Share your blessings with those in need in Howard County and Columbia

Long Reach sophomore Rayna Livingston, left, 15, Howard High senior Nina Bundy, 17, and Howard High junior Elise Rodwell, right, 17, help collect donations for the Breakfast for Grassroots campaign at the Elkridge Horizon Council meeting Nov. 16.
Long Reach sophomore Rayna Livingston, left, 15, Howard High senior Nina Bundy, 17, and Howard High junior Elise Rodwell, right, 17, help collect donations for the Breakfast for Grassroots campaign at the Elkridge Horizon Council meeting Nov. 16. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

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. 1-800-227-2345.

•Animal Advocates of Howard County is a nonprofit dedicated to helping animals. We support and assist county-run shelter with adoptions, rescue and medical assistance, and provide free- and reduced-cost spay and neuter programs as well as educational programs. 410-880-2488, ext. 3. aadvocates@hotmail.com or animal-advocates.org.


Wish List: Gift cards for veterinary services at vets who participate in our programs, gift cards from stores that don’t sell pets and adopters who will consider older pets or those with special needs.

•Arc of Howard County helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve full community life — one person at a time. 410-730-0638.

Wish List: A variety of arts and craft supplies, such as crayons, markers, scissors, card stock, construction paper and modeling clay; cards and card games, 100- (or less) piece puzzles, new math activity books, composition books, new ball point pens; household items, such as TVs, DVD players, android tablets, vacuum cleaners, new sheet sets for all sizes, portable CD and radio players, laundry soap and children and young adult books; gift cards for Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Walmart and Costco; gift cards and tickets for movies, bowling, restaurants, sporting events, performing arts and community events.

•Athelas Institute is an agency serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 410-964-1241, ext.128.

Wish List: Four iPads for the adult autism program, three flat-screen TVs, three DVD players, DVD movies and four boom boxes; board games, such as Jenga, Connect Four, Trouble, Sorry and Uno; playground balls and portable basketball system; four new microwaves and three new toaster ovens; winter hats and gloves for adults, yard rakes, snow shovels, twin sheet sets, towels, scales and toiletries; gift cards to purchase turkeys and hams; three new or used karaoke machines; and framed pictures and picture frames for art program.

•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 or betterbedrest.org

Wish List: Donations to the BBR Emergency Grant Fund to help a mom with a high-risk pregnancy pay a bill up to $500. Donations can be sent to Better Bedrest, P.O. Box 212, Savage, MD 20763. All donations are tax deductible.

•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: Non-perishable 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 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.

•Columbia Pregnancy Center is a crisis pregnancy center offering counseling, resource services, practical support and confidentiality at no cost. 410-730-3223.


Wish list: Newborn sleepers, newborn onesies, sizes 4 and 5 diapers, receiving blankets, pacifiers and new newborn outfits for sizes 0 to 3 months.

•Community Action Council of Howard County is a nonprofit whose mission is to diminish poverty, enable self-sufficiency and advocate for low-income families and individuals. cac-hc.org or 410-313-6440

Wish list: Gift cards for shoes and boots; clothing for ages 3-5; musical instruments; CDs; school supplies; new books; balls of all sizes; hand sanitizer and tissues.

•Community Knitting and Crochet Group of Howard County has for 20 years knitted and crocheted afghans, blankets, hats, scarves and baby wear for many charities, hospitals and nursing homes. Howard County Recreation and Parks, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, MD 21046. To arrange a donation, contact Linda DiPanfilo at 410-313-4704 or Ldipanfilo@howardcountymd.gov.

Wish List: Acrylic yarn, suitable for baby hats and blankets and adult hats and scarves; and red, white and blue veterans blankets. No wool or cotton.

•FIRN is a nonprofit that helps the foreign-born community in Howard County with immigration counseling, information and referral, social services and consumer needs.

Wish List: Donors to “adopt” families in need by providing gift cards or gifts for clients.

•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.

•Food on the 15th teaches children about philanthropy by having them collect, sort and deliver free, nonperishable groceries to low-income Howard County senior citizens each month. We have leadership opportunities for high-school students. Volunteer opportunities for children of all ages with their parents’ supervisio.n foodonthe15th@gmail.com.

Wish List: Plain cereals, rice and pasta, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, low-sugar canned fruit and low-salt canned vegetables as well as nutritious soups. Nonperishable donations may be dropped off at Claret Hall, Village of River Hill, 6020 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville.

•Frisky’s Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary is a wildlife rehabilitation center for orphaned, injured and displaced baby wild animals; and a sanctuary for exotic pets. 410-418-8899.

Wish List: Monetary donations, generator, fire extinguishers, a Dell laptop computer, nature books or DVDs, new or used linens and towels, medical supplies, canned fruits and vegetables, new tarps, toys for monkeys, gift cards for supplies from all major stores and professional contractors for projects


•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; and laundry detergent.

•Grassroots Day Resource Center serves the precariously housed population along the Route 1 corridor and beyond. Open three days a week, services include a hot meal, showers, laundry, Internet, social services, free medical clinic, a food pantry and clothes closet. Donations are gratefully accepted during center hours: Monday, 2-6 p.m.; Wednesday, 2-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daycenter.org.

Wish list: Canned fruit, canned chili and canned meats and fish, including tuna, chicken, Spam, Vienna sausages, ham and salmon; Chef Boyardee and Chunky or Progresso soups; gently used or new men’s jeans, sizes 28-34; gently used or new men’s hiking boots, sizes 8-10.5; and blanket donations. We also are hoping for a few service groups to provide a monthly meal on a regular schedule or individuals to drive our van.

•Hope Works (The Domestic Violence Center) provides services to women, men and children impacted by intimate partner violence and sexual assault in Howard County. 410-997-0304.

Wish List: $25 gas cards, grocery cards and Target and Walmart gift cards; lotion, toothpaste, cleaning items, all-purpose cleaner and latex and non-latex cleaning gloves; Clorox wipes, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, gallon freezer bags, diapers and wipes; pop-top canned goods, pasta and sauce, peanut butter, jelly, ramen 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.

•The Howard County Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental education center and land trust, educates children and adults about our natural world, preserves the land and its legacy for future generations and models responsible stewardship of our environment. hcconservancy.org. 410-465-8877.

Wish list: Digital cameras in working condition; bath and hand towels; picnic blankets; red wagons; and bird seed. Monetary donations also accepted.

•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 dmagin@howardcountymd.gov 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.

•Jewish Federation of Howard County is a community-driven organization committed to taking care of the needs of Jewish people and building a vibrant Jewish future in Howard County, in Israel and around the world. 410-730-4976.

Wish List: Gift cards to Giant, Target, Walmart and Kohl’s.

•LeCheval Stable’s mission is to educate and provide the community with equine-assisted therapies, such as therapeutic riding and equine-assisted psychotherapy, while supporting individuals and families with exceptional needs and life challenges. Counseling and vocational development also offered. 410-977-7989 or lechevalstable.org. marya@lechevalstable.org

Wish List: Volunteers and donations to help us build for LeCheval’s scholarship program; used or new saddles and tack, halters and lead ropes, boots, gloves and sound riding horses and ponies. Eagle Scout and Girl Scout service projects welcomed.

•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.

•National Family Resiliency Center offers counseling and family education programs for children ages 3 and older and for adults experiencing a family transition. 410-740-9553, Ext. 208.

Wish List: Nonperishable items, such as napkins, plastic utensils, paper or plastic cups, markers and crayons for children’s programs; small battery-operated tea-light candles for KidsConnex program; gift cards for single-parent families in financial need; and copy paper, size 8.5 x 11 inches.

•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 or neighborride.org.

Wish List: Volunteer drivers who like a very flexible schedule, who enjoy making an impact interacting one-on-one with seniors and who can do two rides a month.

•On Our Own of Howard County is a wellness and recovery service center providing peer support services to people with mental illness in any form in Howard County. 410-772-7905.

Wish List: Paper products, such as toilet tissue, paper towels and toiletries, toothpaste, deodorant and body wash; art supplies of beads, woodcraft sets, paint and brushes; nonperishable food items, including canned goods, dry goods and canned meats; ; bottles of water; tablecloths; drawing pads; and colored pencils.

•One Month’s Rent pays one month’s rent or security deposits for low-wage earners in Howard County who are threatened with losing their housing to a personal, economic or medical crisis.

Wish List: Monetary donations can be a check made out to Community Action Council with a note for OMR and mailed to P.O Box 2153, Columbia, MD 21045. Online donations can be made via PayPal when you follow directions on the website OneMonthsRent.Org.


•Project Linus of Howard County provides handmade blankets to children who are seriously ill or traumatized. 410-418-4994

Wish List: Handmade child-friendly blankets; child-friendly fabrics, especially fleeces and batting; gift cards for Joann Fabrics, Costco and Walmart; monetary donations; and acrylic yarn in bright and pastel colors.

•S.A.F.E. – Supplying Allergy Friendly and Emergency – Food Pantry provides gluten-free and allergy-friendly food to those in need. 443-741-1060 or safefoodpantry.org

Wish List: Monetary donations and gift cards to grocery stores and health food stores, mailed to S.A.F.E. Food Pantry, 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive, Suite 316, Columbia, MD 210446. Gluten-free and allergy-friendly food, dropped off at One Dish Cuisine, 8001 Hillsborough Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Volunteer requests: food drive coordinators for youth, workplace and community food drives; content curator; blogging team members; and board members and advisory council members.

•Salvation Army-Howard County assists children and families in need for the holiday season. Its biggest program is Angeltree with the goal to provide 1,020 children each three gift items and two outfits this Christmas. 443-656-3376 or sue.hunt@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Wish List: Clothing, toy items, gifts for children ages 12 and under.

•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, one-hour orientation program; 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. 410-964-9616 or claire.noll@wintergrowthinc.org.

Want to be included in our list next year? Email your information to hccalendar@tronc.com, with “Share Your Blessings” in the subject line.

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