Many of our friends and neighbors struggle financially every day, and the holiday season is especially difficult. As Christmas approaches, the needs among local nonprofits have increased as the directors and volunteers are working to make sure everyone has a great holiday season. Here’s a list of organizations devoted to helping others. Please do what you can to help, whether it’s donating money or time.
Acworth Police Department Christmas Shoppe
Every year, the Acworth Police Department invites parents in need to select holiday gifts for their children at the station’s Christmas Shoppe. The community can assist the Christmas Shoppe by donating new, unwrapped toys and clothes for school-age children. Donations can be dropped off at the police department anytime before Dec. 15. 770-974-1232, ext. 1145.
Cherokee Family Violence Center
Cherokee Family Violence Center has a transitional housing complex, with 72 apartments and an emergency shelter that accommodates 12 women and children affected by domestic violence. The Christmas wish list includes weekly meals through the holidays for shelter residents, canned items (like soups, meats, fruits and vegetables) and over-the-counter medications for cold and flu season. Additional donation items include unscented laundry pods, dishwashing pods, paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, plastic utensils, new pillows, white linens for twin and full beds, white towel sets (washcloths, bath towels and hand towels) and new undergarments for all ages. Contact 770-479-1804, ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cobb Christmas Stuff-A-Bus
Help the Stuff-A-Bus program brighten the holidays for local children in need by donating new toys, food or monetary contributions to Cobb Christmas, a nonprofit, nondenominational organization that helps low-income families during the holidays. It is 100% run by volunteers, so all donations go directly to help the community. Cobb Christmas provides a minimum of three age-appropriate toys to each child, ages 3-13. Families go through a qualification process. Check the website to find a donation location near you or drop off donations 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 13-15 at IAM Lodge 709 (1032 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta).
Cobb Senior Services
Brighten the holidays for senior clients. Ways to help include:
• Donate gift cards. Cards for Kroger, Publix, Walmart and Target allow seniors to purchase much-needed items.
• Make a monetary donation. Donate funds at https://bit.ly/3SCii9i.
For more information, contact Andrea Rapowitz at email@example.com or 770-528-1445.
Encompass Ministries and its food pantry offer year-round food and stability, as well as life-skills training assistance. Special holiday needs: donations of turkeys, ham and nonperishable food items. A list of the top 10 food needs is kept up-to-date on the website. Tax-deductible donations also are accepted on the website. For more details, call 770-591-4730.
Family Promise Cobb County
Family Promise serves housing-insecure families with children by providing shelter through community faith partnerships. While the family has shelter, the day center staff stays busy working to help the adults find jobs, learn budgeting and connect with benefits and services that will help them. Donations of gas cards and Walmart, Publix, Kroger or Target gift cards are requested to help the families being served. Donations of new bed pillows, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, paper towels and toilet paper always are needed.
Forever Fed, a mobile food ministry, hosts multiple food pantries a month in outdoor settings. There are many opportunities to partner with the nonprofit in building up our community with compassion: volunteer, donate nonperishable foods, send a financial gift or even hold a food drive. For a complete list of events and volunteer opportunities, visit the website.
Goshen Valley Foundation
Goshen Valley Boys Ranch attempts to provide a memorable Christmas experience for foster children, with the community’s help. This includes building traditions and talking about the true meaning of Christmas, as well as fulfilling young people’s wants and needs through gift-giving, to teach them that they are loved. With 42 kids to purchase gifts for, Goshen Valley relies on the generosity of the community to fulfill these wishes. A list of gifts has been compiled on Amazon through a charity wish list. For details, visit http://goshenwishlist.org, email Executive Director Stacy Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-796-4618 for a clickable link to view gifts the boys have requested.
The Hope Box
The Hope Box, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing abandoned babies and toddlers, needs donations via gift cards for Walmart and Target to cover the costs of car seats and other needs of mothers and infants in crisis. Mail gift cards to 3330 Cobb Parkway, Suite 324-180, Acworth, GA 30101. For more information, call 770-765-6301.
Jerry Worthan Memorial Christmas Fund
Each year, Kennesaw Police Department hosts the Jerry Worthan Memorial Christmas Fund, which ensures Kennesaw children don’t go without Christmas gifts. The KPD is accepting monetary and toy donations. Drop off all donations at the police department by Dec. 14. To adopt a family for Christmas, contact KPD_PIO@kennesaw-ga.gov or 770-429-4532.
KSU CARE Services
The Campus Awareness, Resource & Empowerment (CARE) Services office offers program support to students who are experiencing homelessness, food insecurity and/or the foster care system. Monetary donations to the fund can make a huge difference in the lives of students and their academic careers. There is an online shopping gift list for granting holiday wishes to students within this special population. For details, contact CARE Services at email@example.com or 470-KSU-5260 or check out the website at care.kennesaw.edu.
The MUST Ministries Toy Shops program provides Christmas presents for nearly 6,000 children in poverty who otherwise might not wake up to anything under the tree. The program supports children of all ages, and the parents are able to “shop” for toys, gifts and other items, such as blankets and underwear, that are specific to their children’s needs. For more information on toys that are needed and how to donate, visit mustministries.org/toy-shop or email firstname.lastname@example.org. MUST also is in desperate need of winter coats of all sizes to keep their clients warm during the winter months. Please consider bringing gently used or new coats to the MUST Donation Center, 1280 Field Parkway, Marietta, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.
The food pantry is seeking partners to help fight hunger in our community. The pantry provides more than 126,100 meals to approximately 800 households each month. Never Alone’s partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank allows it to purchase food at greatly discounted prices. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation online at www.neveralone.org or by check, made payable to and mailed to: Never Alone Outreach, P.O. Box 1904, Woodstock, GA 30188.
North Georgia Angel House
The organization has served girls since 2006 by providing shelter, life skills, job readiness services, family support and more for up to 40 females at a time. Current needs include: MP3 players, earbuds, gift cards for clothing or activities in the area and journals. Visit the website to donate, or shop on Amazon Smile and select North Georgia Angel House Inc. as your charity to support.
The nonprofit provides food to local families and to complex regions globally. With the help of volunteers, 800 SERV food boxes are delivered each month to families in need. To sponsor a local family for $35 a month, visit the website. For volunteer opportunities, email email@example.com.
Simple Needs GA
The Spirit of Christmas program helps school- and agency-referred families who are getting close to Christmas and were unable to register for other local programs earlier in the year. Volunteer opportunities include buying requested presents, wrapping gifts, making deliveries, sorting and organizing, and more. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is a national program started by the Marine Corps. Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys year-round to distribute to children in need during the holiday season as a way of spreading joy to the less fortunate. Visit the website for an updated list of collection sites in Acworth and Kennesaw.