ONE CHILD’S WISH hangs on the wishing tree at Fort Findlay Coffee & Doughnut Shoppe. Wishing trees are located throughout the community this holiday season and are organized by Friends of Santa, a group of volunteers dedicated to helping families in need at Christmastime. The group is just one of many different charities making Findlay a better place to live. (Photo by Randy Roberts)

By 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., Findlay

419-422-9322

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.

To make a monetary donation, visit redcross.org/NCOhio 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

www.impactcu.org

Impact Credit Union’s Findlay offices team up each year with the Hancock Hardin Wyandot Putnam Community Action Commission to provide gifts for students in the commission’s Head Start program. Students are sent home with angel ornaments to fill out with their wants and needs.

The ornaments are then placed on Angel Trees in both Findlay branches, and community members can come pick an angel and purchase gifts.

The credit union also sells candy bars throughout the year and accepts donations directly, to allow staff to purchase gifts for any angels that don’t get picked off the tree. The locations are 11814 Allen Township 100 and 14901 Ohio 12.

Camp Fire Northwest Ohio

305 W. Hardin St.

419-422-5415

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, tissues, toilet paper 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, baby wipes, disinfecting wipes and Ziplock bags of all 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

419-423-0286

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.

Chopin Hall

1800 N. Blanchard St.

419-422-6401

Chopin Hall provides food and personal care items to those in need. The organization also operates mobile food pantries throughout the community. Chopin Hall’s wish list includes: canned fruit, cereal, jelly, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and shampoo.

Children’s Mentoring Connection

305 E. Lincoln St.

419-424-9752

www.cmchancock.org

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-on-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.

School mentors are needed to meet weekly with children in seven schools in Hancock County.

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. Monday through Thursday.

Christian Clearing House

1800 N. Blanchard St., Suite 107

419-422-2222

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.

The agency is seeking donations of laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, diapers and baby wipes. Individuals should call before dropping off donations, especially larger donations, so staff can meet the donor at the back of the Family Center.

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.

Monetary donations can be mailed or checks may be delivered to the office. Donations are also accepted on the agency’s website, www.cchsupport.org.

City Mission

For the past 85 years, City Mission of Findlay has dedicated itself to ending homelessness for all who walk through its doors. It is the only emergency homeless shelter in Hancock County and serves men, women and children to help families develop permanent solutions to address the underlying causes of their homelessness.

Evening meals are open to the community from 5-6 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Lunch is served from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is also open to the community.

Christmas food boxes will be given out Dec. 17 and Dec. 19 and will include a turkey and nonperishable items for a holiday meal. Call City Mission at 419-423-9151 to register for a box.

The annual Jesus Birthday Party for children will be held from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Mission. Children must be accompanied by adult.

Visit the Mission’s Facebook page to find its needs list. To donate or sign up to volunteer, visit www.FindlayMission.org.

Focus

509 W. Trenton Ave.

419-423-5071

Focus is a nonprofit center for people in recovery from addiction, mental health or trauma issues. The organization also operates the Loft, a center for teens.

Its wish list includes: paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates), cleaning supplies, 30-gallon trash bags, hand soap refills, reams of copy paper, coffee, creamer and sugar.

Volunteer time is also appreciated, as are monetary donations. To get information on some of Focus’ more specific needs, view its Amazon Charity on Amazon Smile.

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, OH 45839.

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

• CJ’s Canine Country Club, 609 E. Bigelow Ave.

• 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.

• Elaine’s Main Street Deli, 513 S. Main St.

• Fern Cafe, 452 E. Sandusky St.

• Findlay Brewing Company, 213 E. Crawford 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 Road 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.

• Subway, 608 S. Main St.

• Westside Carryout, 1132 Logan Ave.

Gift of Reading

The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library is accepting donations for its annual “Give the Gift of Reading” program, which runs through Dec. 31.

The beneficiary is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, administered locally by Hancock Literacy.

The Imagination Library mails an age-appropriate book each month to enrolled children ages 0 to 5. Numerous studies have shown that parent/child reading increases substantially in Imagination Library households.

A study in Middletown showed that children participating in the program scored 14% higher than non-participants in kindergarten literacy testing.

Over 2,100 children are participating in Hancock County. Since 2014, the local program has distributed nearly 100,000 books. Over 127,000 million books have been distributed to children worldwide.

Donations may be made at the check-out desk in the library lobby area or by mail to Findlay-Hancock County Public Library, Gift of Reading, 206 Broadway, Findlay, OH 45840. For further information, call the library at 419-422-1712.

Hope House

1800 N. Blanchard St., Suite 106

419-427-2848

Hope House operates a homeless shelter, and provides help to formerly homeless people transitioning to independence.

Hope House’s wish list includes conditioner, paper towels, planners/datebooks, coffee, sugar, laundry detergent, fabric softener, trash bags in 13-gallon and 33-gallon sizes, toilet paper, flashlights, pillows and personal hygiene products (full size).

The organization also has a Christmas family adoption program each year, and is looking for wrapping paper, tape and bows.

It always needs volunteers to fill in at the shelter, which is staffed 24/7.

Items can be dropped off at the Hope House Housing Office at the Family Center, 1800 N. Blanchard St., or the transitional shelter behind St. Michael’s downtown church.

Humane Society & SPCA of Hancock County

4550 Fostoria Ave.

419-423-1664

The Humane Society relies heavily on volunteers, and the 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. Cat Cuddlers are responsible for socializing the cats on Mondays through Saturdays.

Share-A-Pet volunteers take animals currently available for adoption to visit residents of nursing and adult care facilities in Hancock County. Happy Tales is a summer reading program where children can read to cats over their summer break.

Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services

401 W. Sandusky St.

419-420-9261

On Dec. 12, Open Arms is hosting a Christmas party for clients who have used the agency’s services in 2019. Donations of food are needed. Interested donors are encouraged to call the office to receive a specific list of items needed.

Open Arms is always in need of donations of everyday household items to be used at the emergency shelter. Items needed include cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, trash bags, boxed foods, cereal and gas cards.

Community members can also “adopt” an Open Arms’ family, giving them essentials to get back on their feet and toys for children. Contact the office for details on adopting a family.

NAMI Hancock County

306 N. Blanchard St.

567-525-3435

NAMI Hancock County is seeking financial donations through its website, where the organization later plans to post a wish list. It is at www.namihancockcounty.org

Salvation Army

301 Center St.

419-422-8238

www.salvationarmyusa.org

The Salvation Army is collecting money in Findlay with kettles at both Walmart stores, both Kroger stores, Hobby Lobby, 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 was just a little shy of its fundraising goal of $90,000 in 2018, and is attempting to raise that 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 last day to apply for Christmas assistance with the Salvation Army was Nov. 27. Applications received after that date will be put on a waiting list.

More than 260 families have signed up so far. Last year, 384 families, including 759 children, 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 50 North.

Participants in the program are Hancock County residents age 50 and older who have been found financially eligible. These individuals are often looking for assistance because it helps provide for the needs of daily life, such as food, gas or clothing.

The public is encouraged to purchase a prepaid Visa or Mastercard in a senior’s name and return it to 50 North before Dec. 9.

Findlay’s Automobile Club (AAA) offers gift cards and will waive the fee. Any remaining tags are purchased with funds collected throughout the year for this project.

Call 50 North at 419-423-8496 or email Julie Niswander at jniswander@50north.org 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.

Donation boxes will be set up at over 100 locations in Findlay, including the Findlay Village Mall, Art Van Furniture, and The Big R.

Marines will be collecting toys and cash donations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays through Christmas at both Findlay Walmart stores.

Women’s Resource Center

1011 N. Main St.

419-424-9948

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.

Mentoring and parenting classes are also offered. 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.

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