Alternative Gift Giving
By Kathy French
Each year at this time, the Free Weekly invites area support agencies to submit their wish lists of needed items.
These organizations can always use cash donations, but they also need items that you may have sitting at home that you are not using. Most of these organizations also need dependable volunteers. So, instead of buying that Christmas candle for someone on your holiday gift list, consider making a donation in the name of that person, or pass along items that you aren’t using. Here are some ways to give back this holiday season.
CASA of NWA
614 E. Emma Ave., Ste. 203, Box 15
Crystal Vickmark, 725-2213,
CASA provides trained volunteer advocates to speak for the best interest of abused children in juvenile court. CASA volunteers provide a familiar face in court, knowledgeable recommendations from the judge and consistency to prevent the child from falling through the cracks.
Items: One to two inch binders for making training manuals and for case management, manila folders, postage stamps, gas cards and HP print cartridges numbers 56, 57, 96 and 97. Books on topics like foster care, adoption, mental health to build the advocacy library.
Volunteers: Volunteers are always needed. Please check thee website for information on becoming a volunteer advocate: nwacasa.org
Circle of Life Hospice
610 E. Emma Ave.
Circle of Life Hospice cares for people with terminal or life threatening illnesses, caring for the whole person—body, mind and spirit, to create a healing environment.
Items: Art supplies, sketch pads, colored pencils, pastels. CD’s of all musical genres and stereo headphones for the music therapy program.
Volunteers: Registered therapy-pet teams, musicians, Reiki, Theraputic Touch and Licensed Massage Therapist practitioners. Folks from all walks of life who can read a story, visit patients, record a message or just be a friend to a family in need. Contact volunteer coordinator Becky Buchanan at email@example.com or 750-6632.
Faith In Action
1125 N. College Ave.
Faith in Action works with seniors 60 and older assisting in everyday activities to help older citizens keep their independence.
Items: Toiletry items such as liquid hand soap, shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, brushes, Polident, Chapstick, lotion, deodorant, combs, hairbrushes and house slippers. Night lights, postage stamps and gift cards.
Volunteers: To deliver Christmas baskets. For more information, call Liz Vanzant at 713-1726.
Fayetteville Senior Center and Meals on Wheels
945 S. College Ave.
Sherri Napier, 571-2920
The Fayetteville Senior Center and Meals on Wheels assists homebound seniors and provides a place for comradely and activities for mobile seniors.
Items: Meals on Wheels needs new plastic containers for meal delivery. The Senior Center needs computer software for the Computer Lab and office supplies like ink cartridges and paper.
Volunteers: Volunteers to deliver Meals on Wheels. A volunteer to regularly maintain the back patio garden area.
Donation can be dropped off Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Habitat for Humanity of Washington County
PO Box 1863
Judy Davis; firstname.lastname@example.org
Habitat for Humanity an ecumenical Christian housing ministry working in partnership with those in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing sold at no profit and with no interest charged.
Items: New or clean, working used items in good condition to sell in the Habi Store. Refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, microwaves, electrical and plumbing fixtures and parts, cabinets for kitchens and baths, knobs, hinges, locks, sorted miscellaneous bolts, nails and fasteners. Lumber needs to be nail-free and at least 6-feet long. Interior and exterior doors, windows, bundled roofing and clean, boxed wall and floor tiles. New and used tools, home and office furniture unstained and in good repair.
Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to work in the Habi Store at 1585 S. West Ave. in Fayetteville. Contact Anita at 236-4816. General clerical assistance is needed at the Habitat office, 419. W. Rock. Volunteers to join a Wednesday morning crew that does work and repairs on Habitat homes. Volunteers to work on new sites, usually on Saturdays. To volunteer for office or construction help, call 575-9696.
2471 W. Sycamore St.
Jennifer Maynard, 521-3581, email@example.com
Life Styles supports individuals with disabilities, helping them achieve their full potential as contributing members of the community.
Items: People to be Secret Santas (like an angel tree, Life Styles will provide a person for you to help this Christmas). Usually basic supplies like socks, pajamas, kitchen utensils and some ‘wants’ like movie tickets and restaurant gift certificates. In general, donations of tickets to local sporting, theatrical or special events like Razorback and Lady Razorback games, Walton Arts Center shows, which clients enjoy, but can’t normally afford to attend.
Life Styles also sells holiday cards with original collage work made by clients in the art program. Ten cards are $12.
Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to be a buddy. Clerical help is needed in the office.
For information or to purchase cards, call Jennifer Maynard at 521-3581.
Donations can be dropped off anytime at thee residential facility at 2471 W. Sycamore St. in Fayetteville.
Ozark Food Bank Operation Frontline
1378 Juns Self Dr.
Bethel Heights 72764
The Ozark Food Bank distributes food to area agencies like local church food pantries.
Items: Canned soups and vegetables, dry milk, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, instant rice, rice dinners, easy dinners, frozen dinners and meat items like turkeys and hams. A forklift for the warehouse and a weedeater.
Volunteers: To help sort and prepare orders.
Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Peace at Home Family Shelter
PO Box 1923
Doris Jennes, 442-9811
Peace at Home Family Shelter is dedicated to ending domestic violence through support services, prevention and intervention. An emergency shelter, Peace at Home offers comprehensive services for women and children in residence at the shelter, as well as in the community. Help is available in English and Spanish. Peace at Home is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-877-442-9811.
ITEMS: Pots and pans, kitchen supplies, handbags, curling irons, hair dryers, personal hygiene and body products, alarm clocks, household knick knacks, small tool kits, socks, robes and slippers of all sizes. Children’s toys: building blocks, learning word toys, soft plastic cars, building sets, teething rings, puzzles, cars, dolls, action figures, board games, remote control toys, art kits, sports balls and equipment, bikes and safety gear, scarves, gloves, sheet sets, personal CD players, costume jewelry, makeup sets, journals, books, movie passes, gift cards to bookstores, watches, backpacks and any cool items to help teenagers feel that they fit in. Because Peace at Home often receives clients with only the clothes on their backs, they also need NEW panties, bras and large size diapers.
Donations can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays at the Peace at Home Thrift Store location, 614 W. Sycamore St. in Fayetteville. Please let them know that your donation is for the Santa Sack program.
American Red Cross, Northwest Arkansas Chapter
250 Industrial Circle
Tontitown, AR 72770
The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, blood to hospital patients, health and safety training to the public and emergency social services to U.S. military families. Here in Northwest Arkansas, the organization has needs for the following donated items and volunteers. You can also buy gift items like family, cat and dog first aid kits, and vintage-style Red Cross t-shirts from (redcross.org).
Items: Warehouse space for storing disaster supplies, bookcases, locking lateral file cabinets with keys, printer carts, battery operated clocks, heavy duty shelving for storing disaster supplies, office supplies, rolling suitcases, dry erase boards and markers, personal hygiene items for disaster victims.
Volunteers: Office help, disaster team and Armed Forces emergency services volunteers, health and safety instructors, people to make baby afghans and blankets and to knit scarves and mittens for fire victims, someone to maintain website, someone to compile history of the NWA chapter.
Seven Hills Homeless Center
1561 W. 6th St.
PO Box 474
Dianna Carpenter, 251-7776
Seven Hills Homeless Center works with the homeless and working poor.
ITEMS: Disposable razors, laundry detergent and bleach, extra large heavy duty black trash bags. New or used in good condition and clean jeans for men, winter and work boots, underwear and sock for men and women, blankets and sleeping bags, tents (not pup tents), and a refrigerator. A commercial grade washer and dryer, because they wash towels and clients’ clothes daily. Long distance phone cards and gift cards. Item can be dropped off Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Agency (SARPA)
AKA: NWA Rape Crisis
614 W. Emma Ave., Ste. 247
Springdale, AR 72764
Brannon Randolph, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Agency provides education, prevention, a crisis and referral hotline (800-794-4175), survivor service support and support groups, and a sexual assault response team trained to work with survivors and help gather evidence for police and prosecutors. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are free of charge. The agency provides help in both English and in Spanish.
Items: For their clients, SARPA needs all sizes of sweat pants, plain t-shirts, panties, underwear, bras, flip flops, hygiene products, toys and journals. They also need a copier for the office. Items can be dropped off at the office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Contact Brannon Randolph at email@example.com or 927-1023.
United Way of NWA
United Way of NWA supports most area non-profits and has a great website. You can find out about agencies, what their needs and services are, and get matched to agencies to volunteer your time or donate items. unitedwaynwa.org