To those who’ve already donated cash, toys, coats, food or other items to a seasonal charity: Thanks for being a source of joy, warmth, nourishment or peace of mind for your neighbors.
But if these organizations are going to meet their goals – and meet the need in the community as they see and anticipate it – they must get more help from more donors. And fast.
It’s hard to be certain of how many people could use help this year. Applications are down somewhat at Operation Holiday, for example.
But charities are not expecting the community need for their assistance to lessen, especially with the United Way of the Plains campaign having fallen $700,000 short of its goal last month.
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“We just want to be prepared,” Salvation Army Major Joseph Wheeler told The Eagle.
Time is short in some cases, as distribution starts Thursday for both Operation Holiday and the Salvation Army. The Eagle reported that the holiday drives are hurting most for cash donations.
But Operation Holiday also was calling for more canned fruit, cereal, peanut butter, blankets, children’s coats and teen gifts. To donate to Operation Holiday, which is a program of Inter-Faith Ministries and includes support from Toys for Tots and Catholic Charities: Visit http://interfaithwichita.org/operation-holiday/donate; call 316-264-9303; or mail a check to 829 N. Market, Wichita, KS 67214.
The Salvation Army needs much more help meeting its $1.8 million goal for its holiday donation drive, which fell short by $248,000 last winter. To donate to the Salvation Army: Visit a bell-ringing site; visit redkettlegifts.org; or mail a check to Salvation Army, 350 N. Market, Wichita, KS 67202.
The Salvation Army also works with The Eagle and the Wichita Community Foundation on Share the Season, the 15-year-old program that offers one-time aid for people suffering hardships such as job loss or illness. As of Monday afternoon it had raised more than $156,000, compared with $244,500 last year. Mail a check to Share the Season, Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202; or donate through PayPal online at www.sharetheseason.org. For more information about donating, call 316-264-4880.
To help the Kansas Food Bank, which says its food and money donations are comparable to last year: Visit www.kansasfoodbank.org/how-to-help/donate-money/; call 316-265-3003; or send a check to 1919 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67211.
If all who are able make assisting these charities part of their holiday to-do list, they can help confirm that the Wichita area is a giving, caring place.