Tis the giving season, is it not? If you’ve already completed your shopping list for the usual suspects and have a few bucks left over to spread additional cheer, here are some gift ideas of the non- profit kind.
Love animals? The Little Guild in West Cornwall, CT https://www.littleguild.org/ rescues homeless dogs and cats and finds loving homes for them. A donation of $25 will buy a one-day supply of food for all of their animals; $50 vaccinates one animal for a year or helps pay the cost to spay a cat ($150) or neuter a dog ($300). Or maybe adopt a pet…
Who isn’t moved by the notion of a child at risk? Berkshire County Kids Place https://www.kidsplaceonline.org/ in Pittsfield, MA picks up the pieces of children damaged by sexual and domestic violence and makes them whole. When a child comes in for a therapy session they get a snack first. $10 buys all of the kids snacks for a week. $50 covers most of a private therapy session for a child. Usually it takes 12 – 24 sessions per child.
Continuing the focus on children, Brooker Memorial https://www.brookermemorial.org/ in Torrington, CT provides early learning, child care, pediatric dental care and child therapy for youngsters in need. $25 will buy a week’s supply of healthy snacks for 10 kids or dental screening for one child. $50 will provide one month of art supplies for two classrooms or a dental cleaning for one child.
Adopt-a-Family in Millerton, NY cares about the young ones too. Headquartered at Moore & More Printing ( 518 789-4508), Stacey Moore and her large band of helpers provide clothing and toys (non-electronic) to some 300 kids up to age 13. Each child gets a winter coat, boots and three toys. A $50 or $100 donation will put a big dent in that per child cost.
Hunger may be our greatest scourge. Gratefully, there are many non- profits dedicated to feeding our residents-in-need. One of them is the Sunday In The Country Food Drive http://sundayinthecountryfooddrive.com/. They are based in Millerton, NY, but they serve 18 towns throughout the Tri-State area. They provide Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to over 300 families. A $25 gift will provide a family of six with a complete holiday dinner including a 14-16 pound turkey.
Special Olympics is one of the most beloved of international charities. It allows children and adults with intellectual challenges to participate in and succeed in 26 different sports throughout the year. And the “United Sports” program partners challenged athletes with non-challenged high schoolers to compete together. Everyone wins. a $30 donation buys a basketball. If you care to give on the installment plan, $15 a month funds year round sports activities for three athletes. Each state manages its own programs. Connecticut https://www.soct.org/; Massachusetts https://www.specialolympicsma.org/ and New York https://www.specialolympics-ny.org/ . A $65 donation will earn you a Special Olympics tree ornament.
Robin Hood Radio’s http://www.robinhoodradio.com/ home is in Sharon, CT, and it serves the Tri-State region. It is an NPR station providing local and national news and entertainment as well as providing public service announcements about non-profit activities throughout the year. Robin Hood Radio is a non-profit that needs our support. A $25 or $50 donation would help pay for stringers who report local news or help support an emergency fund take care of equipment failures, among many other expenses.
The Jane Lloyd Fund https://www.thejanelloydfund.org/ provides financial help for cancer patients in the Northwest Corner by paying their living expenses while they concentrate on healing. A $50 donation could cover a tank of gas to drive to treatments, or pay for part of an electric bill or a piece of a mortgage payment. No donation is too small.
Housatonic Youth Service Bureau (HYSB) https://hysb.org/ . Counselors at HYSB offer free counseling to youngsters in Region 1 in Connecticut addressing a broad array of emotional needs from depression and anxiety to avoiding school, and support children and families coping with personal or economic crises, emotional or physical neglect, trauma, substance abuse and more. A $50 donation to HYSB will pay for one counseling session.
The Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) http://www.jumpfest.org/ in Salisbury Connecticut has been teaching youngsters to ski – cross country, downhill and jumping for 94 years. They provide skiing scholarships for four area grade school downhill programs and maintain 20, 30 and 70 meter jumps at their Satre Hill facilities as well as host the annual Eastern Ski Jumping Championships. A $50 donation to SWSA will fund two hours of landing hill snow grooming or travel expenses for a SWSA jumper to compete at other eastern hills.
These are just 10 of the 300 or so charities found on the pages of sportingAcause.com, all of which are doing heroic work to improve lives in our part of the world. Please remember them when gift-giving this holiday season.