This article was published in the Lenoir News-Topic.
The holiday season can be one of buying, and it can be one of stress.
The pressure to find gifts for every family member, every friend, every acquaintance can take hold, squeezing out some of the comfort and joy.
But strip it down to its simplest, barest roots, and the holiday season can also be a time to give.
If you’re looking for ways to give back this holiday season, here are a few of the greatest needs of nonprofits serving Caldwell County. This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many more charitable organizations that could use a helping hand for the holidays.
Think of it, though, as a place to start.Caldwell County Habitat for Humanity
Caldwell County’s branch of Habitat for Humanity can always use donations to the ReStore, a thrift store where proceeds fund the nonprofit’s operations, or monetary donations to help build simple housing for those in need, development director Theresa Harrison said.
“If folks are cleaning out from Christmas, or if they’re just making room for the things they get at Christmas, the store takes pretty much anything except clothing items and electronics,” Harrison said. “That’s definitely a big thing that we can use at this time of the year. Then, from there, probably monetary donations are the big thing, because it takes a lot these days to build houses.”
ReStore donations can be made Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 1215 Harper Ave. NW in Lenoir, or call 828-758-0703 to schedule pickup. Make monetary donations online at http://www.caldwellhabitat.org, or mail them to P.O. Box 1341, Lenoir, NC 28645.
Caldwell County Yokefellow
At Yokefellow of Caldwell County, 30 Angel Tree families still need sponsors, director Sharon Osbourne said. And though the nonprofit receives “tremendous” donations of food this time of the year, it also is going through about 30,000 pounds of food per month, she said.
Food donations that are particularly needed include dry pasta, dry beans, rice, saltine crackers, peanut butter, oatmeal, grits, and canned vegetables, fruits and soups.
Monetary donations are welcome as well — especially at this time of year, when bills for heating assistance and electric utilities start to climb, Osbourne said.
Drop off donations at Yokefellow, at 1602 Harper Ave. in Lenoir, on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m., or make an appointment for another drop-off time. Mail monetary donations to P.O. Box 2422, Lenoir, NC 28645.
Catawba Valley Red Cross
During the holiday season, people often forget to donate blood — so that’s the Red Cross’ primary need at this time of year, disaster program manager Charles Avery said.
Monetary donations are welcome as well, he said. Send those to Catawba Valley Red Cross, P.O. Box 1329, Hickory, NC 28603. Or stop by the Lenoir office at First Baptist Church of Lenoir, at 304 Main St. NW.
Helping Hands Clinic
Helping Hands, a nonprofit that works to provide affordable medical care to the uninsured, needs both monetary donations and over-the-counter medications, executive director Lilly Skok Bunch said.
Needed over-the-counter medications include Mucinex and Mucinex D; Ibuprofen; Tylenol; Aleve; Zyrtec; and “ReliOn” brand diabetic meters, strips and syringes (available at Walgreens). Generics of those medications are fine as well, volunteer and development coordinator Kimberly Moore said.
To donate, drop by the clinic at 810 Harper Ave. in Lenoir from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, mail a check to the same address, or visit helpinghandsclinic.org and click “You can help,” then “Click here to donate.”
Lenoir Soup Kitchen
Right now, the Lenoir Soup Kitchen can use the types of items people don’t always think to donate, executive director Angel Moretz said.
That includes compartmental plates; napkins, paper towels and other paper goods; dish soap; forks and spoons; pan spray; cooking oil; sugar; canned carrots, greens and potatoes; and any type of condiment or dressing.
Drop donations at 1113 College Ave. SW in Lenoir, on the first floor, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1054 Lenoir, NC 28645.
Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center
The Robin’s Nest, a Lenoir nonprofit that cares for abused children, can use donations of supplies for children, administrative assistant Valerie Harvey said.
That includes juice boxes, individually packaged snacks and cookies, paper products such as Kleenex, and liquid hand soaps, she said.
Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 646, Lenoir, NC 28645. Other donations can be dropped off at the Robin’s Nest, at 1051 Harper Ave. in Lenoir, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Salvation Army can use monetary donations at this time of year, staff member Phil Heath said. Mail those to P.O. Box 1496 Lenoir, NC, 28645, or log onto salvationarmyusa.org. When you make a donation, the site will allow you to enter a zip code and specify that the money is used for needs in this area.
The nonprofit is also seeking bell-ringing volunteers for its Red Kettle campaign, which runs until Dec. 24 at locations all over Caldwell County. To volunteer, contact Heath at 828-381-1319. Or make a Red Kettle donation — locations include Walmart in Lenoir, Walmart in Granite Falls, Just Save in Lenoir, Walgreens in Lenoir, Walgreens in Hudson, Big Lots in Lenoir, Belk in Lenoir and, starting Dec. 14, Ingles in Granite Falls.
Shelter Home of Caldwell County
The Shelter Home of Caldwell County, which serves women and children in Caldwell and Alexander counties who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, can use donations of paper items (such as toilet paper and paper towels) and toiletry items, child advocate Shannon West said.
There’s also an opportunity to sponsor individual families for the holidays, West said.
For more information about donations or sponsorships, call 828-758-0888 and ask to speak to Breanna McKay.
South Caldwell Christian Ministries
The Granite Falls-based South Caldwell Christian Ministries has been “inundated with food,” executive director Deborah Thomas said. They’re also set on clothes and coats.
While the organization has plenty of canned goods and clothes, it’s in need of dry goods — including peanut butter, Thomas said.
Donations can be dropped off at South Caldwell Christian Ministries at 5 Quarry Road in Granite Falls on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, or left in the outside drop box from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.