There are many ways to support the needy this holiday season

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 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.

Assistance Center of Towson Churches — 120 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson, MD 21204, provides food and financial assistance to low-income families and the homeless. 410-296-4855, http://www.actconline.info.


Wish List: Personal items: Deodorant, razors, lotion, socks, adult-sized jackets, toiletries. Food items: Cereal, canned tomatoes, pork and beans, canned vegetables and fruits, pasta meals canned (ravioli, spaghetti), spaghetti sauce, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, soup, dried pasta (spaghetti, macaroni), saltine crackers (boxes), Pop-top canned goods for homeless, care bags, canned meat (beef stew, chili, Spam, etc.), macaroni and cheese, potatoes (boxed), rice Also, food gift cards $5 to $15.

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.

Baltimore County Department of Social Services' Fund for Social Welfare — 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.

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: Battery jump start pack, Keurig K-cups, Duraflame logs, paper plates and coffee cups, plastic silverware, dishwasher detergent, tea, new sump pump and carpeting.

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

Center for Pregnancy Concerns — is a pregnancy resource center providing free physical, emotional and spirituaal help and guidance to women and children. http://www.cpcforhelp.org. 410-391-6699

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 0-3 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. Also, volunteers at the centers and monetary donations.

Christopher Place Academy — provides education and employment training, as well as emotional, spiritual, and addiction recovery support to formerly homeless men. 443-986-9031. http://www.cc-md.org.


Wish List: New single size sheets, blankets, pillows, pillow cases; full-size deodorant, bar soap, shampoo, body lotion, razors, tooth paste; good reading books; new dress and casual clothing; new undershirts, briefs, pajamas; new bath towels and wash cloths; men's shoes: new or very gently used dress, casual and athletic.

Defenders of Animal Rights — is dedicated to eliminating cruelty to all animals by providing services which include rescues, the sheltering of unwanted animals and abuse victims, adoptions through an innovative pet center, spaying/neutering, humane education, youth work, grief counseling, and human health enhancements via pets. 410-527-1466. http://www.adopt-a-pet.org.

Wish List: Animal supplies: Feline pine litter (nonclumping), Pedigree Dry Adult Dog Food, Purina Puppy & Kitten Chow, Purina Dry Adult Cat Chow, cat and kitten canned food, dog and cat treats and toys, rawhides and chew toys, hamster food and treats, parakeet and parrot food and toys, wild bird feed, suet cakes, bales of straw and hay, fresh fruit and veggies and Pet Smart and Walmart gift cards; cleaning supplies: clean sheets, towels, blankets, laundry detergent, large trash bags, bleach, paper towels, sponges, scrubbers, wet/dry shop vacuums; office supplies: stamps, white copy paper, AA batteries, pens, markers, scotch tape; correction tape, manila file folders; post-it notes, printer ink: HP No. 02 black/ color, EPSON No. 69 black/color, HP No.60 black/color and HP No.701 black.

Dream 4 It Foundation — raises funds to support educational scholarships for college freshmen. 443-472-3311. http://www.dream4it.net.

Wish List: Cash donations and services and products for annual silent auction event.


Ellene "Brit" Christiansen Memorial Fund — at Towson Arts Collective, mission is to run the center, providing a fully inclusive, accessible venue for exhibits, classes, and events for all artists of all abilities. 410-916-6340.


Wish List: volunteers for cleaning, vacuum cleaner, 6 sturdy display panels, large monitor or projector to show video segments, instruction videos, etc., updated computer, printer and ink cartridges.

The Franciscan Center — provides response services to persons who are economically disadvantaged in an effort to assist them in moving toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle. 410-467-5340. http://www.franciscancenterbaltimore.org.

Wish List: Warm clothes (jackets, boots, socks, mittens, gloves, knit hats, scarves), toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, tooth brushes, wash cloths, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, etc.), food for the pantry, children's Items (clothes, toys, formula, diapers), money to run the programs.

Gallagher Services — opening doors for individuals with developmental disabilities through group homes in the community and a medical day program. 410-252-4005, ext. 115. http://www.cc-md.org/gallagher

Wish List: Warm gloves and scarves for men and women, snow shovels, pre-lit artificial Christmas trees, shatter-proof ornaments, holiday decorations and lights.

House of Ruth Maryland — provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and their families. 410-889-0840. http://www.hruth.org.

Wish List: Pampers sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6, Pull-ups sizes 4T, 5T and 6T, and Baby wipes; Crib sheets that fit mattresses sized 23 3/8 x 37 1/4 (not standard size); Sleepwear for adults, Infant and Toddler Sleepwear; New socks and undergarments for women and children (all sizes); Gift Certificates: Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway, Giant, etc.; Laundry baskets; New crib sheets; Bed Pillows, Twin size sheets, blankets, comforters; Bath towels and washcloths; Vacuum cleaners; Toothpaste (3oz and 4oz tubes), toothbrushes; Umbrellas; Clothing for plus sized women; Day planners and calendars; Transparent tape, dispensers; Women's hair brushes; Tweezers and nail clippers; Journals, ink pens; Family oriented DVDs; Rolling racks for clothing; Spiral bound notebooks, Bookbags, folders, day planners; School uniforms (khaki pants and dark polo shirts); Child and Adult passes to: movies, Zoo, Aquarium, Port Discovery, Science Center, sporting events; Sanitary Products (Pads and Tampons), Deodorant, Bar Soap; Toilet paper, Cleaning supplies, Laundry Detergent, Paper products (plates, cups, napkins); Plastic storage containers with lids - small, medium and large sizes; Humidifiers, oscillating floor fans; New toys: Legos, blocks, bath toys, Play-Doh, Leap Frog items, markers, paints, dolls, cars and trucks; Baby formula, baby food (stages 2 and 3), baby snacks, baby lotion, baby cornstarch powder, crib sheets; Baby bottles, pacifiers, baby lotion, aspirators, thermometers, baby Tylenol and Motrin; Adult size scissors, construction paper, poster board, White 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper, transparent tape and dispensers; High chairs, car seats, and umbrella-style strollers; Non-perishable food (i.e., peanut butter and jelly, tuna, cereal, pasta, granola bars, juice boxes, etc.)

Kennedy Krieger Institute — is improving the lives of children and adolescents with pediatric developmental disabilities through patient care, special education, research and professional training. 443-923-7300. http://www.kennedykrieger.org.

Wish List: Cause and effect toys, light-up and sound toys, stacking/sorting toys, Fischer Price, Plays Kool, Little People Toys, educational toys, arts and craft sets, DVD movies (G-PG13), Wii games (rated E), board games (ages 8 and older), sports items, gift cards to grocery stores and gas stations, nonperishable food items. Please, no stuffed animals.

Maryland Food Bank — provides statewide food bank to 600 agencies in Maryland. 410-737-8282. http://www.mdfoodbank.org.

Wish List: Monetary donations allows the food bank to purchase the most needed items because they can purchase from wholesalers. Also, a donation to the virtual food drive highly desired.

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland — provides nutritious meals to homebound individuals since 1960. 443-573-0940. http://www.mealsonwheelsmd.org.

Wish List: Volunteers and pet food for clients who have pets.

Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital — treats children with serious, chronic, and or complex medical needs on an inpatient, outpatient and day program basis. 410-578-8600. http://www.mwph.org.

Wish List: Gift Certificates to Target, Wal-Mart, Babies"R"Us/Toys"R"Us, Chili's, Applebee's, Regal Cinema, AMC Theaters, iTunes, AMF Bowling Alleys and Lake Shore Learning Store; small infant rattles, infant socks, infant bibs, Crayola magic markers, Crayola crayons, poster board, nail polish and remover, pacifiers, batteries, Koosh balls, Uno cards/ playing cards, hair accessories, chap stick, goop, soap, foam, shaving cream, stickers, coloring books; infant/ toddler clothes, socks, CDs, DVDs, cause and effect toys, vibrating teethers, toys with blinking lights and/or music, all-vinyl baby dolls, toddler toys and boppy pillows; Discman, Play Station 3, Game Cube, X-Box 36, Wii Games rated "E", joysticks/ controllers for PS3, "Nunchuck" for Wii, arts and crafts supplies, sports equipment, Frisbees, Bocce Ball Set, Nerf or soft/light weight balls, board games, Hot Wheels cars, action figures, ethnic Barbies, headphones, watches, alarm clocks, school supplies and Play-Doh; adolescent clothing, infant swings (Graco and Fisher Price), Bright Starts/ Fisher Price infant vibrating seat and Apple iPad. All items should be unwrapped.

Mosaic Community Services Inc. — provides a wide range of services to children, adolescents and adults whose lives are affected by mental illness and/or substance use. 410-453-9553, ext. 1113. http://www.mosaicinc.org.

Wish List: Toiletries and personal items for older adolescents and adults, gloves and hats (adult sized), sweat pants and sweat shirts (adult sizes), household items (new), pots and pans; dishes; small appliances; towels; blankets; toys, books and games for children ages 4-16; videos, CD's appropriate for adolescents.

Muscular Dystrophy Association — provides services to the adults and children in the community who live with any of 43 different neuromuscular diseases, including ALS. 410-494-7106. http://www.mda.org.

Wish List: For MDA Summer Camp: gift cards (Target, Walmart, Staples, grocery stores), insect repellant, sunscreen, band aids, hand sanitizer, gallon zipper bags, paper products, bottled water, arts and crafts kits, glue, construction paper and poster board. For general program services: colored copy paper, auction items such as restaurant gift cards, gift baskets, autographed sports memorabilia.


My Sister's Place Women's Center — is a comprehensive resource center offering homeless and impoverished women and their children three warm meals a day and resources to help them achieve and sustain self-sufficiency. 410-659-3763. http://www.cc-md.org/my-sisters-place.

Wish List: Coffee, creamer, sugar, powdered drink mixes, tea bags, butter, cereals, salt and pepper shakers, canned vegetables, canned fruits, beans, pasta, rice, napkins, paper towels, large trash bags, aluminum foil, liquid hand soap, womens sweaters/sweatshirts, bras, panties, socks, umbrellas/poncho, fanny packs, purse size facial tissue packs, cosmetics, scented body spray/lotions, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, wash cloths, children's items: (newborn to teen), blankets, small toys, educational items.

Our Daily Bread — provides a hot meal program serving more than a quarter million meals to the hungry of Baltimore City each year, including nutritious lunches every day of the year and breakfast to seniors and individuals with disabilities each weekday morning. 443-986-9031. http://www.cc-md.org/our-daily-bread.

Wish List: Tea bags with strings, sugar, canned vegetables, fruits, meats, pasta, rice, beans, peanut butter, jelly, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salad dressings, cold cereals and oatmeal, ground coffee.

Salvation Army — 410-783-2920.

Boys and Girls Clubs enrich the lives of young people, improving their health, welfare, and quality of life.

Wish List: board games for all ages; sports equipment; art supplies; new computers.

Emergency and Transitional Shelter provides relief to individuals and families in need of food, clothing, shelter and financial assistance, as well as spiritual and emotional counseling.

Wish List: Twin Sheets; Towels; Hand Towels; Wash Cloths; Blankets; Disposable Diapers all sizes for children; Shower Curtains.

FeedMore program: Baltimore's only evening feeding program, this mobile unit provides food 6 nights a week to 200-300 people per night. During the winter months, blankets and coats also are provided.

Wish List: Blankets and coats.

Service Centers meet the immediate and short-term needs of thousands of individuals throughout Central Maryland. Needs include assistance with rent and utility bills, as well as provision of food.

Wish List:  Nonperishable food items

Community and Worship Centers offer religious and social programs for youth and young adult members. Music classes, athletics, arts and crafts, and camping offer youth opportunities for development of special talents and skills.

Wish List: Musical instruments - particularly guitars and drums.

Santa Claus Anonymous — provides assistance in the form of gift certificates redeemable at local merchants to aid families in the purchase of toys, clothing, or books for holiday presents. 443-557-7000.

Wish List: Monetary donations by mail or online only. PO Box 28385, Baltimore, MD 21234 or http://www.santaclausanonymous.org.

Sarah's House — provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, and support services to help homeless families achieve independence and strengthen their families. 410-551-7722. http://www.cc-md.org.

Wish List: Blankets and comforters, new or used; Pillows, new. Kitchen items: Pots and pans, cooking utensils, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, baking dishes, crock pots, drinking glasses, plastic storage bags, wraps and foils. Paper products: plastic silverware, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, cups, napkins. Clothing: winter only-all sizes, coats, new and used-all sizes; underwear, socks, undershirts; Diapers/wipes, size 4-6; Easy Ups/Pull Ups, wpes. Food: tuna fish, cereal. Healthy snacks, juice 100 percent, powder drink mix, mayonnaise, instant mashed potatoes, pork, hmburger meat, Gerber Graduates-Snacks, Puffs, Meals; baked beans; spaghetti sauce, butter, shredded cheese, cream cheese, canned fruit. Linens, new and used; towels, wash cloths, twin sheets, shower curtin liner, new. Personal products: bath soap, baby soap, deodorants, shampoo/conditioner, feminine products, razors, shaving cream. Gift cards: Target, Walmart, grocery stores, dollar store.

St. Vincent's Villa — a residential program that provides comprehensive therapeutic services to children whose behavioral and emotional needs have not responded to interventions and services provided at home or in the community. 410-252-4000, ext. 1672. http://www.cc-md.org/st-vincents-villa.

Wish List: Toys appropriate for boys and girls ages 5-14, gift cards for activities or restaurants local to the Timonium area, gas and grocery gifts cards.

Villa Maria Behavioral Health Clinics — Thirteen outpatient clinics throughout Maryland serve low income children and families in need of counseling to cope with and overcome emotional and behavioral challenges. 410-252-4000 ext. 1672; mfolsomk@cc-md.org

Wish List: Doll houses with rooms, doll families, doll house furniture, Playdough, Stressballs.

Turnaround Inc. — provides emergency shelter, counseling, community education, emergency room companions, legal services and a 24-hour hot line for victims of rape, domestic violence, child sexual assault and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. 410-377-8111. http://www.turnaroundinc.org.

Wish List: Nonperishable food items, diapers, hats, gloves, scarves, gift cards and gas cards, household cleaning supplies, papertowels, toilet paper.

United Churches Assistance Network — (UCAN) provides emergency financial assistance to families and individuals in the community, evictions, utility turnoffs, medicine and food. Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 410-628-2102.

Wish List: Money, gift cards to food stores, Target and Walmart.

Victor's Vittles Food Pantry — provides food serving ZIP codes 21234, 21236, 21286. 410-668-8089. Open Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. http://www.christusvictoronline.org.


Wish List: Nonperishable food, personal-needs items, perishable food (contact church to arrange delivery).

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