15 Opportunities to Give Back This Holiday Season

Highlighting nonprofits in Fort Wayne is the heart of The Greater Good. There’s no better time to highlight these nonprofits than the holidays when our hearts and wallets grow more generous. We’d like to inspire you with 15 ways to support local nonprofits this holiday season.

Giving

You can give a child the joy of reading by contributing to Kate’s Kart this holiday season. During your next trip to Glenbrook or Jefferson Pointe, stop by Barnes and Noble to purchase a book or more for kids ages newborn to teens. All you have to do is pick out any book(s) like a childhood favorite or the hottest YA novel, pay for your purchase at the register, and tell the cashier you’d like to donate your purchase to Kate’s Kart. Barnes and Noble will then deliver the book(s) to Kate’s Kart.

Another way to help the Salvation Army—besides through the Red Kettle Campaign— is the Angel Tree. All you need to do is take a tag from an Angel Tree and buy that item for a child, often clothing. Some Angel Tree locations in Fort Wayne include Sweetwater Sound, Elevate City Church, Fort Wayne Orthopedics, and Century 21 Bradley. Salvation Army also accepts monetary donations for the Angel Tree program.

If helping military families is close to your heart, Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County has the perfect opportunity for you. One of their many ministries is helping military families. Each Christmas season, they look for people to help provide a joy-filled Christmas for these military families. Associated Churches is looking for sponsors for 25 families this year. If you’re ready to help one of these families, contact Garry at garry@associatedchurches.org.

You can help give families staying at the Ronald McDonald House Charities a little extra holiday cheer this season. One way to spread holiday cheer is by donating holiday decorations for the House.  To set up decoration donations, email gretchen.spires@parkview.com. Another way to help is by signing up to donate meals to the families. There’s also the option of donating everyday household items. Some items on their wish list include cleaning supplies, department and grocery store gift cards, kitchen supplies, and single-serving snacks.

You can help give a child the gift of warmth this season. At Christ Child Society, you can make monetary donations toward hats, scarves, mittens, and coats. A donation of a hat and scarf is $5, a donation of mittens is $10, and a donation of a winter coat is $50. You can mix and match donations or donate more than one item in increments of 1 through 5, 10, or 20.

If you’re looking to give without spending, consider looking through your closet for dress clothes you don’t wear anymore. Blue Jacket Inc., a nonprofit that helps individuals facing barriers in gaining employment, accepts gently used dress clothes for their clients. While men’s and women’s clothing are needed, many men’s items like suits, dress pants, and shoes are in high demand. You can bring your donations to Blue Jacket Clothing Company or Christopher James Menswear.

The Rescue Mission needs your help completing their Christmas list. Their list consists of items commonly used by their residents. These items include Life Recovery Bibles, men’s wallets, winter gloves, rain ponchos, pocket calendars, word puzzle books, ear buds, reusable water bottles, $5 fast food gift cards, and men’s sweatpants. Any donations on this list must be dropped off at The Rescue Mission by Friday, December 14.

You can finish your holiday shopping by shopping at the downtown shop Creative Women of the World. Profits from the store help women in third-world countries overcome obstacles like human trafficking, poverty, and natural disasters. These women handcraft many of the items sold in the shop. Their selection includes women’s clothing, totes and wallets, bath and body products, and jewelry and other accessories.

If you want to help children this season, consider donating supplies to Erin’s House for Grieving Children. Their supply list is quite large and includes categories of craft supplies, program night supplies, and camp supplies. Some craft supplies include stickers, markers, crayons, coloring books, and paper; some program night supplies include bottled water, canned soda, cutlery, and paper products; and some camp supplies include bottled water, sunblock, individual snacks and juice boxes/pouches, and mini flashlights. Any donations can be dropped off at their office during business hours.

If you’re looking for a scarf for a friend or loved one this season, the Infinity Scarf at Paul’s Place may be the perfect fit. You can purchase an Infinity Scarf in dark green, light green, or white for $12. This purchase supports Paul’s Place, a nonprofit that provides a fully furnished temporary apartment for caregivers living outside of Allen County who are providing care for a loved one receiving treatment in a Fort Wayne hospital.

Project Linus is the perfect nonprofit to support if you love making gifts. Project Linus provides children with a new homemade blanket, giving them warmth and security during a difficult time. You can find more information about blanket sizes and conditions on their website. After making your blanket(s), you can drop off your contribution at the Project Linus house in Fort Wayne or at 2 other drop-off locations.

Events

You can help Miss Virginia’s Food Pantry this season by volunteering with their Turkey Drop Off. The food pantry needs help with assembling and delivering these meals. Assembly is on Thursday, December 13 at 6 pm and delivery is on Saturday, December 15 at 8 am. Both volunteer opportunities take place at Leisure Lawn. You can learn more about the event by calling Suzy at 348-5162.

Start off your holiday season with some holiday cheer at The Chapel’s Christmas Benefit Concert. The concert is on Friday, December 7th from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. 100 percent of the $10 ticket sale goes to The Rescue Mission. You can purchase tickets at The Chapel during weekday office hours and during their weekend services.

You can support Vincent Village this holiday season by attending the Vincent Village Holiday Party. The party is from 6 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, December 13 and includes crafts, food, and fun. One way to contribute to the party is by donating funds for the main and side courses, desserts, and hot chocolate and marshmallows. You can also provide a cash donation of $25. You can learn more about making these donations at the event’s Facebook page.

Come join The Greater Good for our first official event! We’re teaming up with Mad Anthony’s Children’s Hope House to spread joy to kids at Lutheran Children’s Hospital. We’re meeting at 7 pm on Thursday, December 20. We’re going to show these kids that they are not alone this holiday season by shining flashlight beams into their windows. All you need to do to join in this special night is bring your own flashlight.

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