Even though I’m usually a little mischievous, I’m still a pretty nice little elf. That’s why I want to tell you about some ways you can be kind to others this holiday season.
Dallas-Fort Worth is a big place, and that means there is a lot of need. Many of us have more than enough—I know because I hang out in the BubbleLife offices where they have big fancy computers and technology to provide neighborhood news and connect local businesses to their customers—and I heard BubbleLife staff members talking about the best places to give back for Christmas.
Since Neighborhood Editor Angela Washeck shares stories about unique, local people and places, I thought I’d write some of my favorite ways to spread holiday cheer through local charities and nonprofits:
Allen Community Outreach – Did you know that each month, more than 200 Allen-area families depend on ACO for a bit of extra help with the basics, like toiletries and pantry staples such as peanut butter? Through your donations, some folks in Collin County will have a brighter Christmas and fuller stomachs.
A World For Children – I saw this little nonprofit downstairs in the building where the BubbleLife office is and wanted to find out more about it. AWOC is a faith-based organization that connects foster children who have been neglected and abused with parents willing to take them in. As the second-largest child-placing agency in the state, AWOC is always looking for foster parents, especially around the holiday season. They have offices in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Dallas Life – This place serves the homeless of the city. To help them out, you can sponsor a table that will provide Christmas meals to the homeless in our area, donate online or gather some of the items with your family that Dallas Life always needs, like razors or children’s backpacks.
Genesis Women’s Shelter – Have some gently used items like toys, clothes, accessories or even furniture you want to donate after Santa drops off new gifts? Genesis has a thrift store where they sell items to people in the community, and all of the proceeds from the store benefit the shelter. Genesis women also get a chance to shop in the store as needed. Find out how you can help Genesis here.
Irving Cares – This organization accepts these food donations each day from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 440 South Nursery Road. Cash gifts allow Irving Cares to supplement its Holiday Assistance Program and provide financial assistance and grocery gift cards to local families. And, they help families pay their rent/mortgage and utility bills during the month of December. How cool is that?
North Texas Food Bank – There are some cool ways you can knock out Christmas shopping AND help beat hunger in North Texas. The food bank sells special calendars, t-shirts and even NTFB golf balls. The profits of all of these items benefit hungry children, families and seniors in the area. Purchasing holiday cards to send out to your friends is a good way to make an impact. You can also get together with your friends (my elf buds and I might do this!) and start a “virtual food drive,” canned food drive or donate money directly.
Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth – I like Ronald McDonald House because they do nice things for kids AND families, especially when they’re going through hard times. By providing things on the wish list of families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth or buying the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook, which benefits RMH Charities, you can help brighten the Christmas season of your neighbors. At the Dallas home, you can attend the 2014 Moonlight Ball or take the kids to see the Trains at NorthPark, benefitting nearby families whose kids are seriously ill.
Toys for Tots – The ice storm forced some of the Toys for Tots events to be cancelled, and some of the drop-off locations have already closed up shop to get ready to distribute gifts. But don’t worry; there are still plenty of ways to help out Toys for Tots! Because the toy drive party in Dallas had to be cancelled, they’re encouraging online donations this year.
Wee Volunteer – If you want to get your little elves involved with serving the community this year, check out Wee Volunteer for a wee bit of inspiration. The organization’s biggest areas of need are hunger, homelessness, under-privileged children, the elderly, animals and the environment, and they’ve got events going on year-round that are a perfect way for the whole family to serve together around the holidays.
P.S. To check out some of the other spying shenanigans I've been up to in the BubbleLife office, click here.