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. While you’re at it, consider bringing a basket of homemade goodies, fresh fruit or colorful flowers to show your appreciation for the staff and volunteers at these nonprofits. To learn about many other ways to help throughout the year, visit www.volunteercherokee.org.
Adopt a Senior 2019
The Cherokee County Senior Center is collecting gift items for local seniors, zip-up lightweight jackets with hoods, grocery gift cards, a book of stamps, or other nonperishable items. Place gifts in holiday gift bags (no wrapping please). Register to adopt Nov. 4-Dec. 13 by emailing JNMCEUEN@cherokeega.com or calling 770-704-2320. Drop off gifts Nov. 12-Dec. 16 at the Cherokee County Senior Center, 1001 Univeter Road. Saturday drop-off times are 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7 and Dec. 14.
Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency
The Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency is collecting items for Cherokee County nursing centers, through the annual Hugs in a Blanket campaign, between Nov. 3 and Dec. 6. Individuals can bring a new warm blanket and a pair of unisex slipper socks to the recreation center at 7545 Main St., Building 200 in Woodstock. 770-924-7768. email@example.com.
27th annual Cherokee Thanksgiving
Hosted by Canton First United Methodist Church. Volunteers will serve approximately 2,000 meals in Cherokee and Pickens counties on Thanksgiving day. This dinner is for anyone who needs a meal, does not want to eat alone, or isn’t able to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Local area emergency service personnel and hospital emergency staff members also will receive dinners. To order a meal for dine-in, delivery or pick up, call 470-232-5797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dinners are delivered between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dine-in starts at noon. Volunteers for delivery can email email@example.com. Allow a few days for response. Opportunities to volunteer to assist with meal prep and serving start the week before Thanksgiving; email CTvolunteers2019@gmail.com or contact Cheryl Mosley at 678-296-7297 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow a few days for response. Food or monetary donations also are needed. Mail a check to Cherokee Thanksgiving, Inc., 930 Lower Scott Mill Road, Canton, GA 30115.
The Children’s Haven
This nonprofit promotes the health and happiness of children in Cherokee who are affected by abuse. The group works to ensure their safety, advocate on their behalf, and respond to meet 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. Volunteers are always needed to assist in the Caregiver’s Closet. Items can be dropped off at 1083 Marietta Highway in Canton. 770-345-3274.
Forever Fed distributes Christmas Boxes to 300 children receiving Christmas Angel Gifts each Christmas season. The ministry also hosts eight mobile pantries and clothes closets, providing grocery support and clothing to more than 600 families struggling to make ends meet each month. For a list of high-demand food and clothing, visit www.ForeverFed.org and click on the Donations tab. 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. Sign up on the website by clicking the Volunteers tab.
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 community’s help. 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 youths to purchase gifts for, Goshen relies on the generosity of the community to fulfill these wishes. A list of gifts have been compiled on the Amazon website through a charity wishlist. For details, visit http://goshenwishlist.org, email Executive Director Stacy Cooper at email@example.com or call 770-796-4618 for a clickable link to view gifts the boys have requested.
MUST Ministries — Cherokee
The Thanksgiving Food Box Program has its roots in the very origin of the Thanksgiving holiday. The agency is looking for donations of cans of green beans, corn, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes; boxes or packets of mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, stuffing and gravy mixes; frozen pies; and turkeys (no glass please). Grocery store gift cards also are welcome. Monetary donations for turkeys and frozen pies are the most helpful. MUST partners with a distributor to get the most turkey per dollar. Nonperishable items can be dropped off 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. now until Nov. 14. The frozen pies can be dropped off 8-9 a.m. Nov. 11-15. Both drop-offs are at MUST’s Canton location at 111 Brown Industrial Parkway. Volunteers are welcome. It always helps to let MUST know what items you’ll be bringing. Please contact Breier Sanders at 470-651-8405 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The food pantry is seeking partners to help provide Thanksgiving turkeys and family meal boxes for 600 local families who are having financial difficulties. 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.
Operation Christmas Child
Representatives will be collecting donations of filled shoeboxes Nov 18-25 at Canton First Baptist, 1 Mission Point. Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, collects boxes filled with clothing and accessories, craft items, school supplies, toys and personal care items (no liquids accepted, including toothpaste, shampoo, deodorants, etc.) and ships them around the world to children in need. Collection times are: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, with additional times of 4-8 p.m. Nov. 20, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-noon Nov 25. Visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ to learn how to pack a shoebox. For questions regarding drop off, call the church at 770-479-5538.
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 at www.papaspantry.org. For more details, call
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 specialty 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 email@example.com.