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. To learn about many other ways to help throughout the year, visit www.volunteercherokee.org.
Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program
The Cherokee County Homeless Veteran Program (CCHVP), in conjunction with the American Legion Post 45 Auxiliary, announces the kickoff of the third annual Adopt a Veteran program for financially challenged vets. To recommend a veteran family or elderly veteran in a care home or living alone who is in need, or to volunteer to support the program, contact Jim Lindenmayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-983-7590, or call or text Betty Lewis of the American Legion Post 45 Auxiliary at 770-318-6451. CCHVP is hosting a free Breakfast With Santa Dec. 9 for veterans with children under 13. There are three seating times to choose from: 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. This event is sponsored by Cherokee County Senior Services at 1001 Univeter Road in Canton. For reservations, call 770-479-4405 (select the extension for CCHVP).
Cherokee County Senior Services
Registration for Adopt a Senior will be open until Dec. 8. The following items are needed to fill gift bags: two bath towels, $25 grocery gift cards and a book of stamps. Other items also are accepted, but nothing perishable. Drop off donations at the Senior Center at 1001 Univeter Road, Canton. 770-704-2320.
Hugs for Seniors
The Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency is collecting items for Canton Nursing Center residents until Dec. 9 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 email@example.com.
Cherokee Family Violence Center
Items are needed year-round for the emergency shelter. A few special toys have been added to the list: lapadoodle lap desks for children and Crayola Color Wonders. The center has a transitional housing complex with 72 apartments and emergency shelter that accommodates 12 women and children. Officials are asking for donations of new household items, like pots and pans, plates, cups, mugs, silverware, Tupperware, sheets, etc. to establish a new household. They are also asking for craft materials for the children’s program, like glue sticks, bottles of glue and craft kits. And, for the emergency shelter: new socks, undergarments, shirts, pants, pajamas, pillows and towels in a variety of sizes. For delivery details, call 770-479-1703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Katie@cherokeefocus.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: new coats, socks, pajamas and underwear. Target or Walmart gift cards are welcome. Items can be dropped off at 1083 Marietta Highway, Canton. 770-345-3274.
Feed My Lambs
The nonprofit, which offers free Christian preschools, including a location in Canton, holds Happy Birthday Jesus parties each year for the young students. The Canton party, which is expected to draw 300 children, will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Canton YMCA. Volunteers can help with setup beginning at 5 p.m. Individuals or groups can sponsor a child: $10 gets a Happy Birthday Jesus shirt; $25 gets the child a shirt, gift bag, balloon, cake and drink. For more details, call 770-795-9349.
Forever Fed is distributing 385 Christmas food boxes to families in need, as well as hosting mobile pantries in communities experiencing high need. Groups, businesses and individuals can donate nonperishables like peanut butter, jelly, canned beans, canned soups, breakfast-style snacks and hygiene items. To donate, contact Susan@ForeverFed.org or phone 678-883-3314.
Goshen Valley Foundation
The holidays can be difficult times for the foster youth who are served by Goshen Valley. The youth can use a little extra support from their community, and area residents can help by providing meals for the young people and house parents. “Frozen casseroles are a huge blessing for our house parents, who are having to prepare three meals a day when the boys are out of school,” says Zach Blend, CEO of Goshen Valley. Individuals or small groups are encouraged to donate frozen meals. You even can deliver them in person and take a tour of Goshen Valley. Gift cards from Walmart, Target and Amazon also can help to fill many Christmas wish lists, and gas cards are encouraged. The executive director at Goshen Valley Ranch, Stacy Cooper, is putting together an Amazon wish list for the youth. If you would like to purchase a specific gift for one of our young people, please email Stacy at email@example.com or call 770-796-4618.
The pregnancy diagnosis and support center can use donations of new, unwrapped toys for children up to age 18 for the Christmas toy closet. Donations accepted through Dec. 11 at The HOPE Center, 295 Molly Lane, Suite 120, Woodstock. 770-924-0864.
MUST Ministries — Cherokee
The nonprofit provides a Christmas Toy Shop where clients can shop for their children. MUST needs items for 4,500 children, including new blankets, underwear, socks, hats, scarves, gloves and unwrapped toys. Tweens and teens, as well as babies, are age groups often overlooked in toy drives. Particularly helpful are jewelry, hair dryers, curling irons, sports equipment, wallets, belts, makeup kits and other items for ages 12-18. Volunteers are needed for setup, check-in, personal shoppers, checkout, restocking shelves and taking down the shop at New Life Church. For more information, or to schedule a drop-off date and time, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. MUST’s Canton office for donation is 111 Brown Industrial Parkway.
The Woodstock nonprofit, which helps area residents in need by distributing food and clothing, wants to supply Christmas gifts to families in Cherokee County. As of the end of October, they already had 100 children requesting sponsorship. The number is expected to rise to more than 400. Please visit their website to learn how you can become a Through the Eyes of Child sponsor, or click the donation tab and make a monetary donation to help purchase gifts.
North Georgia Pregnancy and Family Resource Center
The Jasper agency serves North Cherokee, Pickens and surrounding counties. Free and confidential services include pregnancy tests, first semester ultrasounds, parenting classes and much more. The nonprofit, which serves pregnant moms and families with children up to 5 years old, needs diapers, wipes, baby clothes size 0-3T, pack-n-plays, baby shower items and financial contributions. 706-253-6303.
The pantry is accepting donations for holiday meals, including turkeys, hams, produce and nonperishable food items. A list of seasonal needs is kept up-to-date on the website. Papa’s Pantry is a food and stability training organization for Cherokee residents. For details, call 770-591-4730.
The Secret Santa program of the Department of Family and Children Services for Cherokee County offers a way for individuals, businesses or larger groups, such as Sunday school classes or Scout troops, to help the more than 350 children in foster care this year. Sponsors can donate as much or as little as they can afford. All size donations are appreciated. For more details, call Secret Santa at 470-235-0753 or email email@example.com.