Because many of our friends and neighbors struggle financially every day, there are many charities that work hard to help people in need. Here’s a list of local nonprofits that have additional needs for the holidays. While you’re at it, consider bringing a basket of homemade goodies, fresh fruit or colorful flowers to show your appreciation for the staff and volunteers at these nonprofits. To learn about many other ways to help throughout the year, visit www.volunteercherokee.org.
Adopt a Senior 2018
The Cherokee County Senior Center is collecting gift items for local seniors, including: nightgowns, pajamas, slippers, grocery gift cards, a book of stamps, or other nonperishable items. Place gifts in holiday gift bags (no wrapping please). Register to adopt Nov. 5-Dec. 12 by calling 770-704-2320 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop off gifts Nov. 19-Dec. 14 at the Cherokee County Senior Center, 1001 Univeter Road.
Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency
The Cherokee Recreation & Parks Agency is collecting items for Cherokee County Nursing Centers Nov. 5-Dec. 7 for the Hugs in a Blanket campaign. Individuals can bring a new warm blanket and a pair of unisex slipper socks to the rec center at 7545 Main St., Building 200 in Woodstock. 770-924-7768. email@example.com.
Cherokee Family Violence Center
The center has a transitional housing complex with 72 apartments, and an emergency shelter that accommodates 12 women and children. The Thanksgiving wish list includes turkey or ham, fresh or boxed potatoes, gravy mix, corn or other canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, tomato or Alfredo sauce, pasta, pumpkin pie mix, instant coffee, hot chocolate mix, apple cider, fresh fruit, rolls, marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers and cinnamon rolls. 770-479-1703. firstname.lastname@example.org.
26th annual Cherokee Thanksgiving
Hosted by Canton First United Methodist Church. Volunteers will serve approximately 2,000 meals in Cherokee and Pickens counties on Thanksgiving day. Delivery, dine-in or pickup. This dinner is for anyone who needs a meal, does not want to eat alone, or simply isn’t able to prepare Thanksgiving dinner. Local area emergency service personnel and hospital emergency staff members will receive dinners, too. To order a meal for dine-in, delivery or pick up, call 470-232-5797. Dinners are delivered between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Dine-in starts at 12:30 p.m. Volunteers for delivery can email email@example.com (password: turkey dinner). Allow a few days for response. Opportunities to volunteer to assist with meal prep and serving start the week before Thanksgiving; email CTvolunteers2017@gmail.com or contact Cheryl Mosley at 678-296-7297 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow a few days for response. Food or monetary donations also are needed. Mail a check to CFUMC, 930 Lower Scott Mill Road, Canton, GA 30114. Indicate Cherokee Thanksgiving in the memo line.
The Children’s Haven
This nonprofit promotes the health and happiness of children in Cherokee who are affected by abuse. The group works to ensure their safety, advocate on their behalf, and respond to meet their needs. Holiday needs include new coats, socks, pajamas and underwear. Target or Walmart gift cards are welcome. Items can be dropped off at 1083 Marietta Highway in Canton. 770-345-3274.
Forever Fed is distributing 350 Christmas food boxes to families in need, as well as hosting mobile pantries in communities experiencing high need. Groups, businesses and individuals can donate nonperishable foods, such as peanut butter, jelly, canned beans, canned soups, breakfast-style snacks and hygiene items. To donate, contact Susan@ForeverFed.org or phone 678-883-3314.
Goshen Valley Foundation
The holidays can be difficult times for the foster youths Goshen Valley serves. The youths can use a little extra support from their community, and area residents can help by providing meals for the youths and house parents. “Frozen casseroles are a huge blessing for our house parents who are having to prepare three meals a day when the boys are out of school,” says Zach Blend, CEO of Goshen Valley. Individuals or small groups are encouraged to donate frozen meals. You even can deliver them in person and take a tour of Goshen Valley. Gift cards from Walmart, Target and Amazon also can help to fill many Christmas wish lists. Gas cards also are encouraged. The executive director at Goshen Valley Ranch, Stacy Cooper, is putting together an Amazon wish-list for the youths. If you would like to purchase a specific gift for one of the youths, email Stacy at email@example.com or call 770-796-4618.
MUST Ministries — Cherokee
The Thanksgiving Food Box Program has its roots in the very origin of the Thanksgiving holiday. The agency is looking for donations of cans of green beans, corn, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes; boxes or packets of mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, stuffing and gravy mixes; frozen pies; and turkeys (no glass please). Grocery store gift cards also are welcome. Monetary donations for turkeys and frozen pies are the most helpful. Nonperishable items can be dropped off 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 1-14. The frozen turkeys and pies can be dropped off 8-9 a.m. Nov. 19-21. Both drop-offs are at MUST’s Canton location at 111 Brown Industrial Parkway. Volunteers are welcome, too. It always helps to let MUST know what items you’ll be bringing. Please contact Ranettia Beasley at 770-576-0359 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The food pantry needs financial donations (tax deductible) to provide Thanksgiving turkeys and family meal boxes to 600 local families who are having financial difficulties. Never Alone’s partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank allows it to purchase food at greatly discounted prices. Donate online or by check, made payable to and mailed to: Never Alone Outreach, P.O. Box 1904, Woodstock, GA 30188.
Operation Christmas Child
Representatives will be collecting donations of filled shoeboxes Nov. 12-19 at Canton First United Methodist Church, 930 Lower Scott Mill Road. Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, collects boxes filled with clothing and accessories, craft items, school supplies, toys and personal care items (no liquids accepted, including toothpaste, shampoo, deodorants, etc.) and ships them around the world to children in need. Collection times are: noon-3 p.m., Nov. 12-16, with additional times of 5-7 p.m. Nov. 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 17, noon-3 p.m. Nov. 18, and 8-10 a.m. Nov. 19. Consult www.samaritanspurse.org/occ to learn how to pack a shoebox. Other details, email Termar5@yahoo.com.
Donations of turkeys, hams and produce are needed, as well as nonperishable food items. A list of the top 10 food needs is kept up-to-date on the website. Papa’s Pantry is a food and stability training organization for the community. For details, call 770-591-4730.
The Secret Santa program of the Department of Family and Children’s Services for Cherokee County offers a way for individuals, businesses, schools, churches or groups such as Sunday school classes or Boy and Girl Scout troops to help the more than 300 children in foster care this year. Sponsors can be matched with specific children or collect speciality items needed to service our program. All levels of contributions are accepted. All size donations are appreciated. For more details, call the Secret Santa phone line at 470-235-0753 or email email@example.com.
The organization is decorating the WellStar Visitation Center at The Children’s Haven, and is accepting donations of holiday decorations through Nov. 16. The focus of SmileUp! is to get children involved in volunteerism; children will be decorating for the children who use the center as a place to visit with parents, siblings and extended family. A list of items needed and drop-off locations are listed at the website.