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by Lori Herren November 13, 2020 4 min read

As the holidays are upon us it is important to remember that there are many people in need of help. Every day of the year is a good time to reach out and support those in need, but the holidays are also an important time to focus on how we can help others. There are thousands of wonderful organizations doing fantastic charity work. Some right there, in your own area, you might not even be aware of. Though we can’t highlight them all, let’s take a look at a few of the many charities that are changing lives and making dreams come true, every day and in this holiday season.

Meals On Wheels

Meals On Wheels America is a leading contributor to fighting hunger and isolation for senior citizens. It was astonishing for me to discover that approximately 7.4 million seniors in America have income rates that fall below the poverty line. Doing the math that is close to $240 a week which after paying utilities, housing and medical expenses, there is very little money left, if any, for basic food for them to eat. Throw in a nationwide pandemic, and you are talking about a very unsettling time for our country’s senior citizens. Meals On Wheels was established in 1954 in Philadelphia by a group of people who wanted to care for those seniors in their area who had a hard time caring for themselves. This kind gesture has grown into one of the largest social campaigns for help in America, now reaching over 2.4 million seniors every year, with programs in nearly every community in the country. 64% of Meals On Wheels clients are women and 40% of clients live in poverty.

Meals On Wheels provides the following to seniors:

  • Nutritious meals
  • Quick safety checks
  • Human connection and conversation
  • Pet food delivery
  • Home repair services
  • Transportation

 

For more information on Meals On Wheels, how you can get involved, to find a program in your area, or donate to support their mission, visit their website at: https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org

Convoy Of Hope

Since its beginnings and foundation in 1994, Convoy Of Hope has delivered meals, supplies, help and hope to more than 130 million people all over the world for the last 26 years. The Donaldson family were inspired to start COH after the outpouring of love and support they received when their father was killed by a drunk driver. They wanted to pay forward the kindness that had been shown that helped them through the hardest time in their lives. Convoy Of Hope is a non-profit, faith based, humanitarian relief organization that is passionate about feeding the hungry and being quick to show up as disaster response to areas hit hard by natural disasters.

Based in Springfield, Missouri, Convoy of Hope helps to provide:

  • Free groceries
  • Free health and dental screenings
  • Free hot meals
  • Job placement
  • Free family portraits
  • Assistance to struggling farmers
  • International feeding initiative - feeding over 300,000 children in 18 different nations
  • Disaster relief to areas hit by natural disasters

 

For more information on Convoy Of Hope and how you can donate or help them in their mission, you can visit their website at: https://www.convoyofhope.org

Toys For Tots

One of the most famous Christmas charities in America is Toys For Tots. Toys For Tots began in 1947 with Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks and his wife Diane. Diane made beautiful dolls and she wanted Bill to find somewhere that she could donate some to children in need at Christmas time. Bill could not find any such organization around Los Angeles so Diane told him to start one. That’s when Major Hendricks and his Marine reserve in LA started collecting for the first ever TFT and ended up handing out 5,000 toys in its first year.  73 years later, TFT is nationwide, distributing to over 7 million children, an average of 18 million toys every year. There are not adequate words to really express what a Christmas gift can mean to a child living in the reality of poverty, and what that gift becomes to their family: Hope. It sparks the embers of hope. 

There are many drop off locations in your local area if you would like to provide some toys. To find these drop off locations, volunteer your time, or make a donation, visit their website: https://www.toysfortots.org

Operation Christmas Child

In 1993, Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization, developed and launched a Christmas initiative to deliver Christmas gifts to children all around the world. The project collects shoeboxes that are filled with toys, personal hygiene items, and school supplies and sends them to children in need all over the world. To date, OCC has distributed over 178 million shoebox gifts to children in over 160 countries.

To learn about the packing instructions on how to pack and ship your own shoebox of Christmas gifts, ideas of what to pack and what not to pack, mailing labels, and drop off locations in your area, visit their website:  https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

 

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Sources:

https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/learn-more/national

https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/learn-more/the-issue

https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/learn-more/what-we-deliver

https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/americaletsdolunch/faqs

https://www.convoyofhope.org/about/

https://www.toysfortots.org/about_toys_for_tots/toys_for_tots_program/timeline.aspx

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/fact-sheet-occ/

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

Lori Herren
Lori Herren

Lori D. Herren is a graduate of the University of West Georgia where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications for Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations, with minors in Marketing and Music. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and pursuing her love of music.


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