Share Your Blessings: How you can help those in need in Laurel

Laurel Cats is an all-volunteer nonprofit community organization working to reduce and eventually eliminate the outdoor cat population through spay/neuter and responsible adoption.
Laurel Cats is an all-volunteer nonprofit community organization working to reduce and eventually eliminate the outdoor cat population through spay/neuter and responsible adoption. (Nicole Martyn / For The Baltimore Sun Media Group)

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: Monetary donations for camp scholarships.


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.

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, Giant, Uber & Lyft; baby wipes, new toys for children ages 2-13; new pillows and new and gently used twin-size blankets; new and gently used towels and washcloths; warm heavy socks; deodorant, body wash and body lotion; over-the-counter allergy and cold medicine for adults and children.

Hope Works (The Domestic Violence Center) provides services to women, men and children affected by intimate partner violence and sexual assault in Howard County. 410-997-0304 or mgreene@wearehopeworks.org.

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 in sizes four and five 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 and 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, 443-837-1508 or toll free, 800-745-6132. hospicechesapeake.org/join-us.

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. Musicians to perform and provide comfort to patients and families. 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.

Wish List: Is collecting new donated items for low-income seniors who reside in assisted-living facilities and in the community. The office of children and families is also collecting gift items, including books and toys for families in need with children ages 0 to 5 years old. The wish list for the adults and children includes body lotion, body wash, books, deodorant, hair brushes, hair conditioner, scarves, shampoo, shaving cream, slipper socks, socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toiletry gift sets, throw blankets and toys for ages 0-5.


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 donate online at 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. Donations of grocery gift cards are also helpful.

Laurel Cats is an all-volunteer nonprofit community organization working to reduce and eventually eliminate the outdoor cat population through spay/neuter and responsible adoption. We are working towards a day when every Laurel cat has a good indoor home. Offers free spay and neuter for Laurel cats and cat adoptions. For information or to volunteer, contact Helen Woods, 301-886-0161.

Wish List: Warmhearted humans willing to share their home with a homeless cat or kitten in need fostering. Volunteers to fill a variety of other jobs, especially management positions. 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 info@laurelcats.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 — provides nutritious meals to home-bound individuals since 1960. 410-558-0827. mealsonwheelsmd.org.

Wish List: Volunteers to deliver meals in your area once a week at 11 a.m., Monday- Friday, grocery shop for a client twice a month, call or visit a client regularly or pack meals at the main office weekday or Saturday mornings. Donations to include adult diapers (pull-ups: sizes M, L, & XL not tabbed), antibacterial liquid soap, adult wipes/towelettes, deodorant, body lotion, tissues, shampoo, comb/hairbrush, toothbrush/toothpaste, back-Up boxes, boost or ensure (plain, vanilla and chocolate), canned goods (corn, beans, stew, fruit, etc), canned chicken, tuna or salmon, crackers/cheese crackers, peanut butter/peanut butter crackers, cereal, mac 'n cheese jelly, single servings of fruit cups/applesauce, dishwashing liquid, paper towels, laundry detergent, toilet paper, cleaning wipes, dish towels, flash lights and non-skid socks.


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 three 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, macaroni and cheese and any other nonperishable food. Donations can be dropped off during office hours, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at 14301 Laurel Bowie Road. 301-776-5833.

Side by Side hosts more than 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, sidebyside@sidebysidelaurel.org, sidebysidelaurel.org.

Wish List: More volunteers to help at our family nights, registering families, helping serve a dinner and helping with children’s activities.

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’s 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. For more information, info@volunteerhoward.org or 410-715-3172.

Wish List: Holiday volunteer and donation needs of more than 50 local nonprofits are listed in the 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, 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; desktop computer, laptops, tablets for programs; bed pillows. 410-964-9616 or claire.noll@wintergrowthinc.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.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun