With the holiday season around the corner, this may be the perfect time to teach your family about the art of giving.
With your children, discuss the economics of wants and needs, and how your family can provide both for those in need.
Need some help finding the right charities to donate to this season? Below is a list of organizations in Arlington looking for food, toys, clothing, volunteers, and appliances.*
Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless Inc.
The coalition seeks individuals, churches and businesses to adopt a family for Christmas. Families will be matched with groups, organizations or individuals. New toys, gift certificates and clothing for kids ages 2 weeks to 18 years are also appreciated. Call the shelter and ask for Katie Mirick or Arhelia Finnie. Take donations to 3103 N. Ninth Rd., Arlington.
Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network
In-kind donations requested for A-SPAN include winter clothes for men (coats, hats, gloves, underwear and socks), toothbrushes, toothpaste and disposable razors. Volunteers may participate in a holiday gift-wrapping fundraiser at Ballston Mall in two- or three-hour shifts from noon to 9 p.m. (Sundays until 6 p.m.) on Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9 and 15-24. To arrange a donation or to wrap gifts, contact Ext. 17 or email.Broderaspan@aol.com. Shelter volunteers are also needed to prepare and donate meals in shifts, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and 5:30 to 7 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; contact Ext. 15 or EmergShelter@aol.com. Donations can be brought to Opportunity Place, 2708B S. Nelson St., Arlington, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington
Money and volunteers are sought for all of the programs covered by Catholic Charities. In-kind donations are also sought: Christ House, 131 S. West St., Alexandria, needs warm clothing, cookware, a laptop with disk capability, educational toys, software, books and videos for children, bed rails for children, bedding and mentors for shelter residents; call 703-549-8644 or 703-548-4227. St. Martin de Porres Senior Center, 4650 Taney Ave., Alexandria, needs folding wheelchairs, canned and baked goods, paper products, personal care items and small items for Bingo prizes; call 703-751-2766. Hogar Hispano, 6201 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, needs a Xerox Memory Writer typewriter and an overhead projector; call 703-534-9805. Disabled Persons Services, 3838 Cathedral Lane, Arlington, needs cars, wheelchairs and communication boards for nonverbal people; call 703-841-2531.
The Hispanic Committee of Virginia
(703) 671-5666, (703) 243-3033
The committee seeks monetary donations, gift certificates from grocery stores and clothing stores, used clothes and toys. Volunteers are needed for translation services, mentoring programs and special events help.
New Hope Housing
The organization, which provides shelter and opportunities to 800 individuals each year, is looking for people to buy presents from someone’s wish list in the adopt-a-family program; purchase, assemble and deliver food baskets; prepare treats for hypothermia shelters in Alexandria and Falls Church; prepare and serve Christmas dinner at the Kennedy Shelter in Fort Belvoir; and donate presents to Santa’s Workshop. Gift ideas include gift certificates, movie passes, umbrellas, phone cards, alarm clocks, towels, socks, laundry baskets, irons, ironing boards, bath and beauty baskets, flashlights, batteries and gifts for teenagers. Evening volunteers are also needed Dec. 17-19 to help with the operation of Santa’s Workshop. Gifts can be delivered to New Hope Housing Administrative Offices at 8407 E. Richmond Hwy., Alexandria, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Evening delivery is also possible if notice is given. Call Laura Martin, Ext. 13.
Offender Aid and Restoration
Volunteers and donations are needed to assist OAR’s Project Christmas Angel, an outreach to children whose parents will not be home for the holidays because of incarceration. Donations of the following unwrapped gifts for children up to age 16 are needed: games, toys, books or journals, movie passes, sports equipment and gift certificates. Donations of clothing are not requested. Additionally, gift certificates to grocery stores and financial contributions are needed to offset the cost of postage and wrapping supplies. Volunteers are needed to help wrap gifts, which can be dropped off at 1400 N. Yule St., Arlington. For more information, contact Katie Steinbrook.
Sponsors are needed to provide holiday meals and gifts for families through Arlington’s Secret Santa program, which assists more than 400 families a year. Participants also can donate food baskets, gift certificates for food and clothing, hats, scarves, mittens and used items including computers, sewing machines and children’s bikes. For more information, leave a message on the Secret Santa hot line, and a volunteer will return the call.
The Urban Alternative
The Urban Alternative needs donations of winter coats for children and adults, toys, gifts for adolescents, nonperishable food and materials for arts and crafts projects. Computer products such as nonperforated printer paper, disks and computer books also are needed. Volunteers are needed all year to assist in after-school children’s activities, teach computer classes and help with tax preparation. Donations can be taken to 860 S. Greenbrier St., Apt. G-4, Arlington, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information, contact Leni Gonzalez.
n be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at 5232 Lee Hwy., Arlington.
* Information gathered from The Washington Post.
For comments, questions, or story ideas, email Janice Chong at firstname.lastname@example.org.