Because many of our friends and neighbors struggle financially every day, there are many charities that work hard to help people in need. Here’s a list of local nonprofits that have additional needs for the holidays.
Adopt a Vet
Each Christmas, the Cherokee County Homeless Veteran program reaches out to veterans living in assisted-living facilities, nursing homes or at home alone. Last year the program supported more than 230 veterans in senior facilities, and provided Christmas for 40 veteran families who were financially challenged. To request aid for a veteran in need, or to support the program, contact Jim Lindenmayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 678-983-7590, or Betty Lewis at 770-318-6451.
Cherokee County Senior Services
Registration for Adopt a Senior will be open until Dec. 12. The following items are needed to fill gift bags: nightgown or pajamas and slippers, $25 grocery gift cards and a book of stamps. Other items also are accepted, but nothing perishable. Drop off donations before Dec. 14 at the Senior Center at 1001 Univeter Road, Canton. 770-704-2320. email@example.com
Hugs for Seniors
The Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency is collecting items for nursing centers in Cherokee County until Dec. 6, for the first Hugs in a Blanket campaign. Individuals can bring a warm blanket and a pair of unisex slipper socks to the rec center at 7545 Main St., Building 200, Woodstock. For more information, call 770-924-7768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cherokee Family Violence Center
Items are needed year-round. The center has a transitional housing complex with 72 units for single moms and their children, an emergency shelter that accommodates 12 women and children, and a legal department providing services for victims of intimate partner violence. Donations requested: warm items (coats, scarves, gloves, hats, robes, socks) for women and children, extra small to extra large sizes; small vacuum cleaners, microwaves, Swiffer starter sets and refills, Tupperware, sheets and towels, etc. to establish a new household. Craft materials for the children’s program, such as glue sticks, bottles of glue and craft kits. And, for the emergency shelter: white towels and washcloths, white twin and full sheet sets, new pillows, new socks, undergarments, and pajamas in a variety of sizes. For delivery details, call 770-479-1704, ext. 101 or email email@example.com.
Cherokee Youth Works
Cherokee Youth Works (CYW) is a program of the Cherokee FOCUS collaborative. CYW works with youth and young adults ages 16-24 to help them gain and retain employment, and obtain an education. The wish list includes gifts that assist and support the goals of the participants, such as monetary donations or gift cards for items such as: gas cards, GED testing fees, college admission fees, transportation, child care, temporary housing, clothing for work and other supportive gifts. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-345-5483.
The Children’s Haven
The Children’s Haven promotes the health and happiness of children in Cherokee County who are affected by abuse. The group works to ensure their safety, advocate on their behalf and respond to their needs. Holiday needs include: diapers, wipes, teen underwear (adult sizes XS-L), bralettes or sports bras (XS-L). Target or Walmart gift cards are welcome. Items can be dropped off at 1083 Marietta Highway, Canton. 770-345-3274. Volunteers are always needed to assist in the Caregiver’s Closet.
Forever Fed distributes Christmas boxes to 300 children receiving Christmas Angel gifts each Christmas season. Forever Fed also hosts eight mobile pantries and clothes closets serving 600-plus families struggling to make ends meet every month with grocery support and clothing. For a list of high demand food and clothing, visit the website and click on the “Donations” tab for details. If your organization would like to sponsor a food drive, please contact Susan@ForeverFed.org or phone 678-883-3314. There are hundreds of family-friendly volunteer opportunities each month as well. Sign up to serve at ForeverFed.org/volunteers/.
Goshen Valley Foundation
The holidays are a difficult time for foster children not living with their families. Goshen Valley Boys Ranch attempts to provide a memorable Christmas experience for foster youth with the help of the community. This includes building traditions, talking about the true meaning of Christmas, and fulfilling some of the youth’s wants and needs through gift giving to teach them that they are loved. With 42 youth to purchase gifts for, Goshen relies on the ever present generosity of the community in order to fulfill these wishes. A list of gifts have been compiled on the Amazon website through a Charity Wishlist. Those desiring to help can visit: http://goshenwishlist.org and click Christmas list, or can email Stacy Cooper, Executive Director at email@example.com or call 770-796-4618.
MUST Ministries — Cherokee
The annual MUST Toy Shops, including one for Cherokee County residents, are collecting new items for children living in poverty. Toys, games, bikes, dolls (every ethnicity), sports equipment, underwear, socks, t-shirts, hats, scarves, gloves and blankets are in particular need. Gifts for tweens and teens are the greatest need: purses, wallets, jewelry, blow dryers, curling irons, sports equipment, makeup kits, athletic shoes, and boots. Drop off donations at 111 Brown Industrial Parkway, Canton, or email CherokeeHoliday@mustministries.org if you would like to volunteer! Toy shops will be open by appointment only Dec. 3-21.
North Georgia Pregnancy and Family Resource Center
The Jasper agency serves North Cherokee, Pickens and surrounding counties. Free and confidential services include pregnancy tests, free ultrasound referrals, parenting classes, counseling, and much more. The nonprofit, which serves pregnant moms and families, needs diaper bags, diapers, wipes, baby clothes, maternity clothes, cribs, car seats and financial contributions. 706-253-6303.
Papa’s Pantry/Encompass Ministries
Encompass Ministries and its food pantry offers year-round food and stability as well as life skills training assistance, Mondays-Saturdays. 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 online. For more details, call 770-591-4730.
The Secret Santa program of the Department of Family and Children’s Services for Cherokee County offers a way for individuals, businesses, schools, churches or groups such as Sunday school classes or Boy and Girl Scout troops to help the more than 300 children in foster care this year. Sponsors can be matched with specific children or collect speciality items needed to service our program. All levels of contributions are accepted. All size donations are appreciated. For more details, call the Secret Santa phone line at 470.403.0541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.