You know what they say about this time of year, when the spirit of giving is in the air? “They” always say it is better to give than to receive. Give to friends. Give to family. Give to loved ones. What about charitable giving? There is no better time to expand your giving spirit than by supporting one, or more, of the many organizations in St. Louis with a generous holiday donation.
Santa’s Helpers Inc.
5835 Manchester Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
www.santashelpersstl.comSanta’s Helpers, Inc. is the “make Christmas dreams come true” organization that is committed to keeping the season’s magic alive for anyone, a little less fortunate, or who has run up against some difficult times. On its website, Santa’s Helpers shares many stories in which the organization was able to extend a little joy during the holiday season, thanks to its benefactors. While you can give during the holiday season, feel free to give all year round. That personal touch sets Santa’s Helpers apart as it chooses just the right gifts for members of the needy families complete with personalized name tags, all delivered by Santa, himself.
Crisis Nursery St. Louis
11710 Administration Drive, Suite 18
St. Louis, MO 63146
www.crisisnurserykids.orgThe Christmas season is all about kids and the Crisis Nursery St. Louis is about making a better life for area children by preventing child abuse, neglect and providing short- or long-term emergency shelter for children birth through age 12. Not only does this organization help kids, but it also helps with assistance for parents experiencing overwhelming stress, domestic violence or parental or sibling illness or death. The holidays can be a very stressful time for anyone experiencing these crises. Crisis Nursery takes donations now or any time during the year.
St. Louis Area Food Bank
70 Corporate Woods Drive
Bridgeton, MO 63044
www.stlfoodbank.orgSince 1975, the St. Louis Area Food Bank has been feeding hungry people through many other area distribution agencies, and has become the bi-state’s largest food distribution network. It services over an estimated 57,000 people and provides more that 28 million meals to needy families with school pantry and breakfast programs, mobile distribution programs, transitional housing food programs and more. The Food Bank gladly takes monetary donations as well as food items. The website has a complete list of the most needed products. Drop on by and drop off items any day except Sunday. And while donations are greatly appreciated, there are many ways to volunteer, so check it out and spread a little magic through the Food Bank.Related: Top Spots To Create Your Own Holiday Gifts In The St. Louis Area
St. Louis Christmas Carols Association
7425 Forsyth Blvd., Suite 353
St. Louis, MO 63105
www.stlchristmascarols.orgTradition is a big, big part of the Christmas season, and caroling is a big part of that tradition. The St. Louis Christmas Carols Association is committed to spreading Christmas cheer, peace on Earth and goodwill toward all through caroling and collecting support for agencies that serve children. And this group has been doing so since 1911. In 2012, more than 42 children’s agencies were beneficiaries of the Association’s work. The website lists some of the 2013 recipients. If you can’t carol, there are other ways to donate.
Gateway Search Dogs, Inc.
8080 Wildwood Lane
Barnhart, MO 63012
www.gatewaysearchdogs.orgKathy Roeder and Jan Meyer, and their team, combine their love of canines with a deep sense of service to the public. Gateway Search Dogs, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, has been providing service dogs to city, county and state agencies since 2002. It is an all-volunteer organization, available 24/7 to agencies in need of these highly trained search dogs. Since it is all-volunteer, donations are greatly appreciated. In fact, donations are what keeps the lights on because Gateway does not charge for its services. Gateway Search Dogs, Inc. is a great way to spread a little of that giving, holiday spirit during the Christmas season. Put it on your giving list.Related: Top Spots To Go Caroling In St. Louis
Lisa Payne-Naeger, a native of the St. Louis area, is a freelance writer, blogger, political activist and a homeschooling mother of two children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.