Holiday marketing is in full swing and as in years past, we're bombarded with ads to buy this, serve that, give this, send that. I hope you will take a moment to buy, serve, give or send a donation this season.
Despite our blessed status as one of the richest counties in the United States, there are many residents who are in need, many of them families or mothers with young children, seniors, and veterans.
By sharing a little time, money, food or gently used items you no longer need, you can positively and meaningful make someone else's life a lot less hard. My daughter and I just returned from our monthly volunteer night at a local homeless shelter and it's amazing how appreciated a small amount of time, arts & crafts, home baked cookies and friendship can be.
There are many easy ways to help out this holiday, thank you in advancefor any help you can provide. Here are just some of the local charities and opportunities to give this season:
Children's Shoes or giftcards to Kmart, Target, Kohls: Please join the Council for the Arts of Herndon and Supervisor John Foust for their annual shoe drive, benefitting the children at Hutchison Elementary School, Herndon. Please bring new sneakers in youth sizes or small amount giftcards ($10-20) to the CAH office or Supervisor Foust's office in downtown Herndon, Old Town Hall or contact me and I'll arrange a pick-up.
Non perishable Food items: LINK (http://www.linkagainsthunger.org/food.html) accepts pantry items all year round - bring items to any LINK member church (Herndon churches include St Timothy, Trinity Presbyterian, Herndon United Methodist, St Joseph), or by arrangement at their pantry in Herndon. You can also bring food to the 2nd floor of Old Town Hall to Delegate Tom Rust's office or the Council for the Arts of Herndon office.
Gently used clothing, household items, and furniture: The Closet (http://www.theclosetofgreaterherndon.org/donate.php) and the Bargain Loft (http://www.herndonrestonfish.org/bargain-loft.html), both in Herndon take these items during their normal business hours and can arrange pick ups for large items. As a bonus, shop their store and see what bargains you can find!
Personal items, hygiene, baby items: Reston Interfaith (http://www.restoninterfaith.org/donations/wish-lists/) and the Shelter House (http://www.shelterhouse.org/Get-Involved/Donate-Items.html) both operate homeless shelters and are in constant need of hygiene and baby items. My daughter and I are conducting a toiletries drive for the shelter we volunteer at and would be happy to accept full or travel size toiletries - you can bring items to the Council for the Arts of Herndon office, Old Town Hall 2nd floor, message me for a pick up or catch me at an upcoming Town Council meeting.
A great time to bring any small items or food items would be to the Tree Lighting ceremony in downtown Herndon on the Town Green (conveniently in front of Old Town Hall) on Saturday, 12/1 from 5-6 pm. There will be a box just inside the main door on the side for donations. Or you can join the Council for the Arts of Herndon at the Holiday Open House at the Library, for free arts & crafts, musical performances from 11-2 pm and bring your donations there.
Money: All of these groups can take a cash donation via check, charge or Paypal on their websites. One group I am promoting this year is Final Salute (http://www.finalsaluteinc.org/), a DC metro based charity who's mission is to provide homeless female Veterans with safe and suitable housing. To have honorably served our country and then to come home, unemployed, homeless and have no where to go with your kids, these are our most vunerable veterans and I hope we can make it right for our vets.
One of the things I love best about Herndon is our volunteer spirit and our willingness to help out! Thank you in advance for your generosity and your kindness.