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Plenty of ways to give this holiday season

As we celebrate and enjoy this 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 my “Triad Today”

television show, 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 that 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 784- 5770, or visit www.hungernwnc.org.

GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF NORTHWEST NC

Each year, over 45,000 people in Northwest North Carolina 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 724-3621, or visit www.goodwillnwnc. org.

SENIOR SERVICES, INC

Senior Services, Inc. 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 over four 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 725-0907, or visit www. seniorservices.org.

CANCER SERVICES, INC.

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. 90 percent of funds donated to Cancer Services, Inc. goes directly to providing client services. In addition to money, you can also donate used equipment and supplies. Call 760-9983, or visit www.cancerservicesonline.org.

GREENSBORO URBAN MINISTRY

The Greensboro 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 271-5959, or visit www.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. Mtn. Valley Hospice, for example, serves a 16-county area in NC and Virginia, offering personalized care to patients at the end of life. Due to the vast geographical area they serve, MVH- PC 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 1-888 789-2922, or visit www.mtnvalleyhospice.org Other area hospices include:

Hospice & Palliative Care Center in Winston-Salem (888-876-3663, or ww.hospicecarecenter.org); Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro (621- 2500, or www.hospicegso.org), Hospice of Davidson County ( 800- 768-4677, or www.hospiceofdavidson.org); and Hospice of the Piedmont (889-3450, www.hospice-careconnection.org).

THE WINSTON-SALEM FOUN- DATION

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the Winston-Salem Foundation is able to issue scores of community grants every year, which go to support a variety of organizations and activities engaged in everything from improving healthcare to promoting economic development. The foundation also awards scholarships. For general information, visit www.wsfoundation.org. To learn about establishing a charitable trust or special fund visit www.giving@wsfoundation. org.

PETTY FAMILY FOUNDATION

NASCAR legend Richard Petty and his family support a number of charitable organizations and specialized programs, including Paralyzed Veterans of America and Victory Junction Camp, the latter of which provides an uplifting experience for children with severe disabilities and terminal illnesses. To make a donation or learn more, visit www.pettyfamilyfoundation.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 1-800 200-2672, or at www.carolinadonorservices.org. You can call the Red Cross at 333-2111, or via the Internet at www.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 is 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 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).

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