If you would like to help the less-fortunate by donating your time, goods or services this holiday season, here are a few places close to home that need our help.
Exall Recreation Center
The Exall Recreation Center, 1355 Adair, holds its annual holiday drive this month, which provides toys, winter coats, gloves and hats to needy families with a focus on those in our neighborhood. Donations can be dropped off at the center weekdays from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 1-13. Gifts will be given to the families Dec. 15 from 4-7 p.m. Volunteers are needed this day. Call 670-7812.
The Wilkinson Center, 5200 Bryan, provides emergency food, clothing and employment assistance for people living in the East Dallas area. This center is a multi-faith organization housed at the Munger Place United Methodist Church. The center needs non-perishable food, toiletries, blankets and warm clothing. Donations are accepted Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call ahead before dropping off items at 821-6380. Volunteers also are needed to sort and distribute holiday donations.
The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is seeking donations for its “Lakewood Cares!” holiday drive benefiting less fortunate families in our neighborhood. Toys for children, new and gently worn clothes for the entire family, canned goods, furniture, bedding, toiletries and other household items are needed. Bank One Texas, 6310 E. Mockingbird; Tom Thumb Food Store, 6333 E. Mockingbird at Abrams; Minyard Food Store, 2118 Abrams at Gaston; Glo Cleaning, 2117 Abrams; Texas Community Bank, 1824 Abrams Parkway; Lakewood Country Club, 6430 Gaston; Wyatt’s Cafeteria, 1905 Abrams Parkway; First Interstate Bank, 6301 Gaston; and NationsBank Lakewood, 6215 Gaston.
You can make arrangements with the Chamber if you have large items to be picked up. Or, if you wish to make a cash donation to be used for perishable foods, such as turkeys, send your check to the Lakewood Chamber at P.O. Box 140685, Dallas 75214. Call 827-8921 for information.
Dallas Can! Academy
Dallas Can! Academy helps at-risk students stay in school, earn General Equivalency Diplomas and attain employment. The Academy is asking for donations of movie theater gift certificates to give to its students for the holidays. The students also need professional clothes for job interviews. The Academy recently opened a multimedia library and needs fiction and nonfiction books for students ages 17-21, as well as magazine subscriptions and educational videos. Donations can be dropped off at the Academy, 2601 Live Oak, weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Gift certificates are needed by Dec. 18. Call Vicki Darais at 824-4226.
Reconciliation Outreach Ministries
Reconciliation Outreach Ministries helps homeless and needy families, reaches out to abused and drug addicted men and women, and runs after-school programs for teens and children. Reconciliation is collecting coats, new underwear, shoes, used or new clothing, furniture, toys for children, gifts for teens, toiletries, school supplies and food for its families. For its facilities, it hopes to receive computers, an overhead projector, carpet, paint, wood, tile or linoleum, and working typewriters. Volunteers also are needed to help with holiday parties scheduled Dec. 9, 12 and 14.
Donations can be made at Reconciliation’s administrative office, 4311 Bryan, weekdays from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Arrangements can be made for items to be picked up Call 821-9192.
First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church has held a free Christmas Brunch for Those in Need for the past 15 years, benefiting more than 1,400 people last holiday season. This year, the church is seeking blankets, warm clothing for children and adults, coats, sleeping bags, toiletries, new unwrapped toys, and hard candy and cough drops. Donations can be mde seven days a week from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Dec. 8. On Dec. 9, donations will be distributed to families from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed this day to serve food and help sort holiday items. Cash donations can be mailed to the church at 1928 Ross, Dallas 75201. Make checks payable to First United Methodist Outreach. Call 220-2727.