Holiday Giving – Families in Need

There is a family who is struggling and trying to make ends meet. Every month is a battle to keep the lights on, pay bills, and even buy food. Although they receive governmental assistance, they still come up short. As the holiday season approaches, they pace the floor and shake their heads, wondering how they can give their children a joyful Christmas, showered with the toys they’ve been asking for all year and more warm clothes. Because this family can only afford so much, they either rely on charitable organizations to help them, or they shake their heads as they are bypassed.

There are a plethora of needy families like this in every city. Needy families who live in Winston-Salem are sometimes overlooked, especially during the holidays, and are yearning for an abundant, joyful holiday season. Thankfully, there are several organizations in Winston-Salem that have charitable programs in which we are able to help!

Goodwill Industries is a retailer that sells donated merchandise. Their merchandise is sold at very modest prices, so working families can have access to quality clothing, toys, furniture, books, DVDs, home décor, and even electronics and appliances. You can help by donating your gently used—or unused—goods, especially during this time. Think of things needy families will need this winter, such as coats, pants, hats, and scarves. You can also donate lightly used toys and books for children.

Experiment in Self-Reliance is a fair housing agency, an equal opportunity employer, a community action agency, and a united way agency all in one. They passionately work with working poor and working homeless families to help improve their quality of life. This organization works with needy families by helping them transition into new, affordable, and permanent residencies. They are instrumental in providing holiday help, especially with housing and food. You can help by becoming a volunteer or by making a donation.

Salvation Army, like Goodwill Industries, is a reputable organization that impacts thousands of families locally every holiday season. Not only do they sell high quality and gently used donated items, they run several programs that give to low-income families during the holidays. This year, take advantage of the Angel Tree program where needy families make a Christmas wish list for their children and place them on giant Christmas trees. These Christmas trees are normally found at Walmart, Hanes Mall, Target, and other popular local retailers with numerous slips of paper with the child’s name on it, along with their holiday list. You can take a list, purchase the items, and return it back to the Angel tree so they can be sent to the child in need. Give-a-Kid-A-Coat allows volunteers to donate their coats and give to children who need them. Also, the Old Dominion Freight Line Holiday Concert features the Winston-Salem Symphony. It’s a free concert, but donations are highly encouraged because they go straight to the Salvation Army food pantries to keep needy families from going hungry. The concert takes place on Friday, December 20th, at 7:30 pm at the Joel Coliseum.

Family Services has a shelter for battered women and children who are suffering from domestic abuse or sexual assault. Because many of these women and children arrive to the shelter empty-handed, donations are needed to help these individuals find safe living environments when they leave the shelter. You can help in various ways by adopting or sponsoring a family or a single woman. Children and women who live in the shelter make a wish list, especially during the holiday season. By adopting, you can purchase the items on their wish list and send them to the organization. The wish lists include items such as clothing, toys, books, household items, journals, and personal care items. You can donate generous gift cards to battered women so they can choose what they need, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year.

Of course, the holiday season isn’t the only time to give to those who may be less fortunate than us. It’s important to recognize their needs all year round, so give continuously!



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