Spread Holiday Cheer To Those In Need

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With the holidays coming up, now is a great time to give back to the community. Finding a way to volunteer can be difficult, but there are several organizations in Anne Arundel County dedicated to helping those in need. Collecting food, clothes and toys — there are many ways to make a difference.

Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy (GBLL)

Giving Back, Linda’s Legacy (GBLL) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. The group is “dedicated to helping the homeless and inspiring everyone to get more involved with volunteering,” according to its mission statement.

GBLL has many collection drives occurring throughout November and December, including a toiletry drive. Volunteers are collecting travel-sized soaps, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, feminine-hygiene products, etc. The organization will have several collection days in December at the Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market in Annapolis.

For those interesting in baking, GBLL needs homemade cakes to be delivered on December 22. To volunteer, visit www.homelessdrive.org. For more information, contact info@homlessdrive.org, and to sign up for the cake drive, go to www.signupgenius.com/go/60b084ea4af2aa20-2019.

Serving People Across Neighborhoods (SPAN

Serving People Across Neighborhoods (SPAN) is a faith-based organization in Severna Park. The primary mission of SPAN is to provide food and financial assistance to qualified individuals and families and to help them through emergencies.

One way to help SPAN is through the Holiday Caring Program. Volunteers are assigned a family to sponsor during Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, and they will be asked to donate food and toys. For information on SPAN, email spanhelps@yahoo.com or call 410-647-0889. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00am–2:00pm. To sign up for the Holiday Caring Program and more, visit www.spanhelps.org.

Arundel Federal Toy Drive

With locations in Severna Park and Pasadena, Arundel Federal Savings Bank offers two convenient drop-off sites for new and unwrapped toys. Visit 50 West McKinsey Road in Severna Park or 4179 Mountain Road in Pasadena by December 13 to make a child’s holiday brighter.

Admiral Cleaners Coat Drive

The staff at Admiral Cleaners believes they have a responsibility to improve the community. With that in mind, they collect coats during the holiday season to be given out to those in need. There is a Severna Park location at 40 West McKinsey Road. To donate, call 410-267-8381 or email customerservice@admiralcleaners.com.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is a national organization led by Marines whose mission is to collect new and unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less-fortunate children at Christmas. Boxes are placed throughout the community to collect donations from the general public. These gifts are then given to families in need for Christmas. The Anne Arundel division, led by Major Peter Smith, is still accepting toys at drop-off locations until November 27. For additional information, email info@aatft.org.

Central Maryland Salvation Army

The Central Maryland Salvation Army is another faith-based organization seeking volunteers. There are many volunteer opportunities available through the Salvation Army, including becoming a bell ringer. To volunteer, call the volunteer coordinator, Samantha Bowman, at 443-573-3291, or go to www.salvationarmycm.org.

Operation Christmas Child

One way to have an international impact this holiday season is by volunteering with Operation Christmas Child. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. The organization sends a shoebox filled with toys and necessities to children in need around the globe. To find a drop-off location near you, and to learn how to pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org. The group is accepting shoeboxes through November 25.

No matter how big the contribution — and whether the impact occurs locally, nationally or internationally — consider giving back this holiday season.

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