.
Wish List: Canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing and cornbread mix, instant potatoes, gravy, frozen hams and turkeys, pie crusts and pie filling.
• Laurel Cats is a nonprofit community effort to find and implement ways for outdoor “community” cats to live harmoniously alongside people, their homes and their businesses throughout Laurel, while humanely reducing their numbers. Offers free spay and neuter operations for Laurel cats in need. For information or to volunteer, contact Helen Woods, 301-886-0161.
Wish List: Warm-hearted humans willing to share their home with a homeless cat or kitten in need for 2-4 weeks of fostering. Donations of cat food and money to pay for spaying and neutering. Small donations can be dropped off at Spay Now Animal Surgery Clinic, 7401 Van Dusen Road. For pickup of larger items, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-886-0161. Monetary donations can be sent to Laurel Cats, P.O. Box 57, Laurel, MD 20725.
••Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland delivers nutritious meals to homebound individuals, enabling them to live independently in their homes and to age in place with dignity. 443-573-0925. mealsonwheelsmd.org.
Wish List: Handmade knit/crocheted scarves (no bigger than 6 inches by 60 inches); shelf-stable, non-expired foods such as canned soup, canned vegetables and oatmeal packets; new, never opened wet and dry pet food for cats or dogs; and monetary donations.
•Neighbor Ride is a volunteer-based transportation service that helps Howard County senior citizens stay active, independent and connected to the community. 410-884-7433. neighborride.org.
Wish List: Volunteer drivers who like a flexible schedule, want to interact one-on-one with seniors and can do two rides a month.
•Oaklands Presbyterian Church has a food pantry on-site and can always use donations of food or money for residents who are in need of help.
Wish List: Canned chicken, canned soup, canned tuna fish, canned vegetables, pasta and sauces, peanut butter and jelly, breakfast cereal and macaroni and cheese. Donations can be dropped off during office hours, Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at 14301 Laurel Bowie Road. 301-776-5833.
•Side by Side hosts close to 100 workshops a year for parents at six local elementary schools, equipping the parents to practice learning activities with their children at home as partners with schools to promote their success in the classroom. 424 Main St., Laurel, MD 20707. 202-710-5555 or email@example.com. Sidebysidelaurel.org.
Wish List: Computer for our bookkeeper.
•St. Mary of the Mills Catholic Church Parish Food Pantry provides groceries and lunches to the community. 114 St. Mary’s Place. 301-725-3080.
Wish List: Donations of canned goods, boxed cereal, juice boxes and peanut butter and jelly.
•Volunteer Center Serving Howard County Guide to Giving is a resource for volunteering and donating during the holidays. To access the guide, go to volunteerhoward.org and click on the Guide to Giving to view online or download. firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-715-3172.
Wish List: Holiday volunteer and donation needs of more than 40 local nonprofits are listed in guide with opportunities ranging from wrapping presents, delivering meals and holiday visits to donating food, gifts, clothing and gift cards.
•Winter Growth Inc. provides community-based services for seniors and disabled adults with assisted living, medical day programs and respite care designed to support independence, enhance self-esteem and promote the dignity of each individual. 410-964-9616. wintergrowthinc.org
Wish List: Heart to Heart volunteers for an hour or two of laughter and high energy with our more active residents; or, if you prefer, make quiet connections with seniors struggling with physical or cognitive challenges. Lend a hand with lunch, playing board games, participating in arts and crafts activities, chatting with residents, teaching basic computer skills, or leading small group learning encounters. One-hour orientation program to get you started. Contact Vivian Golden at 410-964-9616 or email@example.com.
Donation Requests: small holiday gifts for men and women; Depends (adult pull-ups); personal care items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, non-perfumed lotions, razors, shaving cream and body wash; gift cards to Target, Walmart, Costco, Giant and Safeway for program supplies; twin sheets and comforters; bath towels; tablets for programs; bed pillows. Contact Claire Noll at 410-964-9616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
•Woman’s Club of Laurel is a volunteer organization committed to making improvements in the Laurel community. The club provides small weekly food bags to 25 children at a Laurel elementary school. The bags contain breakfast items for two days, lunch items, a snack, something to add to a family meal, fresh fruit, milk and a drink. All food is prepackaged, kid-friendly and nutritious. The food is purchased by the club and packed and delivered to the school weekly for distribution. These children currently receive free and reduced meals at school (FARM). The students remain anonymous to the club and are chosen by the school guidance counselor.
Wish List: Donations of cash, checks or $10 store gift cards for the Weekend Tummy Tamers program. Send donations to Linda Hammil, 6456 Skipton Drive, Hanover, MD 21076. Bring gift card donations during school hours to Chris Folks, Bond Mill Elementary, 16001 Sherwood Ave., Laurel. Make checks payable to the Woman’s Club of Laurel. Donations are tax deductible.
Want to be included in next year’s list? Email your information to email@example.com, with “Share Your Blessings” in the subject line.