By THE COURIER STAFF
With the arrival of the holiday season, many individuals, families and groups turn their attention to charitable giving.
There is no shortage of deserving charities that work year-round to make Findlay and the surrounding area a better place to live, work and play.
As you make your holiday list and check it twice, consider making a gift to one of these organizations:
American Red Cross of North Central Ohio
125 Fair St.
The American Red Cross reports that as many as 44,000 blood donations are needed every day across the country. A blood donation to the Red Cross can save up to three lives, the agency says.
There is often a shortage of blood donations around the holidays because regular donors are traveling or otherwise have hectic schedules.
To donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org and enter your ZIP code for a full list of area blood drives, or call 800-RED-CROSS.
Additionally, volunteers are needed in many areas, including disaster response and administrative help in the organization’s offices in Findlay, Marion, Bucyrus and Mount Gilead.
The Red Cross is also seeking monetary donations, which go to help those affected by disasters. To make a monetary donation, visit redcross.org/NCOhio or call 800-RED-CROSS or send a check to 125 Fair St., Findlay.
Angel Tree Project
14901 Ohio 12, 419-427-0061
11814 Allen Township 100, 419-423-3764
The Findlay branches of Impact Credit Union are collecting toys and clothing for about 120 Hancock County children through the 28th annual Angel Tree Project.
Angel trees are set up at credit union offices at 11814 Allen Township Road 100 and at 14901 Ohio 12.
Each angel on a tree has the name of a child, their clothing size and a toy the child would like for Christmas. Patrons can take an angel and return wrapped gifts to the branch by Dec. 11. The tag with the child’s name should be attached to the gifts.
The credit union holds fundraisers throughout the year to purchase gifts for children who are not chosen, to ensure no child goes without a gift.
Donations will be distributed through the Head Start program.
The Clyde, Tiffin, Fremont and Walbridge offices of the credit union all collect toys and clothing for children in Sandusky, Seneca and Wood counties as well.
Camp Fire Northwest Ohio
305 W. Hardin St.
Camp Fire Northwest Ohio provides programs and experiences that empower young people to discover their purpose and positively impact their homes, schools, workplaces and communities.
Needed items include: any type of craft supplies, including air-dry clay, acrylic paint, ribbon, glue and markers; paper plates, plastic cups, plastic silverware and paper towels; healthy snacks (peanut-free) and sugar-free drink mix; stamps, sticky notes and copy paper; trash bags including kitchen and larger sizes; and gift cards to Walmart, pizza shops, Dietsch’s, etc. The organization also operates a free pantry, and nonperishable food items are needed.
Cancer Patient Services
1800 N. Blanchard St., Suite 120
Cancer Patient Services helps Hancock County cancer patients with a variety of services, including financial assistance with medications and mileage; patient guides to help with insurance paperwork; nutritional supplements, wigs and other supplies; and therapies like massage and reiki.
Community members are encouraged to “adopt” families of those going through cancer treatment. Cancer Patient Services’ clients include single mothers with young children, as well as seniors, some of whom are struggling financially.
The agency can provide financial help for specific needs like mileage reimbursement and prescriptions, but even for those with good health insurance, cancer treatment is expensive and often involves a loss of income due to time off of work.
Donations of gas cards, grocery store cards, and for the children, “maybe a stocking, filled with little trinkets,” would be appreciated. Anyone wishing to adopt a family is encouraged to call Cancer Patient Services.
The agency’s general wish list includes Ensure or Boost drinks, in any flavor; adult-sized pull-ups or briefs; and disposable gloves of any size.
1800 N. Blanchard St.
CHOPIN Hall (Christians Helping Other People In Need) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides emergency assistance to Hancock County residents in need.
The organization offers a four-day emergency supply of food, based on the number of people living in a household, as well as gently used clothing, shoes, coats, kitchen items, linens, toys, household items and personal care items.
The agency operates with one full-time director and over 90 volunteers to provide assistance to approximately 3,000 individuals each month.
Donations of new or gently used toys, clothing, coats, jeans, blankets and sweatshirts are particularly needed this time of year.
Also needed are canned fruit, boxes of cereal and fruit juice, as well as personal care items such as shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry detergent and baby wipes.
CHOPIN Hall is open for food and clothing distribution from 1-4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and donations can be dropped off during these times. Donations can also be dropped off from 8-10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Monetary donations can be mailed or delivered to the office. Donations are also accepted via PayPal on the agency’s website at http://chopinhall.org/.
Children’s Mentoring Connection
305 E. Lincoln St.
Children’s Mentoring Connection offers numerous mentoring services designed to meet varying individual needs. Children may be enrolled in the program from ages 6-14.
Volunteers are needed to mentor children and are asked to plan one-to-one activities two to three times a month with their mentee. Volunteers may include adult men and women, as well as couples and families volunteering together. School program volunteers also include high school students.
Mentees do not pay any fees to participate in the program, and community support helps mentors and their matches participate in programming and activities.
Wish list items include craft supplies, copy paper markers, card stock or scrapbook paper, decks of cards, glue, poster boards, paper cups, paper towels, movie passes and gift certificates. Items can be dropped off at the agency’s office during normal business hours: noon to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
Christian Clearing House
1800 N. Blanchard St., Suite 107
Hours: 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays; 1-4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.
Christian Clearing House is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides emergency assistance, such as money for utility bills and medicine, to Hancock County residents in need.
The organization needs financial donations for those emergencies, as well as to buy staple items, food and toiletries to supplement items received at food banks.
Funds are also used to cover gasoline expenses for employment or medical appointments. Individuals must have a driver’s license and auto insurance.
Donations also are being accepted for “Project Happy Feet,” which provides new shoes to area children at the beginning of the school year. The program is a voucher program allowing children to pick out their own shoes at several area stores.
The agency is seeking donations of laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, diapers and baby wipes. Donors should call before dropping off donations, especially larger donations, so staff can meet the donor at the back of the Family Center.
Monetary donations can be mailed or checks may be delivered to the office. Donations are also accepted by credit card via PayPal on the agency’s website, www.cchsupport.org.
City Mission of Findlay provides emergency shelter through the Immediate Housing Program, short-term transitional housing through the reSTART program, and meals for both the homeless and community guests in need.
City Mission also serves as a warming center during inclement weather to anyone in need of shelter.
Evening meals are open to the community Monday through Friday, and a small choice pantry is available after the evening meal for community guests. Christmas food boxes will be given out Dec. 18 and 20 and will include either a turkey or a ham, as well as nonperishable items for a meal. Call City Mission at 419-423-9151 to register for a box.
The mission’s annual Jesus Birthday Party for community families will be held from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 8.
Visit City Mission’s Facebook page or website (FindlayMission.org) for holiday and ongoing needs lists. And consider donating or partnering with the mission during November for its “Shining A Light on Homelessness” campaign.
Coats for Christmas
The Hancock Leadership Alumni Association is seeking donations of new and gently used winter coats, and new hats and mittens, for the 31st annual Coats for Christmas campaign.
Items can be dropped off Nov. 26-30 at any Findlay City Schools building or at City Dry Cleaning downtown.
Distribution will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, and from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at Glenwood Middle School. There is no age or financial restriction for eligibility. Anyone in need of winter apparel is welcome.
Volunteers are needed to help with hanging the cleaned coats and setting up at Glenwood. Shopper helpers are also needed. All volunteers must be 14 or older. Contact volunteer coordinator Christi West at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 419-722-7715 to sign up.
The campaign is coordinated by the Hancock Leadership Alumni Association, City Dry Cleaning and the YMCA Leader’s Club, a youth leadership organization, with help from area businesses, service organizations and volunteers.
City Dry Cleaning employees and volunteers donate their time to clean and prepare the coats for distribution.
509 W. Trenton Ave.
Focus is a nonprofit recovery center in support of, and led by, those in recovery from mental health, substance abuse or trauma issues.
Classes, activities and support groups are offered at the recovery center, and a similar program is being designed for teens. Focus also operates Findlay’s recovery houses.
The wish list for the recovery center includes coffee and 10- to 12-cup filters, creamer and sugar, small paring knives, art supplies, general cleaning supplies, food-safe disinfectant spray, pool cues, and a stereo with AV jack or Bluetooth.
Needs for the recovery houses include bed pillows, twin sheet sets, blankets, mattress pads, towels and washcloths, large and small rugs, household cleaning supplies, bath mats, bedside lamps, skillets, baking sheets, baking pans, leaf rakes, laundry detergent and softener sheets, and 30-gallon trash bags.
Needs for the teen center include chalk paint, acrylic paints, colored pencils, easels, markers, clay, glue, glitter, glue guns and glue, plain paper, canvas of various sizes, pencils, scissors, adult/teen coloring books, empty bottles, all-purpose cleaner, wipes, board games, decks of cards, gaming systems and games, headphones, bookshelves, round tables and chairs, bean bag chairs, wall clocks, dry-erase markers, extension cords, projector, posters, couch, guitars/instruments, an A/C adapter for television, movies, diffuser and essential oils, tapestries, area rugs, a popcorn machine and popcorn, books, spiral notebooks, pencils, a printer and two desktop computers.
Volunteers to teach classes or “be a support and listening ear to those who need it” are always welcome.
Friends of Santa
P.O. Box 1358, Findlay, OH 45839
Friends of Santa is a group of volunteers dedicated to helping families in need at Christmastime.
Families were required to apply for assistance at an earlier date.
Friends of Santa has many “wishing trees” in the community. Anyone can take one or more bells from a wishing tree and return the requested item, wrapped or unwrapped, to the location of the tree.
Donations should be returned as soon as possible for a final collection on Dec. 19. Gifts will be delivered before Christmas.
The organization is accepting cash donations, as well as gift cards for grocery and department stores and gas stations, to fulfill any wish tags that may not be picked up.
Donations can be mailed to Friends of Santa, P.O. Box 1358, Findlay.
For more information, call 567-208-3051 or go to the Facebook page, Friends of Santa.
Wishing trees are located at:
• A Place of Joy, 1047 Tiffin Ave.
• American Legion, 120 W. Front St.
• AMVETS Post 21, 423 W. Trenton Ave.
• Another Wolfie’s, 8013 County Road 140
• Avenue Cue, 1928 Tiffin Ave.
• Bellacino’s, 2320 Tiffin Ave.
• Bread Kneads, 510 S. Blanchard St.
• Buffalo Wild Wings, 15080 Flag City Drive
• Coffee Amici, 328 S. Main St.
• Cooper Tire, 701 Lima Ave.
• Dark Horse Restaurant, 4136 N. Main St.
• Dougie John’s Pizza, 106 S. Main St.
• Edward Jones Investment Services, 2447 S. Main St.
• Elaine’s Main Street Deli, 513 S. Main St.
• Fern Cafe, 452 E. Sandusky St.
• Findlay Village Mall, 1800 Tiffin Ave.
• Findlay Inn and Conference Center, 200 E. Main Cross St.
• Fort Findlay Coffee and Doughnut Shoppe, 1016 Tiffin Ave.
• Fricker’s, 1410 W. Main Cross St.
• Kaleidoscope Farms, 14841 County 54, Mount Cory
• LaRiche Chevrolet-Cadillac, 215 E. Main Cross St.
• Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, 200 W. Main Cross St.
• Millstream Area Credit Union, 1007 Western Ave.
• Moose Lodge, 1028 W. Main Cross St.
• Oler’s restaurant, 708 Lima Ave.
• Rowmark, 2040 Industrial Drive
• Scarbrough Pharmacy, 1809 S. Main St.
• Southside Family Restaurant, 3050 S. Main St.
• Westside Carryout, 1132 Logan Ave.
1800 N. Blanchard St., Suite 106
Hope House helps homeless and impoverished people find safe and affordable housing.
Household items such as dish soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, razors, Loofahs, laundry soap and cleaning supplies are of particular need.
Other items someone might need as they are moving into their first apartment — such as canned food or spices — are also welcome.
New pillows are needed, as each adult and child in the shelter gets a brand-new pillow.
Items can be taken to the housing office in the Family Center.
Financial donations can be mailed to that address, or made online at https://findlayhopehouse.org.
Community members can adopt a Hope House family. Contact Sierra Hutton at email@example.com to receive a wish list. Those interested in volunteering can also contact Hutton.
Hope House also assists families struggling after a problem such as a layoff or a house fire, and Walmart and Meijer gift and gas cards are needed.
Humane Society & SPCA of Hancock County
4550 Fostoria Ave.
The humane society relies heavily on volunteers, and volunteer programs have been greatly expanded over the years.
The Pet Pal program ensures that all dogs are walked at least once per day, Mondays through Saturdays. Pet Pal volunteers also socialize cats available for adoption.
Share-A-Pet volunteers take animals currently available for adoption to visit the residents of nursing and adult care facilities in Hancock County.
Needed items include bleach, paper towels, rawhide chews, canned dog and cat food, animal toys, leashes/collars, craft items (Elmer’s glue, construction paper, tissue paper, paint, etc.), cat litter, rabbit/guinea pig food, small animal bedding, blankets, towels, trash bags including 40-by-46, 13-gallon and contractor sizes, distilled water, latex gloves size medium, Neverkink 75-foot garden hose (available at Lowe’s), spray cleaners with bleach, white copy paper, 3-by-5-inch yellow index cards, black pens, AAA and AA batteries, Dawn dish soap (original), laundry detergent, #10 envelopes, poop scoopers, dryer sheets and monetary donations.
Gift of Reading
The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library’s “Give the Gift of Reading” program is collecting funds through Dec. 31 for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, administered locally by the Literacy Coalition of Hancock County.
The Imagination Library mails an age-appropriate book each month to enrolled children from birth through age 5. Over 2,300 children participate in Hancock County and, since 2014, the local program has distributed over 73,000 books.
A $25 gift covers one child’s books for one year.
Donations to Gift of Reading may be made at the checkout desk in the library lobby area or by mail at Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, Gift of Reading, 206 Broadway, Findlay, OH 45840. For more information, call the library at 419-422-1712.
Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services
P.O. Box 496, Findlay, Ohio 45840
On Dec. 13, Open Arms is holding a Christmas party for clients who have used their services in 2018. Donations of food or bingo gift items are needed, and donors are being encouraged to call the office to receive a specific list of items needed.
Open Arms is always in need of donations of anything one might need in a household, such as Lysol and other cleaning supplies, hand soap, trash bags, boxed foods, cereal, paper towels or toilet paper.
Community members can also “adopt” a family, giving them essentials for their home along with toys for children.
Because of the date of the Christmas party, Open Arms would like donations by Dec. 10, although if someone adopting a family needs to make other arrangements this is possible.
NAMI Hancock County
306 N. Blanchard St.
National Alliance on Mental Illness Hancock County offers support, education and advocacy for anyone with mental illness along with their families, friends, caregivers, providers and anyone else interested in learning about the struggle and recovery involved with mental health conditions.
The organization is seeking financial donations, specifically toward training facilitators for programs.
Office supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, binders, light bulbs, and gift cards to Lowe’s or Staples are also sought.
The organization is also looking for snacks for support groups and classes. Those sessions can last a while and deal with emotionally heavy subjects. Small crackers, bags of chips, gummy bears or other candies are welcome.
301 Center St.
The Salvation Army is collecting money in Findlay with kettles at both Walmart stores, both Kroger stores, Big R, Hobby Lobby, Walgreens, Big Lots, Great Scot on Broad Avenue, and in the Findlay Village Mall.
Donations provide food, clothing and toys to families in need of assistance.
The group met its fundraising goal of $90,000 in 2017, and is attempting to raise the same amount this year.
Checks may be sent to the Salvation Army, 301 Center St., with “kettles” written in the memo line.
Donations of food and toys will be used to fill Christmas baskets for families.
The Salvation Army is still accepting families to receive Christmas assistance, with nearly 300 signed up so far. Last year, 446 families were helped.
Santa for Seniors
50 North’s annual Santa for Seniors program invites the public to take a gift tag off the agency’s tree at the Findlay Village Mall or at 50 North.
Participants in this program are Hancock County residents age 50 and older who have been found financially eligible. These individuals are often looking for the assistance because it helps provide for the needs of daily life, such as food, gas or clothing.
Shoppers simply purchase the item listed on the gift tag and return it to 50 North by Dec. 4.
Contact 50 North at 419-423-8496, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army and the U.S. Marines are collecting toys to give to underprivileged Hancock County children this Christmas.
All toys must be new, unwrapped and suitable for children from infants to 15 years old. Electronics such as DVDs, CDs, video games and gaming systems are discouraged.
Parents can still contact the Salvation Army to sign up their children.
Volunteers will be collecting toys at the Findlay Village Mall on Dec. 18.
Toys can also be dropped off at Art Van Furniture and The Big R.
Marines will be collecting toys at both Findlay Walmart stores on Sundays through Dec. 16. Cash donations will be used by the U.S. Marines to purchase toys.
Additionally, Alexandria’s will host a Toys for Tots event beginning at 5 p.m. Dec. 5, when Marines will accept donations of toys and money.
Women’s Resource Center
1011 N. Main St.
The Hancock County Women’s Resource Center is seeking donations of diapers for infants and toddlers, as well as monetary gifts.
The center provides pregnancy tests and has a diaper points program in which families can earn diapers.
The center’s Character and Relationships Education Program is offered to area schools.
Those who wish to donate gifts can stop by the center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; or from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.