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Here are some places in Laurel to help you share your blessings

Each season, we encourage readers to “share your blessings” with those in need. 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, especially now during the pandemic. Here is a listing of local helping organizations seeking donations of either money, items or both. In this season of giving and Thanksgiving, please share your blessings, by giving to those less fortunate.

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.

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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, located at the back of the church building. Call the church office to arrange a special drop-off time.

Bread of Life Food Pantry provides food and toiletry items, as well as clothing items when available, to people in need within the community.
Bread of Life Food Pantry provides food and toiletry items, as well as clothing items when available, to people in need within the community. (Laurel Leader File photo)

First Generation College Bound is a grassroots nonprofit working to increase the number of students who attend college by developing an educational community support system that bridges the resources of the home, church, school and community. 301-490-0911.

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Wish List: Monetary donation for our college access and retention programs, that provide care packages and services for students attending college. The donations can be made on our website at fgcb.org.

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. Donations are accepted daily and can be left at our back door between 4:30-5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays between 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

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

Wish List: Gift cards in $10, $20, $25 or $50 amounts from Walmart, Target and Amazon (physical cards only, no digital cards). Donations can be delivered or mailed to 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia, 21044.

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, Target and Walmart gift cards; cleaning items, all-purpose cleaner, latex and non-latex gloves; face masks, Clorox wipes, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers in sizes four and five and baby wipes; pop-top canned goods, pasta and sauce, and ready to eat meals.

Hospice of the Chesapeake’s mission is caring 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, 800-745-6132, volunteers@hospicechesapeake.org or hospicechesapeake.org/volunteer.

Wish List: Volunteers needed in Anne Arundel, Charles and Prince George’s counties to perform duties from their home calling patients and their caregivers as weekly Caring Callers to check in and as Companionship Callers to lend a caring ear. We Honor Veterans volunteers are needed for contactless delivery of kits for families to facilitate virtual honor salutes.

Howard County Office on Aging and Independence/Project Holiday is collecting new gifts (personal care items, socks, blanket throws, scarves, etc.) for low-income seniors who reside in assisted-living facilities and in the community. The Office of Children and Families is collecting new books and toys for families with children ages 0 to 5.

Wish List: New, non-wrapped gift items can be dropped off through Monday, Dec. 7 at the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services, Elkridge 50+ Center and Ellicott 50+ Center . Bins are located outside the front entrances To donate gift cards or make a financial contribution, call Tené Young at 410-313-5956.

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. 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 to donate online, go to laureladvocacy.org. Non-perishable, non-expired food donations can be dropped off during office hours at LARS, 311 Laurel Ave.

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Wish List: Gift cards for grocery, gas, and Target or Walmart. Canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing and cornbread mix, instant potatoes, gravy, frozen hams and turkeys, pie crusts and pie filling.

During a past event, volunteers packed Thanksgiving food bags at the pantry at Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services.
During a past event, volunteers packed Thanksgiving food bags at the pantry at Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services. (Laurel Leader File photo)

Laurel Cats is a nonprofit community cat program working toward a day when every Laurel cat has a good indoor home. We offer free spay/neuter to all Laurel cats in need and rescue homeless cats and kittens from Laurel’s streets. 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 for one-two months of fostering. Donations of cat food and money to pay for spaying and neutering. Small donations can be dropped off in our donation bins at our food bank at 1200 Sand Spring Road (back side of the building facing the cemetery). For pickup of larger items, contactinfo@laurelcats.org or call 301-886-0161. Monetary donations can be sent to Laurel Cats, P.O. Box 57, Laurel, MD 20725.

Paula Edens at Laurel Cats Inc.'s food pantry on the first Sunday of the month. - Original Credit:
Paula Edens at Laurel Cats Inc.'s food pantry on the first Sunday of the month. - Original Credit: (John Cholod/Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland — delivers nutritious meals to home-bound individuals, enabling them to live independently in their homes and to age in place with dignity. Since mid-March, we have kept up with the increased demand for food, delivering more than two million meals to aging and home-bound communities throughout central Maryland. 443-573-0925 or mealsonwheelsmd.org.

Wish List: A current wish list and service project ideas can be found on our website at mealsonwheelsmd.org. Still accepting new, never-opened wet and dry pet food for cats or dogs; and monetary donations. Meal packing volunteers are always welcome.

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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.

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Wish List: Volunteer drivers who like a flexible schedule to provide rides to essential medical appointments or help with food deliveries to community members in need.

St. Mary of the Mills Catholic Church Parish Food Pantry distributes groceries each week to those in need on Thursdays at 11 a.m. at the Keesler Center, 800 Main St. 301-725-3080.

Wish List: Donations of canned chicken, beef stew, SPAM, Vienna sausages, canned tuna, pork n’ beans, baked beans, chunky soup, peanut butter, jelly in plastic jars, pasta sauce in cans, boxed pasta, instant rice, noodle side dishes, boxed cereal, instant oatmeal, Spaghetti-Os, canned ravioli, instant potatoes, canned fruit, diapers and diaper wipes are needed as well. Drop off at the church vestibule.

Winter Growth Inc. provides community-based services for seniors and disabled adults with memory care, 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 (Volunteers): Winter Growth with virtual volunteers who can assist with Google AdWords and/or share their musical and other talents with us. Volunteers are also needed to assist with small construction projects, such as the building of raised flower beds for our residents to enjoy. Donations of 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; tablets to support virtual visits and programming; colored CARD stock and glue sticks for our Card Craft Club; NYOrtho wheelchair footrest bags/leg rest bags/footrest extender storage bags; gift cards to Amazon, Target, Walmart, Michael’s and Costco for program supplies; clock radios; twin sheets and comforters; bath towels; bed pillows. Contact Claire Noll at 410-964-9616

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