Share Your Blessings: Where to donate this holiday season

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.

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, monetary donations for camp scholarships, computer printer, and half steer and frozen turkeys for camp meals in July.

Christ Church Link guides Howard County residents in crisis to aid for emergency needs (eviction prevention, utility turn-offs, food, clothing, shelter, jobs, etc.), and during the holidays, it helps families in need find Thanksgiving and Christmas meals and holiday gifts for their children. 410-309-9695.

Wish List: Cash donations to purchase holiday gifts/food, gift cards from Walmart, Target and food stores, sponsors (businesses, families, individuals, groups) for children from low-income families by providing Christmas gifts (child's age, size and wish list provided), new/unwrapped gifts for children from infants to age 12.

Coalition of Geriatric Services, Food on the 15th teaches children about philanthropy by collecting, sorting, bagging and delivering free groceries to low income senior citizens monthly.

Wish List: Non-perishable healthy canned goods, non-sugar sweetened cereals, plain rice, plain pasta, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, low sugar canned vegetables, low salt canned vegetables, powdered milk, new flashlights and new flashlight batteries, and $10 gift cards to local grocery stores. 410-608-1913.

Columbia Housing Corporation promotes and provides quality housing that is affordable to the Howard County community. 410-730-9554.

Wish List: Conference room table and 20 chairs, eight desktop computers, six bookcases, multicultural picture books, gift card to neighborhood grocery stores, gently-used keyboards, gloves, hats and scarves.

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: Basinet, snowsuit (3-6 months), baby socks (3-6 months), bibs, mittens, Playtex disposable baby bottles with refills, car seat for newborn, XL sports bras, XXL winter coat, sweatshirts/sweatpants (XXL), flip camcorder, two black rolling catalog cases, six black 1-inch flip chart horizontal round-ring easel binders, one portable speaker for use with mp3 device, art supplies, white sand for therapeutic sand tray, six sound/white noise machines, desktop color printer/copier, good condition sofa/loveseat for counseling office, catering for client holiday party, paper goods for client holiday party — plates, napkins, plastic ware, cups.

FIRN empowers immigrants, refugees, asylees and other foreign-born individuals by helping them to access community resources and opportunities. 410-992-1923.

Wish List: Food gift cards, new clothing and new toys for the holiday program.

First Generation College Bound is a grass roots nonprofit organization 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: Two computers, school supplies and Christmas party gifts for 60 low-income students.


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, Dell laptop computer, nature books or DVDs, new or used linens and towels, medical supplies, canned fruits and vegetables, new tarps, toys for monkeys and gift cards for supplies.

Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center provides shelter to homeless individuals and families, along with crisis intervention services. 410-531-6006.

Wish List: Gift cards (Walmart, Target, Kohl's, Safeway, Food Lion and Giant), new pillows, diapers, Pull-Ups (all sizes), wipes, over-the-counter medications for adults and children, laundry detergent and bleach.

Healthy Families helps first time parents in Howard County access resources to promote stability for their families and prevent abuse and neglect. 410-715-3716.

Wish List: Diapers of all sizes, formula of all types, baby wipes, gently used baby clothing size newborn through age 5, gift cards from Target, Walmart, etc., safety gates.

Howard County Cat Club is a nonprofit cat rescue. 410-730-3579.

Wish List: Volunteers to drive cats to and from adoption shows at the Columbia Petco on Sundays, Fancy Feast cat food, Petco or PetsMart gift cards, gift certificates for veterinary care, color cartridges, and cat trees or stable ladders that can be used as cat trees.

Howard County Conservancy is a local, environmental education center and land trust. 410-465-8877.

Wish List: Red wagons, Water resistant/rugged digital camera, large digital picture frame and bird food.

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

Wish List: Keurig coffee pot, compact fridge/freezer, folding chairs and light weight folding tables.

Humanim provides workforce development, mental health, neuro-rehabilitation and developmental disabilities services to those most in need across Maryland. 410-381-7171.

Wish List: Pictures, lamps, lampshades, towels, bathmats, throw rugs, area rugs, twin-sized bed items (sheets, mattress pads/covers, blankets, bedspreads, bed frames, head/footboards), pillows, bed skirts, shower curtains, vacuums, vacuum bags, vacuum belts, silver/tableware, pots and pans, bake ware, cook ware, small appliances (microwaves, toasters, coffee makers, toaster ovens, convection ovens, crock pots, pressure cookers, blenders), VHS tapes/DVDs, television, digital television converter boxes, television antennas, VHS/DVD players (as well as cables and connecting cords), dressers, nightstands, upholstered chairs, recliners, love seats, couches, end and coffee tables, and household tools (hammers, screwdrivers). Furniture must be in good condition.

Jewish Federation of Howard County provides resources for the Jewish community in Howard County and throughout the world and serves as a link between the Jewish community and the general community. 410-730-4976.

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

Mothers Against Drunk Driving works to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking 410-964-5757.

Wish List: Volunteers to bake and deliver cookies for its annual Cookies for Cops campaign that delivers homemade goodies to each and every law enforcement agency in the state.

National Family Resiliency Center offers counseling and family education programs for children and adults experiencing a family transition. 410-740-9553

Wish List: Small flat-screen television, markers, paint, art supplies, two card tables, new children's games and small CD player.

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.

Wish List: Daytime, evening and weekend volunteers to provide rides for seniors.

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 (toilet tissue and paper towels), toiletries, personal CD players or MP3 players, art supplies (beads, woodcraft sets, paint and brushes), nonperishable food (canned goods, dry goods and canned meats), writing journals, drawing pads, colored pencils, markers and crayons.

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 (made out to Community Action Council with a note for OMR).

Project Linus of Howard County provides handmade blankets to children who are seriously ill or traumatized. 410-730-8865.

Wish List: Handmade child-friendly blankets; child-friendly fabrics (especially fleece) and batting; gift cards for Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Joann's, Walmart and Staples; monetary donations; and acrylic yarn in bright and/or pastel colors.

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