Holiday Helpings is a list of organizations that sponsor programs for those less fortunate, inviting others to donate goods, services or money; it will run through Dec. 23.
TREE DRIVE, AND MORE: McDonald's restaurants in Modesto and Turlock are asking residents to donate Christmas trees, decorations, frozen turkeys and other nonperishable food items, candy canes, and new or used Christmas lights. Restaurant managers will also accept cash donations. This is the ninth year that McDonald's has participated in this philanthropic effort.
The participating restaurants in the Christmas Tree drive have teamed up with local schools to identify families in need of assistance. The last day for donations will be Dec. 16. People can donate at the following McDonald's locations: 901 N. Carpenter Road and 3430 Tully Road, Modesto; and 3050 Countryside Drive and 2000 W. Main St., Turlock.
GIFT DRIVE: Starbucks is helping foster youth in Stanislaus County with its annual "Light Up a Child's Life" gift drive. Through Dec. 21, foster youths' gift wishes are on display at Starbucks stores. Customers can select a gift wish of a child in foster care from ages 5 to 17. Unwrapped gifts can be returned to the store location with the original gift tag attached. A list of participating Starbucks locations can be found at: http://aspiranetheroes.org/giftdrive.
SAVE MART HOLIDAY SHARES: The stores of Save Mart Supermarkets Save Mart, S-Mart Foods and Lucky are now displaying four bags of groceries available for "purchase," with the funds going to local food banks. The bags provide shoppers a visual reminder of how much food can be provided to a food bank for their donation of $5, $10, $15 or $20 when checking out. The money collected is donated to each store's local food bank, guaranteeing neighbors are helping neighbors. Donations will be accepted throughJan. 2.
BRADLEY MEMORIAL TOY DRIVE: This toy drive is in its fourth year and has grown from an idea into a wide-reaching drive for many hospitalized children during the holiday season. Last year, the drive grew from about 350 toys collected to just under 2,000. This year, the goal is to deliver toys to 5,000 children by Christmas Day. The event kicks off with a community event Saturday, the Kids Holiday Bash at Dutcher Middle School, 1441 Colorado Ave., Turlock, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is a new, unwrapped toy. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make a grand entrance on a Turlock Fire Department vintage firetruck. Kids can have their pictures taken with Santa. The event is geared for children and their families to bring awareness to children who are hospitalized for various reasons during the holiday season. To learn more, call (209) 667-5666, ask for Lisa Pires.
"YES WE CAN" FOOD DRIVE: The Democratic Women's Club of Stanislaus County is sponsoring its fifth annual "Yes We Can" Food Drive in Stanislaus County, gathering nonperishables for distribution to food banks and community food drives. Through Dec. 24, contributions may be dropped off at the Queen Bean Coffee House, 1126 14th St., Modesto. To contribute online, go to https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/fooddrive. To learn more, call Patty Hughes at (209) 303-4042 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOYS FOR TOTS: A Toys for Tots drop-off collection box has been set up at Rep. Jeff Denham's Modesto District Office, 3509 Coffee Road, Suite D3. Donations of new, unwrapped toys will be accepted during regular business hours, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Collected toys for the Toys for Tots will be distributed to children within the local community. For more information, call the office at (209) 579-5458.
HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE: The Salvation Army, Modesto Citadel will be accepting applications for Christmas holiday assistance through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays only. Low-income families residing in Modesto, Ceres, Salida or Empire may apply at 625 I St., Modesto.
For additional information, call The Salvation Army Social Services department at (209) 523-7577.
TOY DRIVE: Toys bring smiles and happiness to kids. The Salvation Army's annual Holiday Toy Drive needs your help. The goal is to help 3,500 kids. The need is 6,000 new, unwrapped toys for children between the ages of newborn and 12 years. It's easy and fun to help.
Grab a big box and decorate it. Place a Salvation Army flier on the box. Display the box at work, at a club or a church group meeting.
Drop off a toy at a participating business. Call The Salvation Army for locations.
Host a new, unwrapped toy drive at your place of employment. Let your co-workers and customers know with flyers or e-mails. Your co-workers and customers will feel the warmth of the Christmas spirit by helping children.
If your civic group or club is having a holiday gathering, ask members to bring toys for The Salvation Army Toy Drive. Have fun and feel great about sharing Christmas joy with a child.
To participate or for more information, contact Maj. Beth Paugh at (209) 522-3209 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
RECOVERY HOME HELP: Life House Recovery Home in Newman, a facility for women, seeks donations of cash, gift cards, a working vehicle, bus passes, toiletries, linens and more. To donate, contact Melissa at (209) 947-5062 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more, visit www.facebook.com/ newmanlifehouserecoveryhome or http://newmanlifehouserecoveryhome.weebly.com.
FOR TOTS AND TROOPS: Through Dec. 22, Stor-Kwik Self Storage sites in Riverbank, Ceres, Escalon and Sonora are donation drop-off locations for Toys for Tots and Soldiers' Angels. Donors can drop off new toys, or care package items for troops. To learn more, call (209) 869-6730.
If your organization is sponsoring a program, send us your requests. Submissions should include e-mail information to email@example.com with "Holiday Helping" in the subject field, or fax to (209) 578-2207, Attn: Deke Farrow.