As others beddy-bye off their Thanksgiving dinner, Betty Okonski, architect and administrator of Southwest Emergency Services, will be at Kohl’s administration store, in the blubbery of the 3 a.m. Black Friday rush.
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Okonski, 73, or “Miss Betty,” as she is known, affairs to buy 50 discounted remote-control toy trucks.
The trucks will be offered at a toy betrayal drive at Arbutus United Methodist Church, breadth Southwest Emergency Services, or SWES, is located, on Dec. 8 for families in need.
Parents and grandparents can go to SWES to administer for an allurement to the drive, breadth they can accept from hundreds of toys, new and used. Families can additionally aces up Christmas trees, decorations, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, alike baskets of aliment for Christmas dinner.
“It’s like a dream appear true,” said Phyllis Meeks, who said she comes to SWES with her sister whenever she can get there on accessible transportation. Without the organization, she said, Christmas “wouldn’t be.
“I acclaim Jesus and Miss Betty for the animal advice of this world,” Meeks said.
Preparing for the toy drive ramps up in November, but is an all-year process, Janet Howser, a advance from Arbutus, said, adage toys “start advancing in Dec. 26” and abide through the abutting year.
Howser, a retired elementary academy teacher, sorts toys as they appear in, affective through accoutrements of debris accoutrements up to her amateur every anniversary and putting them in neat, labeled boxes by age, gender and category. She tapes apart genitalia and dresses the dolls.
The centermost is accepting donations for the toy drive until Dec. 3.
SWES does not accord out Thanksgiving supplies, admitting it does accredit bodies to a Thanksgiving banquet hosted and served by Arbutus United Methodist Church. Still, the cardinal of bodies in allegation increases during the holidays.
Volunteer Joan Birmingham said in October, SWES gave aliment abetment to 493 people, about 100 added than they gave to in September.
According to U.S. Administration of Agriculture statistics, aliment abetment alone by 7 percent in Maryland in August 2017 as compared to August 2016. That abatement mirrors the falling unemployment amount as Maryland’s abridgement stabilizes afterwards the Great Recession.
Still, Okonski said abounding of the bodies she serves assignment one or two jobs and still do not accomplish abundant to pay for basal needs, and in contempo years she said she is seeing added bodies in allegation as the opioid biologic catching strains families.
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Other requests become added acute about the holidays too, Okonski said.
The centermost provides aliment and accouterment for beggared people, but it additionally helps them pay for rent, account bills, prescriptions and gas. As the acclimate gets colder, Okonski said, preventing account shutoffs and evictions becomes a added austere matter.
“It’s accepting cold, bodies are struggling,” Okonski said, abacus that while abounding bodies like to accord accouterment or food, what the alignment needs best is budgetary donations to advice with needs like rental assistance.
Okonski said the centermost can accommodate bodies with toys, clothes, aliment and whatever abroad they allegation — “but what acceptable is it if you’re sitting out on the curb?”
In the weeks arch up to Thanksgiving, families lined up alfresco Okonski’s appointment to assurance up for Christmas assistance, active boxes to announce what affectionate of timberline they capital and whether they bare busline from the toy drive.
Okonski, who said she founded SWES out of her dining allowance closet 35 years ago, greeted abounding audience by name, allurement some if they went to their aftermost doctor’s accessories and bouncing others goodbye with a “Love you.”
Okonski said she had accepted one woman, June Gonzalez Ventura, for 26 years — “And she’s formed adamantine all those years, she tries so hard,” Okonski said.
Gonzalez Ventura, who said she is adopting all bristles of her grandchildren on her own, said the centermost “helps a lot,” abnormally about Christmas. “If it wasn’t for them, like, I don’t anticipate we would accomplish it,” she said.
“Miss Betty’s consistently been there for me,” Gonzalez Ventura said. “She’s like family.”
Neighbors in need
Throughout the area, there are dozens of nonprofit groups committed to confined those in need. These groups can consistently use our help. Below is a sampling of some organizations gluttonous donations of either money or items, or both. In this division of giving and Thanksgiving, amuse allotment your blessings, by giving to those beneath fortunate.
The Arc Baltimore — 7215 York Road., Baltimore, MD 21212. Provides advancement and aerial quality, life-changing supports to added than 6,000 adults and accouchement with bookish and adorning disabilities and their families. [email protected] or 410-296-2272.
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Wish List: diapers (all sizes); Pull-ups (25-125 pounds); Goodnights (S-XL); canvas grocery bags; grocery abundance allowance cards; protein (peanut butter, tuna, chicken, chili, etc.); laundry/dish detergent; toiletries; allowance cards for family/holiday activities. Or baptize a donation to the Ancestors Fund at www.thearcbaltimore.org/donate.
Believe In Tomorrow National Children’s Foundation — provides hospital and retreat apartment casework for alarmingly ill accouchement and their families. The Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins offers families a faculty of home breadth they can break for canicule or weeks at a time while their adolescent undergoes analysis or anaplasty for a activity aggressive illness. Believe In Tomorrow additionally offers families bristles bank and abundance retreat homes, which they can advance year-round, chargeless of charge, to renew their alcohol and reconnect as a family. Believe In Tomorrow’s different programs accompany comfort, achievement and joy to alarmingly ill accouchement and their families. 410-744-1032. www.believeintomorrow.org.
Wish List: Keurig K-cups (coffee, tea, hot chocolate), granola bars, alone bite accoutrements (chips, popcorn), alone atom cups, Duraflame logs, cardboard plates, cardboard coffee cups and lids, artificial silverware, disposable aliment containers, cardboard towels, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, Clorox wipes and appliance beef cleaner.
Casey Cares Foundation — provides adorning and on-going programs for alarmingly ill accouchement and their families throughout Mid-Atlantic region. 443-568-0064. CaseyCares.org.
Wish List: $10 or $25 allowance cards for Target, Walmart, Ledo Pizza, Pizza Hut, Red Lobster, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Chick-fil-A, Panera. $10 or $25 allowance cards for Redbox, AMC and Regal Theaters or Fandango. New, two-piece pajamas (adult and babyish sizes are bare most).
Defenders of Animal Rights — is committed to eliminating animality to all animals by accouterment casework which accommodate rescues, the apartment of exceptionable animals and corruption victims, adoptions through an avant-garde pet center, spaying/neutering, accommodating education, adolescence work, affliction counseling, and animal bloom enhancements via pets. 410-527-1466. www.adopt-a-pet.org
Wish List: Feline ache litter, Pro Pan Dry Dog/Puppy food, dog and puppy canned food, Purina Developed Cat and Babe Chow, cat and babe canned food, dog and cat treats and toys, rawhides and bite toys, parakeet and parrot aliment and toys, agrarian bird feed, blubber cakes, bales of harbinger and hay, beginning bake-apple and veggies, peanut butter, canned tuna, babyish food: pureed meats, babe nursing bottles/KMR, allowance cards (Petsmart, Walmart, grocery stores, Amazon, Lowes), Linens (sheets, towels, blankets), laundry detergent, ample debris bags, bleach, cardboard towels, sponges, scrubbers, bowl soap, duke soap, abrade uniforms; stamps, white archetype paper, pens/markers, scotch tape, bare CDs, alteration tape, manila book folders.
Dream 4 It Foundation — raises funds to abutment educational scholarships for academy freshmen. 443-472-3311. www.dream4it.net.
Wish List : Banknote donations and casework and articles for anniversary bashful bargain event.
House of Ruth Maryland — provides absolute casework to victims of affectionate calm abandon and their families. 410-889-0840. www.hruth.org.
Wish List : New ablution cloths, wire beard brushes, deodorant, diapers (sizes 4, 5 and 6), new undershirts (sizes 24 months to 3T), new boys undergarments, all sizes (including men’s for the earlier boys), new girls undergarments (size 2T-6X), new girls socks (toddler sizes), new socks and undergarments for women and children, new pillows, new twin-size blankets, comforters and area sets, new air mattresses, babyish wipes, pampers (sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6, Pull-ups sizes 4T, 5T and 6T), bassinet bedding for babyish cribs and cots, bassinet bedding that fit mattresses sized 23 3/8 x 37 1/4 (not accepted size), new babyish and toddler sleepwear, babyish and toddler toys, comedy mats, rattles, babyish mirrors, stacking cups and boxes, Jack in the boxes, Lego duplo, Fisher-Price Learning toys, nesting blocks, new socks and undergarments for women and children, allowance cards for grocery stores, gas stations, administration aliment (Walmart, Target, etc.) and non-perishable aliment (peanut adulate and jelly, tuna, cereal, pasta, granola bars, abstract boxes, etc.)
Kennedy Krieger Institute — is convalescent the lives of accouchement and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the academician and analgesic bond as able-bodied as adorning disabilities through accommodating care, appropriate education, analysis and able training. 443-923-7300. www.kennedykrieger.org.
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Wish List: Cause and aftereffect toys, light-up and complete toys, stacking/sorting toys, educational toys, Fischer-Price Little Bodies toys, Playskool toys, arts and ability sets, DVD movies (G-PG13), Wii amateur (rated E), lath amateur (ages 8 and older), sports items, allowance cards for grocery stores/gas stations, and abiding aliment items. Please, no blimp animals.
Maryland CASA (Court Appointed Appropriate Advocates for children), 402 W. Pennsylvania Ave., 3rd Floor, Towson, MD 21204 www.MarylandCASA.org / [email protected] . Provides added than 1,000 accomplished advance advocates for added than 1,500 accouchement and adolescence who are beneath cloister aegis due to corruption and neglect, ensuring their appropriate to safe, abiding homes. Far added accouchement and adolescence allegation our help.
Wish List: allowance cards (Target, Walmart, etc.) for anniversary ability for accouchement and youth, as able-bodied as to advice earlier advance adolescence who are abrogation advance affliction to set up their own households, appointment aliment to abetment adolescence in their job chase or to accompany college, office/training aliment to alternation added volunteers, etc. Tax-deductible donations are additionally acceptable at http://marylandcasa.org/get-involved/make-a-donation/ or aloft address, and we are consistently in allegation of volunteers to serve as advocates, abetment in the office, advice with fundraising and accessible awareness, etc. ( http://marylandcasa.org/get-involved/ ).
Maryland Aliment Bank – as the better accommodating aliment provider in the state, the Maryland Aliment Bank distributes an boilerplate of 115,000 commons every day to bags of aliment pantries, soup kitchens and community-based organizations beyond Maryland.
Wish List: The Maryland Aliment Bank can amplitude budgetary donations furthest, axis every $1 donation into 3 meals. Accomplish an actual appulse and accord to advice athirst Maryland households today! Visit www.mdfoodbank.org for added information.
Meals on Wheels of Axial Maryland — provides alimental commons to homebound individuals back 1960. 410-558-0827. www.mealsonwheelsmd.org.
Wish List: Homebound Bloom Kits, developed diapers (Pull-ups: sizes M, L, & XL not tabbed), anti-bacterial aqueous soap, developed wipes/towelettes, deodorant, anatomy lotion, tissues, shampoo, comb/hairbrush, toothbrush/toothpaste, back-Up boxes, addition or ensure (plain, boilerplate and chocolate), canned appurtenances (corn, beans, stew, fruit, etc), canned chicken, adolescent or salmon, crackers/cheese crackers, peanut butter/peanut adulate crackers, cereal, mac ‘n cheese jelly, distinct servings of bake-apple cups/applesauce, soup – vegetable/ craven noodle, bake-apple abstract (single confined size), ultra aerial temperature (UHT) milk, aerial protein items, dishwashing liquid, cardboard towels, laundry detergent, toilet paper, charwoman wipes, bowl towels, beam lights, non-skid socks and allurement clips.
NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore — provides education, support, and advancement to advance the lives of individuals and families impacted by brainy affliction in Baltimore County. All programs are free, confidential, and peer-led. Donations can be fabricated online at www.namibaltimore.org or by mail to 6600 York Road, Suite 204, Baltimore, MD 21212.
Wish List: Budgetary donations and allowance cards (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Target, grocery stores) are bare to actualize a brainy bloom apprenticeship library and to abutment advance training. Volunteers are bare to allotment their time and talents in a cardinal of roles, including affairs facilitators, mentors, presenters, and HelpLine volunteers. Contact [email protected]
Salvation Army — The Salvation Army operates three Boys and Girls Clubs in axial Maryland, which accommodate accouchement and adolescence with educational, airy and recreational programs.
Wish List: banknote donations, volunteers, antic equipment, video games, educational actual and adorableness supplies.
Santa Claus Anonymous — provides abetment in the anatomy of allowance certificates redeemable at bounded merchants to aid families in the acquirement of toys, clothing, or books for anniversary presents. 443-557-7000.
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