Ways to serve, help others and donate for the holidays

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'Tis the season for giving! Teach your kids the true meaning of the holidays by helping others.

There are plenty of ways to serve your community in Maryland coming up: food drives, collections of donations for nonprofits, toy and gift drives, and serving or delivering holiday dinners for those less fortunate.

Help the homeless and needy during these winter months by volunteering at some of the events or donation drives listed below.

Ways to help the needy, seniors and animals are organized by type of activity or assistance needed:

Preparing, serving, delivering meals

Food drives or clothing drives

Toy drives and children's hospital donations

Shelters and adopting a family

Pet shelter needs

 Updating for 2018

Preparing, serving, delivering food

Help to feed those who cannot afford or are unable to make a meal.

The United Way of Central Maryland - Harvest of Plenty

Through the United Way of Central Maryland, families can help assemble and distribute complete Thanksgiving meals for the needy at dozens of convenient locations throughout the state. Each year, the United Way donates more than 3,000 complete Thanksgiving dinners to families in need, and many local churches and community centers help with this process. If you are unable to volunteer, monetary donations are accepted.
100 S Charles St., Baltimore

Our Daily Bread - Feed the Homeless 

At Our Daily Bread in Baltimore, families with children 14 and older are invited to help serve breakfast and lunch every day of the year. Although Thanksgiving day is always popular for families wanting to volunteer, the need is great throughout the year. Our Daily Bread also has a casserole donation program where families can prepare and deliver casseroles that are served to the hungry. The organization's website offers recipes, suggestions and preparation guidelines so families can prepare food in advance.
725 Fallsway, Baltimore

Meals on Wheels 

Meals on Wheels, an organization that provides meals to homebound seniors and disabled individuals, needs volunteers to help deliver meals during the holiday season and beyond. Meals usually are delivered daily between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and volunteers can serve as many times a month as they like. Meals for Mom is a program designed to encourage parents to volunteer with their children as a driver/visitor team to develop a personal relationship with their recipients.

Lighthouse Shelter 

Families with younger children are invited to help with the Thanksgiving basket program. Families can donate items or help assemble "baskets" that include full Thanksgiving meals and are distributed to the needy the Monday before Thanksgiving. A list of needed items, along with basket suggestions and guidelines, is on the website.

We Care and Friends 

We Care and Friends, a non-profit organization in Annapolis, has an annual Thanksgiving dinner for 3,000 who are homeless or in need and is served the Monday before Thanksgiving. Held at the Stanton Community Center, the dinner is made possible through donations from restaurants and includes music and kids' entertainment for the needy families in attendance. 

Beans and Bread 

St. Vincent of de Paul of Baltimore, allied with the Beans and Bread program, provides volunteer-bagged lunches to the homeless. If you're interested in organizing a packing at your church or your child's school, please fill out and submit this form.
410-732-1892 ext 111.,

Goodwill Industries - Thanksgiving Dinner

Three hundred volunteers are needed to help prepare and serve food to people with disabilities or special needs at the organization's 63rd annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Resource Fair. Families with older children are welcome to volunteer. The Thanksgiving dinner will be held on Nov. 21 from 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Happy Helpers for the Homeless

We are an all-volunteer organization. Each weekend, we engage young people, their parents, and organizations in preparing food and goods for the needy. We have served the needy of Glen Burnie and Baltimore City for over 20 years. We bring love and necessities directly to homeless and poverty-stricken men, women, and children every Saturday and Sunday no matter the weather and including holidays. We also hold many themed parties for those whom we serve annually.

Click next for information on food and clothing drives

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