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A Charity for Every Need

More ways to share in this season of thanks and giving

Bay Weekly reader Nadine Snyder wants to know where to donate outgrown but still good clothing. So she called to ask if we’ll soon be running a listing of drop-offs for clothing donations.
    Thank you, Nadine, for asking because that was the missing ingredient in this week’s feature story, our annual Thanksgiving take on charitable giving.
    That story, the 12 Days of Thanksgiving, features 12 diverse charities chosen and analyzed by our family of writers for their aim, local angle and bang for your buck. You’ll read how your gifts of time; money — as little as $2; nutritious food; winter wear, and books can do good for neighbors, children, mothers and kids escaping domestic violence, cancer metavivors and veterans. A couple of our chosen charities give you direct bang for your buck: Junior League of Annapolis will wrap your gifts and Chesapeake Community Chorus entertains you for charity’s sake.
    But without Nadine’s reminder, we’d all be scrambling to figure out the best reuse of the many still good but no longer needed things we’ve bought and brought into our homes.
    Instead, here at Bay Weekly we’ve been scrambling to find her answers. Here’s what we’ve found.
    Giving Back/Linda’s Legacy is the perfect place to donate warm winter clothing. The Anne Arundel County-based charity winter-proofs needy people in the Annapolis-Baltimore-D.C. triangle. The outreach is two-pronged.
    Warm winter clothing is collected just before Christmas for Christmas Eve distribution — along with filled backpacks — to homeless people at Baltimore Rescue Mission. Coats, vests and scarves may be used, but they should be clean and in good condition. Make your drop-off December 20 to 23 between 11am (except noon Saturday) and 4pm at the Anne Arundel Farmers Market at Riva Road and Truman Parkway in Annapolis. Or on December 14 and 15 at a new satellite, Homestead Gardens in Severna Park.
    Cash contributions to Giving Back/Linda’s Legacy fill backpacks with warm clothing: thermal underwear, a hooded sweatshirt, ski gloves, stocking cap and warm socks.
    Your cash will fill backpacks for 24 shelters and outreach organizations. In Annapolis, that’s Sarah’s House the YWCA’s Arden House Shelter, We Care and Friends, the Lighthouse and Winter Relief/ Arundel House of Hope. That last is a coalition of 60 area churches that take turns sheltering homeless people from December through March.    The backpacks will be delivered with fellowship and festivities Christmas Eve.
    Admiral Cleaners in Annapolis is another option, collecting, cleaning and donating coats for 20 years. But you’ve got to hurry. Coat collection ends November 30.
    On just how to donate used clothes, we turned to our area’s biggest do-gooders, Bruce Michalec of the Anne Arundel Food and Resources Bank. Clean is the number one standard, whether you’re donating clothing to be worn or well-used textiles likely to become rags. Either way, donations should be organized: wearables folded, boxed and categorized by type. Some places — Catholic Charities in Prince Frederick, for example, accept only clothes pressed and on hangers. Drop-boxes are less picky and accept tightly bagged clothes, but they must still be clean. Sorting is a great benefit, especially wearable and non-wearable.
    All kinds of good (with exceptions such as mattresses) can of course be dropped off at Goodwill or Catholic or Lutheran charities. Salvation Army, AmVets, Purple Heart or Disabled American Veterans will come to you to pick up by schedule. Or drop off whatever will fit in drop-off boxes at Holy Family Church in Davidsonville and St. Bernadette’s in Severn.
    There’s a charity for most everything you might want to give. Bicycles? The Revolution Kids Group, an offshoot of Annapolis kids support group Box of Rain, wants your old bikes. “Kids learn bicycle skills maintenance and repair and earn themselves a bike,” says organizer Kelsa McLaughlin. The Revolution Kids Group, staffed with volunteers, meets Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30pm in the bike shop at Pip Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis. Those hours are the preferred donation time.
    After the holidays, Anne Arundel Food and Resources Bank reopens for donations of all sorts of homemaking goods. Now, Michalec says, the focus is on stockpiling food for the lean month, January through March. “Monetary donations help plug the holes for what we don’t get, things like fortified soups and fresh meat,” Michalec says.
    Whatever you have to give, the time is now. You can be part of the momentum building the first Tuesday in December — that’s December 3 this year — as a national day of giving. Now in its second year, Giving Tuesday has thousands of partners nationwide and hundreds locally. Donations of time and money are easy as an online click at uwcm.org/giving-tuesday.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; editor@bayweekly.com