The holiday season provides multiple opportunities to volunteer your time with local organizations and to donate money or goods to a noble cause. Cobb County is home to many charitable groups that could use your help this time of year, including the organizations listed below.
Other groups include Calvary Children’s Home, the American Cancer Society, Kidz2Leaders, Friends of East Cobb Park, Cobb Senior Services, Marietta Community School, United Way of Greater Atlanta, and LiveSafe Resources.
Hope For Christmas
This organization provides toys and food to more than 2,500 families in northwest Cobb, Paulding, Bartow and Cherokee counties through its annual holiday meal and Secret Santa Shop. Help by donating toys and food in Cobb at GracePoint Marietta church and Trinity Chapel in Powder Springs through early December. There are many volunteer opportunities leading up to Hope for Christmas. In the weeks leading up to the event, volunteers can help with toy sorting, food preparation and decorating the facility. During the actual day (December 9), jobs that are available are guest registration, security, refreshments, working in the Secret Santa Shop, guest services, Santa helpers and toy distribution. For more information, visit hopeforchristmas.com.
SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center
SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in Cobb County; its mission is to reduce the trauma to children and their families by offering a comprehensive, professional and child-friendly approach to allegations of child abuse. This holiday season, the center is seeking volunteers who are at least 18 years of age for holiday preparations.
Opportunities include helping SafePath to decorate for the holidays on Wednesday, November 29; setting up and cleaning up for SafePath’s “Holiday Open House” on December 1; assisting with the “Adopt-A-Family program during the second week of December; and assisting with taking down holiday decorations on Wednesday, January 3. More information is available at safepath.org.
Simple Needs GA
The fast-growing Spirit of Christ-mas program operated by Marietta-based nonprofit Simple Needs GA (SNGA) helps families in need right up until Christmas Eve. “An unexpected emergency — an apartment fire, an eviction notice, the loss of a job, the list is long — can create situations where families suddenly find that they can’t afford Christmas gifts for their children and also haven’t registered for help from other local programs in time,” explains SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes.
The organization came to the aid of 86 children in its inaugural year (2015) and dramatically increased that number to 150 in 2016. This year, the all-volunteer SNGA aims to help even more children, which will require lots of help from donors/volunteers. SNGA will start collecting gifts in late November. Those who want to sponsor a family or child by purchasing what the child requests can do so via a SignUp Genius link, which will be created at that time and displayed on SNGA’s website at simpleneedsga.org.
Beginning on December 16, SNGA will need volunteers to help sort, wrap and/or deliver presents to families. The exact dates and times are TBD. For detailed information on how to participate in the Spirit of Christmas and put a smile on a child’s face, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for Family Resources
The Thanksgiving tradition of gathering for a large family meal isn’t feasible for many families who struggle financially. Thus, for the past 30 years, The Center for Family Resources has endeav-ored to provide holiday meals for those in need through its Thanks For Giving campaign. Volunteers are needed each year to help pack food donations as well as for distributing the donated items to help families in need have the same types of Thanksgiving meals that most of us take for granted.
“Every year, our generous community captures the true spirit of Thanksgiving to help provide these holiday groceries and pantry staples to up to 1,400 local families,” The Center for Family Resources says.
For more information or to sign up to help the Thanks For Giving campaign, call (770) 428-2601, or visit thecfr.org/t4g.
Youth in Mission
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity Youth in Mission helps fund eligible middle school, high school and college-age stu-dents serve on mission trips. Last year, 35 local youth received scholarships toward 2017 mission trips. Thanks to community support, Youth in Mission provides even more assistance this year. Scholarships will be distributed on December 16 at St. Joseph Church in Marietta.
Youth in Mission board members include presidents and owners of Cobb County corporations. Donations always are appreciated. You can help support local youth in mission fields by visiting yimcharity.com/donate.