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 …Unfortunately, the Piedmont Triad has one of the worst hunger problems in the nation, and that includes the problem of childhood hunger. One reason is that we are still not fully recovered from the Recession of 2008, and in an economic downturn, many people are either unemployed or underemployed. 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 NC are served by workforce development programs that are administered by Goodwill. Those programs are supported in part by the items we donate, which are then sold at Goodwill retail stores. That means, the more items you donate, the more people will get back to work. Goodwill also welcomes monetary donations. For more information call 724-3621, or visit www.goodwillnwnc.org .
Senior Services, Inc… operates an Adult Day Care facility, and offers a number of services to elderly citizens and their families. Their signature program is Meals on Wheels, and 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% 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… 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, MVHPC maintains six regional offices, and operates the Woltz Hospice Home. They also specialize in care for terminally ill children and veterans. This month, MVHPC is breaking ground for a new hospice home in Yadkin County, which will be funded by grants and local donations. To give money or inquire about volunteering, call 1-888 789-2922, or visit www.mtnvalleyhospice.org
The Winston-Salem Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro… Thanks to the generosity of donors, these two historic Foundations are able to issue scores of community grants every year that go to support a variety of organizations and activities engaged in everything from offering scholarships, to promoting economic development. Both Foundations assist families and individuals who wish to establish charitable trusts and special funds. For general information, visit www.cfgg.org and www.wsfoundation.org.
The 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 .
Please remember that your 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).