The holiday are the season of giving, and many look for ways to give during the holidays to help those in need. With 2020 and 2021 being particular hard years for many, the need for giving is even higher.
In addition, with people staying home more than ever, Angel Trees, Toys for Tots, and adopt-a-family programs aren’t as visible to the public to help.
We’ve gathered a list of places you can help support this year, including adopt-a-family, homeless shelters, food pantries, and more. There are options for all budgets, including Amazon wishlists with gifts for children as inexpensive at $6. Even one small gift will bring joy to a child who wouldn’t otherwise receive any Christmas present.
To make donations easier, most organizations listed below offer an Amazon Wishlist. You can order a much-needed item or gift from the wishlist, and it will be sent directly to the organization. You don’t even have to leave your house to bring joy when you give this holiday season!
Adopt-A-Family with St. Vincent Family Center
St. Vincent Family Center, a 150-year-old organization on Columbus’ Near East Side and leading provider of pediatric behavioral healthcare, is encouraging the community to Adopt-A-Family this holiday season. With deep roots in the central Ohio community, the St. Vincent Family Center specializes in increasing positive behaviors in children, strengthening family relationships, and working with families affected by trauma.
This holiday season, they want to give the children and families they serve a holiday to remember through an Adopt-a-Family program. This year, they are looking to support about 700 children.
To participate, individuals can either adopt a St. Vincent Family Center family, or contribute a financial donation to support the purchase of holiday gifts for children in greatest need and essential items for their families. To donate or be matched to a family, individuals can visit the website.
Adopt-A-Family and Wishlist Donations with The Buckeye Ranch
The Buckeye Ranch is an amazing organization focused on helping families and youth for mental health treatment and services for behavioral, psychological, and substance-abuse disorders. They also offer a Residential program, a secured treatment facility for youth ages 10-17. With safety protocols in 2020/2021, youth have experiences reduced home visits and family visits, and have been unable to take field trips. The holidays are always a difficult season for residential youth, and sending a gift can show them that they are not forgotten.
To help, make a monetary contribution, or purchase from the Amazon Wish List to send some cheer to youth in their care over the holidays. There are options from as low as $6, so even a small purchase or donation can help. See donation options.
Huck House Adopt A Family and Wishlist Donations
Huckleberry House works with Central Ohio’s youth and families who are dealing with some of the most difficult problems imaginable. Issues like abuse, violence, neglect, poverty, and homelessness. No matter how hopeless the situation may seem, we offer proven programs and committed people who know how to help young people and families take control of their lives. They offer a crisis shelter, Youth Outreach Program, counseling, crisis hotline, Transitional Living Program, and more
Ways to help
- Shop Amazon Wishlist
- Purchase or donate items from wishlist, including new toiletries and clothing, and gently used household goods
- Make a monetary donation
- Adopt-A-Family: Many youth and families still need adopted, and $25 Amazon gift cards are also in need. There are families requesting daily living items such as a vacuum, cleaning supplies, and more.
YWCA “A Season of Certainty”
Help the YWCA meet the needs of the women and families they serve. Many families arrive at the emergency shelter with only the clothing on their back, and may not be able to return to retrieve other items. Donate to the gift card fund, or purchase items on the wishlist. You can purchase directly from the Amazon wishlist to be delivered directly to the facility, or you can make an appointment. drop off new items from the wishlist pdf. See options here.
Angel Trees at Walmart
The Salvation Army and Walmart are partnering to Rescue Christmas in 2021 with Angel Trees at Walmart stores across the nation. Recognizing that every child deserves to feel the joy of Christmas, The Salvation Army Angel Tree program provides new clothing and toys to more than one-million children and families in need each year.
Once a child is accepted as an Angel, donors like you can shop for their Christmas wish list. Simply pick a tag off the Angel Tree located inside your local Walmart store or follow the to shop online using Walmart’s Registry for Good to support families in your local area. Once the gifts are received, The Salvation Army will distribute them to families in need for Christmas morning.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Holiday Toy Drive
Staying at Nationwide Children’s Hospital during the holidays is always hard on children and families, but with COVID-19, patients must also remain in their rooms. NCH does everything they can to provide play and stimulation for patients, and the Holiday Toy Drive is a huge part of that. Toys are accepted between December 5-16; gift cards and monetary donations are accepted after December 16 (toys must be quarantined before given to patients).
We’ll add to this list as we come across toy drives (leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of others)
List of Toys for Tots Drop-off Locations from TFT website
Holiday Wish Franklin County Children’s Services
Each year, FCCS provides gifts for over 6,500 children under their care who may have experienced abuse, neglect or other difficult home conditions. For some children, this may be the only gift they will receive. While kids typically are able to request a special gift, in 2021, they are accepting any new toys, as well as gifts cards so kids can choose gifts. Monetary donations to purchase the gift cards are accepted as well. Find donation details here.
This group partners with local law enforcement officers who, during the course of their duty, identify a need in the community. Starfish Assignment reaches out to the community to help fulfill these needs with the help of law enforcement. Needs may include donations of food, clothing, personal items, and more. Check out the Facebook pages to see what assignments Starfish is working on, and how you can help
Food and monetary donations are always important with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank – especially during the holiday season. Check out additional ways to contribute this season. Volunteer opportunities are always available.
Other Options for Giving
Churches, schools, and nursing homes may have ways for you to give this holiday season. Since they work directly with individuals, they may be able to identify specific needs for people in your local community. Call directly to see if they are in need of donations to better the lives of the people they serve.
If you are aware of other giving opportunities, please leave them in the comments, or email email@example.com. As we get closer to Christmas and donation deadlines, we may not be able to include all of the email suggestions due to time constraints. Comments will be visible to other readers within 1 day.