2012 Guide to Giving Back
Add some meaning to the season by getting involved in the community this holiday season. Whether you contribute a toy to a child in need, serve a meal, or volunteer to help a non-profit, there is no time like the holidays to spread the joy by helping others.
[Editor's Note: If your organization has a holiday-themed event that you would like to have included, please email the listing information to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.]
Also, see our Holiday Fun Guide, Guide to Holiday Lights, Winter Break Camp Guide & Guide to Finding Santa in the OKC Metro for more fun this holiday season.
Through November 16
Lawyers Against Hunger 3rd Day of Kindness distributes Turkeys, including full meals to families in need. Donations can be made payable to Lawyers Against Hunger, Inc., and delivered or mailed to 8601 S Western, OKC 73139. See www.lawyersagainsthunger.com for more details. Registration and distribution occur at the following locations:
- McIntyre Law (8601 S Western, OKC) on November 14th from Noon-3pm.
- El Reno Fire Department (2707 Faith, El Reno) on November 14th from Noon-4pm.
- Offices of David Bernstein (104 W Gray, Norman) on November 15th from Noon-3pm.
- Iron Gate Ministries parking lot (6th & Cincinnati, Tulsa) on November 16th from Noon-3pm.
Through November 19
Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse. Donate a filled shoebox to disadvantaged children around the world. Fill a shoebox for a boy or girl with toys, educational items, and hygiene items. Find a drop off site or make a donation online www.operationchristmaschild.org.
Through December 7
Holiday Mail for Heroes Throughout the holiday season, the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will collect and distribute holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families in the United State and around the world. See website for guidelines at www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes. Send a letter to the following address:
- Holiday Mail for Heroes (PO Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456)
Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees have names and wish lists of local needy seniors. Find ornaments on trees at Thrifty Pharmacy stores (10904 N May Ave. and 230 S. Santa Fe Ave. in Edmond) or at the Home Instead Senior Care Office (3623 NW 36th.) For more locations visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.
Through December 10
HUGS Project (7000 Crossroads Blvd, Suite 1048, OKC) is preparing to send 5,000 boxes to soldiers. They are in need of volunteers to make hats, goody bags and cooling ties. Great for the whole family. 651-8359.
Through December 11
A Fostering Christmas Drive will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to be distributed to foster children. Bring in a toy for a chance to win a beautiful gift basket donated by several area crafters and businesses. Drop off toys at Dream Catchers Dance Studio (1829 N Kickapoo, Shawnee) or contact Mandie Streater at 580-821-1191.
Through December 13
Sunbeam Family Services Adopt a Family (616 NW 21st St, OKC) needs people to "adopt" families and provide family wishes of gifts and necessities. Unwrapped gifts should be delivered to Sunbeam Family Services. See website for a list of families and adoption procedures. 528-7721, www.sunbeamfamilyservices.org.
Through December 16
Pajama Drive at participating Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt locations. Any customer donating a new pair of pajamas benefitting Citizens Caring for Children will receive a coupon for 3oz. of frozen yogurt. Pajamas will go to help children living in foster care. Click here for more information.
Salvation Army Bell Ringers Angel Tree Intake Volunteers Needed. Volunteers are need to ring bells during the Christmas season and to help intake Angel Tree toys and gifts at the Christmas warehouse. Call Lois Green at 246-1101 or email to email@example.com.
4th Annual Stockings for the Homeless will be collecting donations of stockings and items to fill them as well as food donations for their annual Christmas Dinner. Volunteers needed on December 9th to stuff the stockings, on December 23rd for Christmas dinner set up and on Christmas Day to help with the dinner. For information on donations, drop-off locations or volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.stockingsforthehomeless.org.
Christmas Cards created by the patients of The Children's Center are available for purchase online and in person at The Children's Center Gift Shop. Cards may be imprinted for your office (call for details). Benefits The Children's Center by assisting the purchase the extensive equipment necessary for the therapies and medical care which helps the patients learn and grow as well as other expenses. $10 for a pack of 12 cards with envelopes. 789-6711. Available at www.tccokc.org/ways-to-give/gift-shop.
Science Museum Oklahoma is partnering with Toys for Tots Oklahoma City to help all children have at least one gift to open on Christmas Day. Donation boxes will be available at Science Museum Oklahoma, or you can purchase a toy from The Science Shop inside the museum as a donation and receive 20% off. 602-6664, www.facebook.com/ScienceMuseumOK.
Through December 31
Home Creations House of Cans raises food & funds for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Donations of canned food will be collected at 16 Home Creations communities in Edmond, Piedmont, Yukon, Mustang, Midwest City, Moore, Norman, Collinsville and Broken Arrow. See website for locations. www.homecreations.com/HouseOfCans.
Thanks and Giving Campaign at the Melting Pot of Oklahoma City (4 E Sheridan) benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In November and December, guests have the opportunity to donate to the kids of St. Jude. For every $10 donated, guests receive a Fondue for the Kids card valid for $20 off a future purchase of $50 or more at The Melting Pot. Donations can also be made online at www.meltingpot.com/fondueforthekids.
Holiday Helpers at the Children's Center is accepting donations of needed items. Although this program runs from Thanksgiving through New Year's, the Children's Center accepts donations of needed items year round. Visit the website for wish lists how to donate.
Through January 6
Express Ice Edmond Outdoor Ice Rink at Festival Market (1 & Broadway, Edmond). Bring a nonperishable food item for the Hope Center of Edmond and save $1 on your skating admission on Mondays. $10 with skates, $8 with own skates, $5 for 5 years & under. See website for hours. 274-1638, www.expressice.com/edmondok.
November 16 • 18
The Greens Thanksgiving Classic Tennis Tournament at the Greens Country Club (13100 Green Valley Dr, OKC) benefits the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Features a USTA registered tennis tournament and a the Thanksgiving Treat Classic dessert contest. The Greens Country Club will be accepting non-perishable food and monetary donations through the tournament's conclusion on Sunday, November 18. $23 per event. 751-1094, www.thegreenscc.com.
Holiday Helpers Kick-Off Event at Rococo's Northpark Mall (May & NW 122nd, OKC) features former OU and OSU football players available for picutres and autographs. A donation box will be available to collect needed items. A percentage of dinner sales from the evening will be donated to the Children's Center and guests will have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for OU and OSU items. 6-9pm. www.tccokc.org.
November 20 • December 12
Toys for Tots Toy Drive at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52nd, OKC) offers 20% off all items purchased in the Science Shop to be donated to the Toys for Tots Toy Drive. www.sciencemuseumok.org.
FREE Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner at UCO Nigh Center (100 N University, Edmond) provides a FREE Thanksgiving meal to the Edmond community. Food and monetary donations needed as well as volunteers to assist in cooking, serving, washing dishes and clean up. 11am-3pm. For home delivery for people who cannot leave their homes, call 341-3602, ext. 130. To volunteer, call 340-0691, ext. 343 or email Biruta Harris at email@example.com.
November 23 • December 12
OK Foster Wishes is looking for organizations, businesses, churches, families and individuals to partner with for the Christmas season. Fulfill the wishes of a child in Foster Care this Christmas. Each wish list contains: the child's first name, age, gender, and two items totaling under $50. You can request a single wish list or any number of wish lists. Visit the website for wish lists and drop off locations.
November 23 • December 17
Moore Santa Express Toy Drive. New, unwrapped toys for children in need may be donated at any Moore Fire Station. Donations also accepted online. www.mooresantaexpress.com.
Giving Tuesday promotes donating to charitable organizations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving following "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday". Locally, The Dale Rogers Training Center will provide the option to purchase quality gifts from their online store to help support vocational training and employment for individuals with disabilities. www.drtc.org, www.givingtuesday.org.
December 1 • 31
Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th, OKC) will be offering $2 off admission for skaters who donate non-perishable food items. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.com.
Wild Wish Tree at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50th, OKC) gives animal lovers an opportunity to donate gifts to the OKC Zoo animals. The Tree is decorated with ornaments bearing the descriptions of enrichment items for Zoo animals that are diverse in size, shape and cost. Select a wish from the tree by visiting the ZooFriends' office daily from 9am-5pm. After purchasing the items, you may bring your gift back to the office from December 1-31. You may also purchsase Wild Wish gifts through Amazon.com and the item will be shipped automatically to the zoo. Just visit www.amazon.com, click on Wish List and search for OKC Zoo. 425-0618, www.okczooed.com.
FREE 26th Annual Teddy Bear Tea at Sarkeys Energy Center room P-130 (100 E Boyd, Norman) features tea, coffee, cider & cookies for those who donate gifts or money as well as door prizes. Benefits the Norman Community Christmas Dinner and the Center for Children and Families, Inc. 10am-3pm. 325-3031.
Dunks for Diapers at the Eagle's Nest at OCU (2501 E Memorial, Edmond) offers FREE admission to the Women's Basketball game for anyone bringing diapers, wipes or new baby items for babies ages 0-24 months. Benefites Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care. 6pm. www.lilyfield.org.
Panera Bread & Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma's Food for Kids Backpack Program at Panera Bread Cafes in OKC, Midwest City, Edmond and Norman will donate $1 from any Whole Big Kid Grilled Cheese and 50 cents from any Big Kid Grilled Cheese as part of a You Pick Two Meal. In addition, $1 of every Ham and Gruyere Breakfast Sandwich sold will also go directly to the food bank. www.panerabread.com, www.regionalfoodbank.org.
FREE Moore Santa Express Toy Drive at the Moore Community Center (301 S Howard, Moore) Bring an unwrapped toy & enjoy fun activities, snacks & warm drinks. Toys may also be donated at any Moore Fire Station 11/23-12/17. Donations also accepted online. 6:30-8:30pm. 793-5110, www.mooresantaexpress.com.
Edward-Jones Food Drive with Santa & His Elves at Randel Shadid Law Parking Lot (19 N Broadway, Edmond). Santa & his elves will be available for photos. Live music. Bring canned foods for the Regional Food Bank. 10:30am-1:30pm. 340-1241.
Oklahoma City Handbell Ensemble Concert presented by Oklahoma Choral Artists at Del City HS Auditorium (1900 S Sunnylane, Del City) benefits the Mid-Del Food Pantry. $5. 7:30pm. www.okcbells.com.
December 9 • 24
Habitat for Humanity will be at Sooner Mall (3301 W Main, Norman) wrapping gifts for donations. www.cchfh.org.
Shiloh Camp Cookies & Bookies (516 NE 70th, OKC) needs volunteers to help with this FREE event that features free desserts, entertainment and free school supplies in an electric carnival-like come & go atmosphere. For information on vounteering, see page on VolunteerSpot. Volunteers needed from 4-7pm. Event is from 5-7pm. 858-7011, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holiday Toy Giveaway at Christ Church (1006 NE 17th, OKC) features worship followed by a celebration with cookies, punch and popcorn as free toys are given to 200 needy families. Donations of new toys for all ages accepted. 10:45am-noon. To register, call 424-2800 or by email at email@example.com. www.christchurchokc.org.
Red Andrews Christmas Dinner at the Cox Convention Center provides a home cooked meal and a visit with Santa Claus for people in the community. Children of all ages get to receive a toy in their age range. Volunteers and donations are needed. Volunteers are needed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Donations can be made to the foundation at any UMB Oklahoma branch location. To help, call the foundation at 935-8547 or 473-3967.
Norman Community Christmas Dinner at Norman High School (911 W Main, Norman) offers a holiday meal to the public. Volunteers needed to cook, serve and donate food. 11am-2pm. 364-3273, www.stmichaelsnorman.org/page/christmas-dinner.
Warmth 4 Winter will be collecting gently used coats for those in need. The coats are dry-cleaned through the generosity of local cleaners and then given to the homeless, needy families and to children without. If you know anyone in need of a winter coat, call the Salvation Army at 246-1100. www.kfor.com.
Infant Crisis Services (4224 N Lincoln, OKC) provides food, formula and other infant items to families in crisis. Monetary donations can be mailed to Infant Crisis Services or made online at www.infantcrisis.org.
Heifer International provides livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. For more information, visit www.heifer.org.
Salvation Army Food Pantry volunteers need to help unload and sort food items as well as fill grocery orders for families at The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s food pantry. If interested, contact Lois Green at 246-1101 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.