2013 Holiday Giving Guide

December 7, 2013 

  • More information

    Before you donate

    Ask for the charity’s name and address and written information on the charity’s programs and finances. Is it a licensed nonprofit?

    Watch for cases of mistaken identity. Some charity names sound alike. Be careful that the one soliciting you is the one you have in mind.

    Know how much of your donation goes where it’s needed. Ask or look for a disclosure that states how much will go to the charity’s programs versus administrative costs.

    Watch out for charity fraud. Legitimate charities willingly provide written information about their programs and finances. They never insist you provide your credit card number or bank account number.

  • A snapshot of N.C. need

    • The Catholic Charities food pantry in Wake County each month gives more than 12,000 individuals or families a week’s worth of food. That’s up from an average of 4,520 bundles in an average month in 2007.

    • Food stamp use is down from last year, but up since this summer. The state had 752,333 active cases in June and 788,224 cases in October, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

    • Eighteen percent of North Carolinians lived in poverty in 2012, according to U.S. Census data released in September. Twenty-six percent of children lived in poverty.

    • An average of 17 percent of households from 2010-2012 went hungry or had poor diets because of low incomes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    • The labor force participation rate dropped from 65.4 percent in 2007 to 62.3 percent in the first 10 months of 2013, according to an analysis of labor data by South by North Strategies in Chapel Hill.

    • The Open Door Clinic at Urban Ministries of Wake County, which treats low-income, uninsured adults with chronic illnesses, adds about 15 new patients a week. The active patient caseload was about 1,300 in January and will end the year at about 1,600.

This list contains only a small sampling of the participating charities. See the full list at nando.com/holidaygiving

Hospice of Wake County

250 Hospice Circle; Raleigh, NC 27613;


Description: A local nonprofit agency that provides a comprehensive program of medical care, counseling, and spiritual support for patients at the end of life and their families. Services include bereavement counseling for children, teens and adults.

Donations needed: Funds for our Benevolent Care Program and Grief Center, art supplies for the Grief Center, personal-size toiletry items for family members in our Hospice Home, snack items for the Nourishment Station in the Hospice Home.

Volunteers needed: To visit patients and/or provide relief for their families, assist in the office and help with fundraising events.

Volunteer time: 1-2 hours per week for family support volunteers. As needed for events.

$10 would buy: Detergent for the family laundry room in our Hospice Home.

$20 would buy: Art supplies for a bereavement workshop.

$50 would buy: A registration for one child (age 5-17) to attend our annual bereavement camp.

Contact: Michael Blanchard, 919-828-0890

Second Chance Pet Adoptions

6003 Chapel Hill Road, Suite 133; Raleigh, NC 27607; secondchancenc.org

Description: The Triangle’s oldest no-kill animal shelter and rescue program. Our mission is to champion homeless cats and dogs who are healthy or treatable in the quest to find their forever home and engage the community in responsible pet ownership, ultimately reducing future generations of homeless animals.

Donations needed: Cat litter (clumping/non-clumping); dry puppy and dog food; dog leashes /collars; laundry detergent (HE only); bleach; paper towels; stamps; hand soap; 10-gallon, 13-gallon, and 30-gallon trash bags; glass/window cleaner.

Volunteers needed: Cat care, foster homes, special events volunteers.

$10 would buy: FeLV/FVRCPP vaccine or bordetella vaccine.

$20 would buy: A month of meals for a cat or dog.

$50 would buy: Feline neuter or canine heartworm prevention for six months.

Contact: Lisa Imhof, 919-413-3858

Kids Together

P.O. Box 1622; Cary, NC 27512;


Description: All-volunteer, community-based nonprofit organization that raises funds and builds awareness for Cary’s Kids Together Playground at Marla Dorrel Park, designed to offer inclusive play for all children, regardless of their level of abilities.

Donations needed: Raising funds now to design and install a misting garden at Kids Together Playground, with a series of misting arches in a garden-like setting. Wheelchair friendly, of course! Goal: $100,000.

Volunteers needed: Year-round activities; help with events at the playground such as annual birthday celebration, Walk for Inclusiveness, bird count, Fall Foliage Stroll, and booths at Spring Daze and Lazy Daze. Also seeking board members.

Volunteer time: Two hours for an event or activity; sign up with us and we’ll contact you as event date nears. Board members meet every other month, plus activity and event volunteering and planning.

$10 would be: A small step toward our misting garden goal. Every drop counts!

$20 would be: A bigger step toward our misting garden goal. Drops together make a shower!

$50 would be: An even bigger step toward our misting garden goal. Little drops of water make great playgrounds!

Contact: Marla Dorrel, 919-601-3126

Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation

19 W. Hargett St., Suite 208; Raleigh, NC 27601; neuseriver.org

Description: The Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation is a grass-roots nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental organization that works to protect safe, clean water for everyone in the Neuse River basin to drink, fish and play in. In dealing with the vastness of the Neuse River Basin, we tackle water-quality issues from small freshwater streams to ocean conservation. The Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation protects, restores and preserves the Neuse River basin through education, advocacy and enforcement to provide clean water for drinking, recreation and enjoyment to the communities that it serves.

Donations needed: Cash, volunteer time, johnboat for Falls Lake protection work, paddle equipment, water testing equipment.

Volunteers needed: We need people from Raleigh to New Bern to work a number of different jobs. We need people to enter data, attend outreach events, help build membership, etc.

$10 would buy: A trip to a classroom to teach students about the importance of water conservation and water quality.

$20 would: Enable the Upper Neuse Riverkeeper to work on protecting Falls Lake, the drinking water source for more than 500,000 people.

$50 would buy: A site visit to investigate a pollution source that threatens the Neuse River or one of its tributaries.

Contact: Matthew Starr, 919-856-1180

Education for Successful Parenting

9016 Tenderfoot Trail; Raleigh, NC 27615;


Description: ESP is improving the well-being of our next generation of children by providing adolescents with family health information and life-planning skills before they form a family. ESP offers innovative curriculum and conducts programs in high schools and youth programs. As a result of our programs, adolescents are making the decision to postpone parenting until adulthood, stay in school, plan a career, choose friends who share their goals and values, live healthier lifestyles, and plan now to create strong families.

Donations needed: Our greatest need is for funds to support our programs, enabling us to bring them to schools and programs for youth at no cost. In addition, we can use copy paper (white and pastels), pens, 3-by-5 index cards and packaged snacks (for student volunteers).

Volunteers needed: Fundraising; office assistance with data entry; writers for e-newsletters, social media and grant proposals; event planning; photography; video; marketing our instructional materials; media managers for press releases and outreach.

Volunteer time: Four hours per month (additional time is always welcome).

$10 would buy: The ESP workbook “My Life-Plan for Parenting” (28 pages) for two at-risk teens.

$20 would buy: Three hours of instruction for a teen in our community.

$50 would buy: Life-Plan workbooks for 10 teens or classroom instruction plus workbooks for two teens.

Contact: Randi Rubenstein, 949-646-6016


624 W. Jones St., Raleigh, NC 27603, casanc.org

Description: CASA tackles the issue of homelessness by creating affordable units and leasing them to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The many people we serve include veterans, working families and people with disabilities. CASA charges tenants just 30 percent of their income toward rent. This allows tenants to pay for their other basic necessities and save for the future – allowing them to focus on their goals for a more independent life.

Donations needed: Financial contributions help us with our two main needs: supporting current CASA tenants and developing new housing for members of our community in need. In order to provide a well-maintained property and the specialized property management support our tenants may need, CASA often needs more income from a unit than that tenant can afford to pay. The average gap between what the tenant can afford and what CASA needs is $250 per month.

CASA also needs funding to continue building new units. Currently, we are developing 21 units in two properties for homeless veterans in Durham and Raleigh. Every dollar we receive for development equity is leveraged at least 4-to-1 to secure additional public and private financing.

Volunteers needed: CASA is actively developing a volunteer program. Contact us if you’re interested in volunteering.

$10 would buy: Move-in baskets containing basic household supplies for two working families who no longer have to worry about where they’ll sleep each night.

$20 would buy: Energy-efficient light bulbs for a newly built one-bedroom apartment for a person with a disability.

$50 would: Cover a disabled veteran’s electric bill for one month.

Contact: Jess Brandes, 919-754-9960

Emily Krzyzewski Center

904 W. Chapel Hill St.; Durham, NC 27701;


Description: The Emily K Center, a nonprofit organization in Durham, was established in 2006 and named in honor of Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s mother. Our mission is to inspire students to dream big, act with character and purpose, and reach their potential as leaders in their community. The Center’s K to College Model serves academically focused students in out-of-school programming designed to help them achieve in school, gain entry to college and break the cycle of poverty in their families.

Donations needed: We accept gifts online at emilyk.org/donate or via mail. Outside of monetary donations, the center always welcomes donations of new or very gently used books – especially those aimed at young adults. We can also use school supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons and notebooks, as well as paper goods such as paper plates, napkins, cups and plastic utensils.

Volunteers needed: Volunteer opportunities at the center range from general office support to tutoring high school students in a particular subject or volunteering regularly with our Pioneer Scholars program. For more information on volunteering, please email us at connect@emilyk.org.

$10 would: Help us provide snacks to one of our students for an entire month.

$20 would: Help provide educational supplies for a class of our Pioneer Scholars students.

$50 would: Help offset college application fees for our high school seniors.

Contact: Sara Askey, 919-680-0308

Source Force

902 Woodbine Drive; Chapel Hill, NC 27515; source-force.org

Description: The mission of Source Force, a grass-roots, all-volunteer organization, is to bring comfort into the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and cancer in Wake, Durham and Orange counties who are at or below the poverty line. We provide fun, loving and supportive social activities each month along with necessities such as clothing, household items and groceries. Simply put, Source Force gives the gift of compassion with no strings attached. It is designed to remind clients that life is not only about aches, worries and fears, but about caring, sharing and joy. Source Force has been in operation for more than 25 years.

Donations needed: We primarily ask for monetary donations so we can purchase the items we need. We also need a dependable van to use to help clients move to more suitable housing, take them to doctor’s visits and pick them up to come to our events.

$10 would buy: A grocery item to hand out to each client at one monthly luncheon.

$20 would buy: A needed toiletry item to hand out to each client at one monthly luncheon.

$50 would buy: The entree that we serve at our monthly luncheon.

Contact: Suzanne Lewis Brown, 919-942-0442

Methodist Home for Children

1041 Washington St.; Raleigh, NC 27605; mhfc.org

Description: At Methodist Home for Children, we are called to God’s work of changing lives. We work with children who’ve been through revolving short-term foster placements, who were born addicted to drugs, or who’ve suffered abuse and neglect. We serve teenagers who are lost to themselves because of substance abuse, mental illness and learned behaviors. We help stabilize their families, when possible, and open kids’ futures to new opportunities through higher-education grants. Our commitment is for a lifetime.

Donations needed: Financial contributions are needed. We have a very limited capacity to accept and store donated items because we serve children and families statewide.

Volunteers needed: For safety and confidentiality reasons, we’re unable to put volunteers into contact with children. But we do need volunteers willing to start 1K for 1KID teams. For each child served, we must raise $1,000 in private gifts to meet his or her specific needs, whether that’s housing, food and clothing, counseling, tutoring or camp. Our 1K for 1KID teams have found creative ways to help, including lemonade stands, fish fries and barbecues, walkathons, coin collections, yard sales, sporting events, and more. Visit 1kfor1kid.org for more information.

$10 would buy: A developmental toy for low-income toddler with cognitive delays.

$20 would buy: An outfit for a child removed from an abusive home and placed into foster care with nothing of his own.

$50 would buy: Bedding and towels for an 18-year-old who is aging out of foster care and entering adulthood without the safety net of a biological or adoptive family.

Contact: Jeannie Norris, 919-754-3629

InterAct of Wake County

1012 Oberlin Road; Raleigh, NC 27605;


Description: For more than 35 years, InterAct has been the only agency in Wake County dedicated to providing safety, support, and awareness to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. InterAct also promotes violence-free relationships and communities through collaboration, public information, education, and advocacy.

Donations needed: Gifts for children (0-17), mothers and single women; gift cards; wrapping supplies; and disposable cameras. Monetary donations will allow InterAct to address specific unmet needs.

Volunteers needed to: Transform InterAct into a toy store at the Elf Party, assist families during the Holiday Bazaar, assist mothers after the Holiday Bazaar.

Volunteer time: Two-hour and four-hour shifts available.

$10 would buy: Christmas gifts for one child.

$20 would buy: Christmas gifts for one child and one mother or single woman.

$50 would buy: Christmas gifts for a family of four or four single women.

Contact: Christina Brewer, 919-863-9682

The Caring Community Foundation Inc.

P.O. Box 1364 Cary, NC 27512;


Description: The Caring Community Foundation is a local, nonprofit charitable organization that provides financial assistance to cancer patients and their families in and around the Triangle. We support basic financial needs by providing assistance with rent, utilities, treatment and other expenses that become difficult to manage during cancer treatment.

Donations needed: All funds received from individual donors go directly to support cancer patients and their families. Corporate sponsors pay the foundation’s administrative costs.

Volunteers needed: Fundraising and educational/awareness events throughout the year (including communications, public relations, sales, marketing, acquisitions, event management, social media and student outreach). We also accept volunteers and materials for our Caring Community Foundation Kids project, which provides quilts made from squares made by area children to share with kids affected by cancer throughout the community.

$10, $20 or $50 would: Go toward alleviating financial stress and burdens for cancer patients in need, including – but not limited to – rent, mortgage, utilities, medicine and treatment costs; transportation; child care; groceries; etc.

Contact: Donna Anderson, 919-448-5830

Wake Relief Food Pantry

616 Tucker St., Raleigh, NC 27613;


Description: Wake Relief is a volunteer organization committed to providing nutritionally balanced food to people in Wake County in emergency situations. Established in 1975, Wake Relief provides a week’s worth of groceries based on family size to people referred by Wake County Human Services and other local agencies. Wake Relief is at 616 Tucker St. within St. Saviour’s Center. Hours are Monday and Tuesday 1-3 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-noon.

Donations needed: Nonperishable canned or dry food; cash.

Volunteers needed: People to stock, bag and distribute food at food pantry. People to organize food drives and collect food donations.

Volunteer time: Approximately two-hour increments.

$10 would buy: One case of canned vegetables or fruit or meals.

$20 would buy: A week’s worth of nutritionally balanced groceries for a family of one to two people.

$50 would buy: A week’s worth of nutritionally balanced groceries for a family of four to five people.

Contact: Alison Guggenheim, 919-833-6400, ext. 225.

The Shore Grief Center

105 River Watch LaneYoungsville, NC 27596;


Description: The Shore Grief Center provides grief support groups for four age groups: Cameron’s Kids for ages 6-11, Save the Teens for ages 12-17, Young Adult group for ages 18-24 and adults. We hold groups at Wake Forest United Methodist Church as well as in schools that request our services. All participants attend for free.

Donations needed: Arts and crafts supplies, snack items.

Volunteers needed: Since we don’t have our own space, the only volunteer opportunities we have are when we hold fundraising events. In the future as we grow, we will need more group facilitators. Individuals interested in volunteering are invited to let us know.

$10 would buy: Supplies needed for two group participants for one of the eight sessions we provide free of charge.

$20 would buy: Snacks for one group session.

$50 would buy: Website service for 6 months.

Contact: Carolyn Zahnow, 919-368-6286

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels

P.O. Box 2102, Chapel Hill, NC 27514; chcmow.org

Description: Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We serve elderly and disabled residents of southern Orange County by providing a hot lunch, including home-baked desserts and fruit and a friendly visit each weekday. We rely on donations because we receive no federal funding. We provide services on a sliding fee scale. More than 60 percent of our recipients receive subsidies from our funds. No recipient is refused based on inability to pay.

Donations needed: Cash, diabetic desserts, lunch-pack style fruit cups, postage, office supplies (copier paper, etc.), sandwich-bag sized zip-close bags, paper towels.

Volunteers needed: Delivery drivers (one route per week, about 1.5 hours), bakers, board members, special event volunteers.

$10 would buy: Two meals for a recipient.

$20 would buy: Four meals for a recipient.

$50 would buy: Meals for one recipient for a week.

Contact: Stacey Yusko, 919-942-2948

Urban Ministries of Wake County

1390 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27603;


Description: Hunger – food pantry feeds 50 families per day; health care – clinic and pharmacy help uninsured adults manage chronic conditions, keeping breadwinners at work and families together; homelessness – shelter and counseling for 300 homeless women each year.

Donations needed: Funding to keep programs strong. Ninety-four cents of every donated dollar goes to programs serving our neighbors in need.

Volunteers needed: To provide meals for our shelter, medical professionals for our clinic, food drives and stocking the food pantry, administrative help.

$10 would buy: Ten pounds of groceries for a struggling, hungry family.

$20 would buy: Three nights of shelter, meals and counseling for a homeless woman at our Helen Wright Center for Women.

$50 would buy: Three primary care visits, medicine and labs at the Open Door Clinic for uninsured adults.

Contact: John Welch, 919-256-2172.

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