The Homewood Center seeks donations for its Recycled Treasure Sale. During this holiday event, students at the alternative Howard County public school use their grades to “purchase” items for loved ones. The school expects to help over 100 needy students shop for the holidays this year.

For many of the shoppers, who are in middle and high school, it is the only opportunity they have to obtain gifts for family and friends.


According to volunteer Terri Jones, the program was started more than 17 years ago by teacher Suzi Young to encourage kids to achieve excellent grades and attendance. The school relies on help from community members, such as Jones, because it does not have a parent-teacher group to support the student body.

“The kids get to shop for gifts for their families, their friends and themselves,” Jones said. “Elves are even on hand at the school to wrap up the gifts for the kids!”

If you would like to donate, items do not need to be new but should be in good, clean, working condition. Gifts for boys and men are needed the most. Other items on the “wish list” include sporting goods, video games, ear buds, toys, games and stuffed animals, holiday decorations, lotions and perfumes, and candles. Donations of new winter coats for preteens and teens also are requested. Gift bags, wrapping paper and tape come in handy to support the operation.

To make donating easy, Jones will pick up your treasures. Contact her at terrijones2001@gmail.com to request a weekday collection time. She will be gathering the tax-deductible donations through Dec. 13.

The Homewood Center’s pantry also could use a helping hand. The cupboard is currently low on items such as noodle cups, fruit cups, breakfast and snack bars, paper products, deodorant and lip balm. Donations can be dropped off at the school at 10914 Clarksville Pike. For more information, email suzanne_mcmurtray@hcpss.org or call 410-313-7081.

After helping to make the holidays a bit magical for others, why not celebrate at an enchanting event? Sorcerers of all ages are invited to attend Magical Wizards Day a celebration of characters from the Harry Potter books on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Clarksville Commons.

Highlights of the event include a costume contest, scavenger hunt, wand-making activity and an appearance by the “Sorting Hat.” The businesses of the Commons will have magical treats for sale including cupcakes, butter beer, Harry’s favorite stew, themed cocktails and edible “quaffle” balls.

Meet local fantasy author B.S. Kressin at the event. His recently released book, “Jub Jub & the Mystery of the Wooden Spoon,” focuses on a teenage boy who finds himself on a mountaintop without any idea of how he got there. To secure his freedom, Jub Jub “must overcome threats by witches and a vast array of spine-tingling monsters.”

Go to clarksvillecommons.com for more information about the festivities.