With the holiday season in full gear, scores of nonprofits are collecting toys, toiletries and cash – among other things – to help lighten the burdens of the less fortunate.
Here is a roundup of some of the organizations’ holiday drives and needs.
Helen’s Hope Chest
126 E. University Drive, Mesa.
What they do: Helen’s Hope Chest provides several programs for children in foster homes and foster group homes as well as wraparound services to foster youth who are aging out of the system.
Needs: Helen’s Hope Chest is holding a toy drive in connection with all Starbucks outlets in Mesa for its JaKelle’s Christmas Box, named after a Mesa teen who lost her life to a lung ailment. It also is partnering with KOR Properties to ensure each of the 3,000 foster youth who benefit from JaKelle’s Christmas Box receive their own stocking. Go to mesaunitedway.org/helenshope for details.
466 South Bellview, Mesa
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 602-285-1999
What they do: Catholic Charities Community Services is collecting gifts to help struggling families celebrate the upcoming holidays through its Emergency Santa Program.
Needs: New, unwrapped toys and gifts, which can be dropped off now through Dec. 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Volunteers are also needed to organize the gifts for families on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Dec. 12 through 14.
House of Refuge
Donation Center: 6858 East Ursula Avenue, Mesa. Contact: 480-988-9395
What they do: House of Refuge provides safe, transitional housing for families experiencing homelessness, as well as employment and educational support to promote a healthy transition into independence.
Needs: Traditional Thanksgiving meals for families in the community to cook in their homes. Complete meals can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 22, and food items must be double bagged in brown paper bags.
A New Leaf
868 East University Drive, Mesa
What they do: A New Leaf provides a wide range of resources for individuals and families, from domestic violence shelters, to financial literacy programs, to affordable housing.
Needs: Volunteers to sponsor a family this holiday season, as well as items such as gift cards, toys, socks, underwear, and men’s sweats. Financial contributions are also accepted.
United Food Bank
358 East Javelina Avenue, Mesa
Contact: email@example.com, 480-926-4897
What they do: United Food Bank provides hunger relief to those in need in a 19,500-square-mile service area in the East Valley and eastern Arizona.
Needs: Schools, churches, and businesses to host a food drive for non-perishable items. Volunteers and donations are also greatly encouraged during the holiday season.
Jewish Family & Children’s Services
1255 West Baseline Road, Suite B258, Mesa. Contact: 480-820-0825
What they do: This non-sectarian organization provides behavioral health and primary medical services to all families in need of services.
Needs: Families, companies, or groups to sponsor a family or child in foster care this holiday season, including both Chanukah and Christmas.
Arizona Humane Society
Mesa Thrift Store, 1110 West Southern Avenue, Suite 20, Mesa
What they do: The Arizona Humane Society is the perfect place to adopt a furry friend, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and rats. Not only do they provide adoptions, but the Arizona Humane Society also has an animal trauma hospital and animal rescue services.
Needs: Groups to hand out holiday treats and provide enrichment and socialization to the animals. Individuals can also host a Holiday Drive to Save Lives, and donations are welcome as well.
Save The Family Foundation – Adopt A Family
125 East University Drive, Mesa
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 480-898-0228
What they do: Save the Family’s main goal is to provide rapid rehousing and transitional housing throughout the Valley, with a focus on building strong, stable families. Individuals are also assisted with budgeting workshops, parenting classes, and employment opportunities.
Needs: Volunteers to adopt a family on Thanksgiving or Christmas, by providing them with a positive holiday experience.
Rebuilding Together Valley
Of The Sun
1826 West Broadway Road, Suite 16, Mesa. Contact: email@example.com, 480-774-0237
What they do: RTVOS provides free safety modifications in the homes of low-income seniors, families, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, such as fall prevention equipment, night lights, and wheelchair ramps. RTVOS also works with the Red Cross to install smoke alarms.
Needs: Volunteers are always needed to help install equipment. Volunteers who are unable to do more physical work are also needed for help with inventory, as well as to help spread the word of RTVOS’s mission.
Ronald Mcdonald House – Dobson House
2225 West Southern Avenue, Mesa
Contact: 602-354-3324 or
What they do: Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a place for families to stay while their child is staying in the hospital, at little to no cost. Dinners are provided by volunteers, and during the holidays, families are treated to a free shopping experience called Santa’s Workshop.
Needs: Individuals can host a gift drive for new, unwrapped gifts for babies, children, teens, moms and dads, for families to shop for during Santa’s Workshop. For large donations, please call ahead.
Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank
1368 North Arizona Avenue, Unit 112, Chandler. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 480-857-2296
What they do: Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank feeds more than 5,500 individuals with emergency food boxes in the East Valley every month. During the holidays, the food bank provides holiday food boxes for existing clients.
Needs: Traditional holiday food items, such as turkey or ham, potatoes, yams, and pie fillings.
Chandler Care Center
777 East Galveston Street, Chandler
What they do: The Chandler CARE Center assists Chandler families through many resources, including medical care, counseling services and other assistance.
Needs: Thanksgiving food items, such as stuffing, potatoes, or cranberries to feed more than 400 families. Hygiene items and paper products are welcome as well.
345 South California Street, Chandler
Contact: email@example.com, 480-963-1423
What they do: AZCEND is a Chandler-based nonprofit that provides multiple programs for those in need, including a literacy program, a food bank, and back to school assistance.
Needs: Thanksgiving food items, such as frozen turkey, stuffing mix, and desserts, as well as December holiday items, such as new toys and gift cards. Items can be dropped off on
Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Tuesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Vista Del Camino Food Bank
7700 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale
What they do: Vista Del Camino Food Bank provides food boxes and homeless food bags to those in need, in Scottsdale. Individuals in need, work with social workers to determine whether their needs are more short-term or long-term.
Needs: Donations including non-perishable food items, pet food, hygiene items, new socks, and new underwear. Monetary donations are also welcome.
St. Anne Roman Catholic
Parish Friends Of The Needy
14 North Cottonwood Lane, Gilbert
What they do: The Friends of the Needy ministry helps Gilbert residents in need through food boxes, the donations of clothing, household items and appliances, utility bill assistance, and assistance in applying for other government assistance.
Needs: Food items for Thanksgiving and Christmas, such as turkey, canned vegetables, pie crusts or mixes, and gravy mixes. Grocery store gift cards are also accepted.
Light The World
45 West Page Avenue, Gilbert
What they do: The Light the World vending machine provides families and individuals a fun way to give this holiday season, by “purchasing” needs for local charities. This campaign by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be available from Nov. 20 through Jan. 1.
Needs: Purchases, such as for diapers, clothing, or food, will be made for A New Leaf, Arizona Disabled Sports, Catholic Charities Community Services Arizona, Child Crisis Arizona, St. Mary’s Food Bank, and the United Food Bank, who are partners with this year’s giving machine.
The Society Of St. Vincent
De Paul – Adopt A Family
What they do: With 15 locations across the state, St. Vincent de Paul provides food, clothing, housing, and other resources to those in need.
Needs: Families, office groups, organizations, or schools to sponsor an in-need family this holiday season, by providing Christmas dinner and a gift for the family.
Arizona Law Enforcement Outreach And Support - Shop With A Cop And Sheepdog
Scottsdale: Dec. 7, Scottsdale Community College, 9000 East Chaparral Road.
Chandler: Dec. 8, Chandler Fashion Center, 3111 West Chandler Boulevard.
Mesa: Dec. 14, Mesa Community College, 1833 West Southern Avenue
What they do: AZLEOS is a collaboration group for law enforcement, civilians, businesses, and more to come together and implement community policing programs. At the annual Shop with a Cop and Sheepdog, law enforcement officers are paired with children to take shopping for the holidays.
Needs: Bicycles and other prizes, such as toys or sports equipment, for the breakfast raffles. Financial contributions are also appreciated.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Black Friday sale
What: Black Friday event at Mark Downs Thrift Store, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 322 N. Horne, Mesa.
When: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29; 98 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Nov. 30.
Activities: For the first time, everything in the store will be priced at half off and restocking will continue throughout this two-day event so the inventory will constantly change. Cash only is accepted. Free Coffee and cookies will be provided. Proceeds benefit St. Mark’s and the Arizona Episcopal Diocese’s missions.