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5 Ways to Get Involved During the Holiday Season

November 30, 2010

Next to late season snow storms that keep the ski areas open through April, the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is my favorite time of year.  Everything smells better—evergreen, cinnamon, brisk air—and even tastes better (gingerbread, anyone?).  There is also this fantastic mass desire to give back. Over the past few weeks there has been incredible outreach by both current and potential volunteers and donors who want to help make the holidays a special time for our residents.

Let me share a favorite recent memory.  I joined the women at our Calvary program on Thanksgiving as the on-site staff member for the earlier part of the holiday.  I had lined up meal volunteers at both programs to ensure that all of the women living at Calvary and Pathways would be eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  In addition to the scheduled meals, another three dinners were dropped off in the morning.  It took some serious reorganizing of the kitchen, but everything made it in.  One of the residents walked by the door as I was putting the food away and just stopped in awe.  After a minute, she asked, “Is that for us?” Our generous donors are the reason I was able to reply with an emphatic, “YES!”

I’ve been told by many of my colleagues to expect great things around the holidays.  And, they’ve not been wrong yet.  Boxes of canned goods, cleaning supplies, and gift cards have all been delivered for the residents of our programs.  Last week alone, donors dropped off Thanksgiving baskets, holiday dinners, non-perishable food items, and household goods for women living in our Sister Circle program.  Combined with the yearly donations we receive from Gifts for the Homeless, our elevator has been getting quite a workout, and our basement could give Santa and his workshop a run for their money.

Thanksgiving is over, and now we’re focusing heavily on Christmas.  Now’s your moment to get involved!  How can you help, not only during the holiday season, but well into the New Year?

Here are the TOP FIVE WAYS TO LEND A HAND this December:

5. Organize a donation drive at your workplace, school, church, etc. to collect items off of Calvary’s wish list.  Click here to see our current wish list.

4. Missed signing up for a meal as a dinner or lunch volunteer?  Prepare a meal that can be frozen and used at one of our programs on a cold winter day.  Soups, chilis and lasagnas work well!

3. Can you tie a bow like no other? Are basketballs and tennis racquets no match for your wrapping skills? After we receive all of the donations, we’ll need your help packaging them up for all of the women living at Calvary!

2. Volunteer in your sleep! Join us as an overnight volunteer! Our overnight volunteers supervise our Calvary program 7 nights a week and our Pathways program 4 nights a week. The value attached to these nights is an extraordinary donation to Calvary.

1. Make a financial donation that will provide women a safe place to live, healthy meals, support services, educational programs, employment opportunities and more. Donate to Calvary today!

To schedule a time to drop off donations from our wish list, or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Catherine Bisson at cbisson@calvaryservices.org or 202-289-2111.

To organize a donation drive, or for details on making a financial contribution, contact Erin McElderry at emcelderry@calvaryservices.org or 202-548-0596.

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