Just because the gifts under the tree have been opened, and the stockings have all been emptied, it doesn’t mean the season for giving is over.
With the rush of the holidays many of us with good intentions to give to those in need, either never had the time or just could not afford to give a little extra right before Christmas.
No need for a guilt trip, because the truth be told, most charitable organizations need help all year long, not just at Christmas time.
As we wrap up the remainder of this holiday season and begin to usher in the New Year, consider a donation to one of the many local organizations in need.
The Tewksbury Community Food Pantry is always in need of canned foods, flour, sugar, condiments, peanut butter, and sugar free items. Also in need are household items like dish and laundry soap, toiletry items, and paper products.
They also accept cash donations and gift cards to grocery stores. You can easily donate online or drop off at any Tewksbury church, the Tewksbury Public Library, or call 978-858-2273 to arrange a drop off of items.
During the Christmas season a Salvation Army Bell Ringer can be found in front of every grocery store and major retailer, collecting money donations in their red kettles. But the Salvation Army has needs to fill all year long.
The Salvation Army and other organizations run charitable thrift stores and are in need of clothing, housewares, and furniture that is in good condition, and many organizations will pick items up from your home.
You and your family may have received new books, DVDs or CDs for Christmas. Why not take the opportunity to clear out your shelves of any old books, movies, and music you don’t use anymore and donate them to the Tewksbury Public Library.
The Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity has a thrift store or building project called ReStore, located in North Billerica. They are in need of appliances, architectural items, flooring, hardware, windows, doors, cabinets, countertops, electrical items, plumbing fixtures, lumber and lawn and garden items. All items must be in good or new condition. To donate, call 978-25-9975 or visit www.mvrestore.org.
If the cost of Christmas has put a dent in your budget, there are many organizations that request only your time in volunteer work.
The Wish Project, located in Chelmsford, is a resource for furniture, household goods and baby items that serves families in need in the Merrimack Valley. The Wish Project is in need of volunteers to work in both their warehouse and from home. For more information call 866-947-4360 or visit them on Facebook @thewishproject.
The Tewksbury Public Library is also in need of volunteers to help with the day to day cleaning, shelving ad shifting of collection in the library. To find out more about volunteer positions and to apply, visit www.tewkburypl.org/get-involved/pages/volunteer.
The House of Hope, located in Lowell, offers life changing programs to hundreds of families and provides long term solutions for homeless families in the Greater Lowell area. They are always in need of donations of food, cleaning items, and children’s items, but volunteers are always needed and welcomed.
Volunteers are needed to perform routine maintenance like painting walls and yard work, and to prepare and serve nutritious meals. To volunteer or donate items call 978-458-2870 or visit www.houseofhopelowell.org.
Budget Buddies, located in Chelmsford, is an organization that offers financial coaching for low income women. To volunteer to be a “coach,” you do not need a financial background to work one on one wih a “buddy,” but you do need to attend training that is provided by Budget Buddies.
Besides coaches, they are also in need of volunteers to do research, community outreach, fundraising, childcare, and marketing. Call 978-703-0820 for more information about volunteering for Budget Buddies.
Strongwater Farms, located in Tewksbury, offers a therapeutic equestrian program for individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. The are always in need of volunteers to assist in lessons, horsecare, facility maintenance, and office work. To find out more about volunteer opportunities, visit them at www.strongwaterfarm.org.
The Tewksbury Senior Center has a variety of volunteer opportunities. There is always a need for volunteers to work at the Help Desk, gift shop, consignment shop, data entry, or for friendly visiting. Stop in at the Senior Center located at 175 Chandler St. for an application to volunteer.
If you don’t have the time or schedule flexibility to consistently do volunteer work, you can still give back to the community by participating in town clean up day or recycling days.
A list of useful items to donate is also available on the Town of Tewksbury website, www.tewksbury-ma.gov.
As we get ready to enter 2020, keep the season of giving alive in your spirit and mind. The end of the year is a great time to get organized by cleaning out your closets and donating useful items to those in need. If your post-holiday budget allows, give what you can to your favorite local charity, keeping in mind that your time may just be your most valuable commodity to organizations in need.