Share Your Holiday Spirit – Giving Back to the Community
BY JACQUI D. SINARLE
If you are fortunate enough to enjoy health and happiness with friends and family members, your joy increases tenfold when you’re able to share the holiday spirit with others.
Spreading holiday cheer is easy, thanks to a number of organizations in Stanislaus County organized to assist the less fortunate members of our community.
SOROPTIMIST COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS TREE
Now in its 29th year, the annual Community Christmas Tree sponsored by Sunny 102.3 Radio, Vintage Faire Mall and the Modesto Soroptomist Clubs will make the holidays happier for more than 2,000 local children.
The program provides thousands of children with the only gifts they’ll receive during the year, not only necessities like new clothing, warm coats, shoes and blankets, but also new toys. Children are referred to the program from local agencies including Community Housing and Children’s Services, Haven Women’s Shelter, Hutton House and Modesto City Schools/Child Development.
It’s easy to participate in the program. Just visit the Christmas Tree on the second level of Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto between November 22 and December 19. Volunteers will help you select a tag that includes a child’s first name, age, gift needs and wishes, and provide information on participating store discounts and shopping instructions. Shop for a gift and return it to the tree and volunteers will wrap and deliver it. Tax deductible cash donations and gifts purchased without a specific child in mind are also accepted to ensure that all children receive a gift.
Giving doesn’t stop at the tree. Here are more easy ways to give in Stanislaus County:
Modesto’s Salvation Army provides food programs to assist people in need, as well as energy assistance, emergency disaster services and adult rehabilitation services. The easiest way to give to the Salvation Army during the holidays is to drop your donation into the kettle of one of the local bell ringers, or attend one of the Kettle Kickoff community lunch and fundraising events presented by local chapters in Turlock and Modesto (see salvationarmymodesto.org or salvationarmyturlock.org for dates and details about these events and for info about donating clothing, furniture, cars, money, planned giving or becoming a volunteer).
CENTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES
The Center for Human Services serves tens of thousands of Stanislaus County residents each year by providing mental health services, shelter services, youth services, juvenile justice services, school-based services, substance abuse treatment and family resources, and welcomes online monetary donations as well as gifts of your time and talents and in-kind donations of muchneeded goods and services. For information, visit centerforhumanservices.org.
MODESTO GOSPEL MISSION
Located on Yosemite Ave. in Modesto, the Modesto Gospel Mission has provided help,hope and rehabilitation to the homeless and in-need population of Stanislaus County for over 65 years. Started as a soup kitchen, the Mission is now a full service recovery facility and shelter that provides services to men, women and children from the very young to the elderly who might otherwise have nowhere to turn. The Mission is supported by year round community donations, but the holiday season is a time of distinct need. For information, visit modestogospelmission.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE SOROPTOMIST COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS TREE, visit Vintage Faire Mall at 3401 Dale Rd. #483, Modesto, 95356.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE SALVATION ARMY, visit salvationarmymodesto.org or salvationarmyturlock.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CENTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES, visit centerforhumanservices.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MODESTO GOSPEL MISSION, visit modestogospelmission.org.