Here's a sampling of Greater Cincinnati charitable groups and their holiday needs. All say that monetary donations are always appreciated because non-profit agencies have greater purchasing power and can use the dollars where they're needed most.
Agency: Be Concerned, 714 Washington St., Covington, Ky.
Serves: Low income residents in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties through a year-round food pantry and special Christmas store where 850 to 900 individuals and families pay a nominal fee to shop for holiday food, clothing and gifts.
Needs: Gifts for 11 to 14-year-olds, such as basketballs, footballs, stereo head phones, bath and makeup sets, and head sets with radios. Volunteers are needed for 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 12:15-4 p.m. Mondayand Tuesday shifts at agency's Christmas store. Can also sponsor a family for $75 or a senior or disabled person for $25.
Contact: (859) 291-6789
Agency: Brighton Center, 714 Central Ave., Newport
Serves: Low income Northern Kentucky residents from eight counties, including Boone, Kenton and Campbell through a year-round food pantry and 36 programs to help them become self sufficient.
Needs: Toys for infants to teens and canned food, including vegetables for holiday dinners. Sponsors for families are still needed for the holiday drive that begins next Thursday.
Contact: Peggy A'Hearn, development director, at (859) 491-8303 ext. 2404.
Agency: Mental Health Association of Northern Kentucky, 513 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky.
Serves: Individuals in Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties with mental illness or substance abuse problems. Clients include homeless people.
Needs: New or gently used toys, personal care items, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and diapers. Also need volunteers to help with everything from wrapping gifts to clearing tables at the agency's Christmas Day dinner. Various shifts are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 25.
Contact: Call Arnetta Hobbs, project manager, at (859) 292-2484.
Agency: Welcome House, 205 Pike St., Covington, Ky.
Serves: The homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties. Programs include an emergency shelter for women and children and a year-round food pantry.
Needs: Personal care and hygiene items and cleaning supplies for people moving into new apartments. Also need volunteers to do everything from bagging groceries to working with individual clients.
Contact: Call Jan Remmele, donation and volunteer coordinator, at (859) 431-8717.
Agency: Women's Crisis Center, 835 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky.
Serves: Women and children from 13 Northern Kentucky counties, including Boone, Kenton and Campbell, who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or rape.
Needs: Gifts for women and children, especially teen-agers. Also need pots, pans, sheets and dishes for women furnishing new apartments.
Contact: Volunteer coordinator Vicki Hudson at (859) 372-3578 to volunteer. For donations, contact Kirsten Stamates at (859) 655-2650. Hit star 8 then ext. 22 when prompted. E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agency: FreeStore/FoodBank, 112 E. Liberty St., Cincinnati
Serves: Families and individuals in Greater Cincinnati in need of emergency food and other agencies in 20 counties in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
Needs: Donations of canned vegetables and meat and boxed rice pasta and stuffing mix. Also needs volunteers to sort and pack food collected from canned food drives and to adopt families to assist for the holidays.
Contact: Volunteer coordinator Cathy Boston at (513) 482-7547 or (513) 481-FOOD for information about donations.
Agency: Drop Inn Center, 217 W. 12th St., Cincinnati.
Serves: Single, homeless, adult, men and women from Over-the-Rhine.
Needs: Socks, men's and women's new underwear, blue jeans, jackets and blankets.
Contact: Volunteer coordinator Christina Phalen at (513) 721-0643 ext. 103 or development coordinator Tim Donahue at (513) 721-0643 ext. 122.
Agency: St. Joseph Home of Cincinnati, 10722 Wyscarver Rd., Cincinnati.
Serves: People with profound mental and physical disabilities from newborns to adult from Greater Cincinnati.
Needs: Batteries, AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt, small radios, CD and cassette players, books for toddlers, back packs, constructions paper, glue, markers, knit hats and mittens.
Contact: Sarah Estes, development director, (513) 563-2520.
Agency: Bethany House, 1841 Fairmount Ave., Cincinnati.
Serves: Homeless and low-income women and children from Greater Cincinnati.
Needs: Fast food gift certificates, umbrellas, toiletries, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, sheets, towels, blankets, women's large size underwear, grocery certificates, stamps, bus tokens, toys - especially gifts for teenagers - volunteers to prepare meals.
Contact: Debbie McGarry, volunteer director, 921-1131.
Agency: Society of St. Vincent DePaul operates 60 volunteer groups out of parishes and operates a food pantry and social services agency in the West End.
Serves: Needy from entire Cincinnati area.
Needs: Toys - preferably new - for kids 2-14 and bikes and non-perishable food.
Contact: Colleen Cushard, development director, (513) 562-8841. ext 25.
Agency: Salvation Army
Serves: Greater Cincinnati low income individuals and families
Needs: New toys, canned goods, clothes, volunteers to solicit donations at kettles.
Contact: Matt Pearce, volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati, at (513) 762-8605
E-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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