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Plenty of ways to give this holiday season

by Jim Longworth

Plenty of ways to give this holiday season

As we wind down the holiday season, let’s not forget that there are people beyond our immediate circle of family and friends who could benefit from our love and generosity.

Over the past decade, I’ve been able to showcase scores of community organizations on “Triad Today,” and in the process, I’ve learned that there are several ways we can help these agencies help others. The first is to donate goods. Second is to donate money. And third is to donate our time. Of course, some nonprofit groups can benefit from all three types of giving. Here, in no particular  order, are just a few organizations to which you might lend your support.

• Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC:In an economic downturn, many people are either unemployed or underemployed, and that translates into an increasing number of families without money for food. The Second Harvest Food Bank distributes food to churches and nonprofit agencies who feed hungry people in an 18 county area. You can write a check directly to the food bank, and you can drop off non-perishable food items at a number of locations in our area. For more information call 336.784.5770, or visit hungernwnc.org.

• Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC: Each year, more than 45,000 people in northwest NC are served by workforce development programs that are administered by Goodwill. Those programs are supported in part by the clothing and other items we donate, which are then sold at Goodwill retail stores. Goodwill also welcomes monetary donations. For more information call 336.724.3621, or visit goodwillnwnc.org.

• Senior Services: Senior Services operates an adult day-care facility and offers a number of services to elderly citizens and their families. But their signature program is Meals on Wheels. Since 1962, volunteers of all ages have delivered more than 4 million hot lunches to shut-ins, regardless of their ability to pay. Monetary donations are always welcome, and volunteers are always needed. For more information, call 336.725.0907, or visit seniorservices.org .

• Cancer Services:Their stated mission is “to enhance quality of life for those living with cancer, and to provide the gift of life through education”. Their services include patient advocacy, medication and financial assistance, providing equipment and supplies, offering peer-support groups and much more. Ninety percent of funds donated to Cancer Services go directly to providing client services. In addition to money, you can also donate used equipment and supplies. Call 336.760.9983, or visit cancerservicesonline.org.

• Greensboro Urban Ministry: Urban Ministry is on the front lines when it comes to providing emergency assistance. Greensboro Urban Ministry provides homeless families in Guilford County a safe, temporary environment. They also operate a food bank and offer a chaplaincy service. Volunteers are needed to prepare and serve meals, manage shelters, tutor children and perform a variety of other duties. Monetary donations are also much appreciated. Call 336.271.5959, or visit greensborourbanministry.org.

• Hospice: There are number of hospice programs throughout our region, and all of them are in need of volunteers to aid in the care of patients and to comfort families. Mountain Valley Hospice, for example, serves a 16-county area in North Carolina and Virginia, offering personalized care to patients at the end of life. Due to the vast geographical area they serve, MVHPC maintains six regional offices and operates the Woltz Hospice Home. They also specialize in care for terminally ill children and veterans. To donate money or inquire about volunteering, call 888.789.2922 or visit mtnvalleyhospice.org. Other area hospices include Hospice & Palliative Care Center in Winston- Salem (888.876.3663, or hospicecarecenter. org), Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro (336.621.2500, or hospicegso.org), Hospice of Davidson County (800.768.4677, or hospiceofdavidson.org) and Hospice of the Piedmont (336.889.3450, hospice-careconnection.org).

• Carolina Donor Services and Red Cross: There can be no greater gift at this holiday season than the gift of life, and that’s why you might consider donating blood and signing a donor card. Either gesture requires only a few minutes of your time, and will almost certainly result in saving someone’s life in the future. You can reach Carolina Donor Services at 800.200.2672, or at carolinadonorservices.org. You can call the Red Cross at 336.333.2111, or visit gsoredcross.org .

We all celebrate the holidays in different ways with different traditions and customs. But no matter your religious beliefs, donations of time, money or goods to area community organizations are vitally important, not just now, but throughout the coming year. It’s also a way for us to expand the circle of people we care about, and that’s something worth celebrating in this season of giving.

JIM LONGWORTH is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11am on WMYV (cable channel 15).

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