‘Tis the season to be jolly … and to give to those who are less fortunate. There are many caring and giving agencies and organizations that help needy Greater Flint families during the holidays. We’ve compiled a list of these local groups that can use your donation – where you can make a difference and help make the holidays magical for everyone!
Carriage Town Ministries
605 Garland St. Flint 48503
To make a monetary donation during the holidays, please make your check payable to Carriage Town Ministries and mail to: P.O. Box 318, Flint 48501-0318
You can make a monetary or Wish List donation at one of these three locations:
Catholic Charities of Genesee County
901 Chippewa St., Flint 48503
Catholic Charities of Shiawassee County
120 W. Exchange St., Ste. 300, Owosso 48867
Restoring Hope Capital Campaign
517 East Fifth Ave., Flint 48503
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
2300 Lapeer Rd., Flint 48503
This holiday season, the Food Bank is distributing Holiday Boxes to provide families with all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal, as well as additional food to stock a pantry for about a week. Visit the website for more information and how to donate.
Greater Flint Outreach Center
1114 University Ave., Flint 48504
This non-profit community outreach organization has been providing food distribution for over 25 years to Flint and Greater Genesee County. Last year, they gave 34 Christmas boxes to the children at Odyssey House.
Neighborhood Services Center
601 Saginaw St. #1B, Flint 48502
Providing a number of emergency services to low-income and/or working poor families in Genesee County, their goal is to be “an open door, and a helping hand.” The staff provided services for over 43,200 families to keep their homes, pay rent and taxes, respond to shut-off notices, feed and clothe their children and provide gifts at Christmastime in addition to other emergency needs. For more info, visit gc4me.com/resident/gccard/neighborhood_service_center.php
Old Newsboys of Flint
6255 Taylor Dr., Flint 48057
This benevolent group is best known for its Christmas Box Program, benefitting kids who are low-income or suffer from special circumstances. Once qualified, he or she receives a sweat suit, socks, underclothes, a hat and pair of warm gloves, dental hygiene products and a new, age-appropriate gift. Every $20 donation sponsors one child.
The Salvation Army
Flint Citadel Corps
211 West Kearsley St., Flint 48502
This Christian faith-based group provides a free Christmas assistance program for low-income and needy individuals who would otherwise not be able to celebrate the holidays. There is free food, toys from Adopt-a-Family, gifts, meals and more.
Shelter of Flint, Inc.
924 Cedar St., Flint 48503
The Shelter accepts gifts throughout the holiday season – monetary donations are always gratefully accepted. You can send your check or money to the address above or call 810.238.4711 ext. 305
This Shelter of Flint program provides gifts of new clothes and toys to thousands of children who otherwise might not have anything for Christmas. Angel Tree may also include the collection of food and meals to help needy families enjoy the holiday season. Angel Trees are set up in various business offices, malls, non-profits and other locations, decorated with tags bearing the name, age, clothing size and toy requests of an underprivileged child. Many businesses help keep this service running and their staff pool money to participate.
Adopt a Family Program
This program helps to bridge the gap between hopeless and hopeful – bringing joy to kids and families. When you are matched with a Shelter of Flint family, you receive info including their first names, ages, genders and sizes, along with their wish lists (with no single item valued over $30). You will be provided with the date to return the newly purchased, wrapped and labeled gifts to Shelter of Flint. For more info, call 810.238.4711 X305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelter of Flint accepts in-kind donations, which can be dropped off at the Emergency Shelter Location, Monday-Friday between 8am-4pm. Please call before dropping off donations. Wish List items include: deodorant, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, adult incontinence products, gift cards ($10-$25 value), bath towels and wash cloths (white), twin-sized bedding (white), strollers, car seats, single-serving food items, travel-size hygiene products, socks, laundry baskets, household cleaning supplies, toilet paper, laundry soap, canned goods, air mattresses, dishes, silverware, pots and pans, small appliances (toasters, coffee pots) and dish towels.
Toys for Tots Genesee County
4425 S. Saginaw St., Flint 48507
Local Coordinating Officer: Vicki Muckenthaler
The Marine Toys for Tots Program has many generous corporate sponsors and donors who contribute and help raise monetary donations, toys and program awareness. Their support helps millions of the less fortunate. Ninety-seven percent of a Toys for Tots donation goes to its mission of providing toys, books and other gifts to children. The campaign ends December 21. To donate, visit Flint-Mi.ToysForTots.org and click the “Toy Drop-Offs” tab.
United Outreach Ministries
1249 Roosevelt Ave., Flint 48503
The winter coat and toy programs distribute a variety of items to low-income families. There may be winter coats, boots, Christmas toys and more. Kids and seniors, single moms and low-income individuals are among others who are assisted.
United Way of Genesee County
111 E. Court St., Flint 48502
The Volunteer Center coordinates the Holiday Wish List effort of several organizations that help people in the community. The Wish List is a compilation of non-monetary needs of nonprofits in Genesee and Shiawassee Counties, and provides donors with the opportunity to give their treasures to organizations that help meet community needs. To help an agency, visit unitedwaygenesee.org
Volunteers of America
1135 N. Belsay Rd., Burton 48509
The annual Adopt-A-Family program pairs low-income families with sponsors who want to help ease the holiday stress they are facing. The sponsors get a list of items the family wants, including: toys, gifts, food and clothing and they will buy the items off the list or provide the family with a gift card to buy them on their own. Other programs reach out to the lonely and impoverished during the holidays with hot meals, gifts and gestures of caring.
Whaley Children’s Center
1201 N. Grand Traverse St., Flint 48503
This holiday season, you, your family, organization or business can choose one of the two gift-giving ideas below, and help bring joy to one of the 48 residents of Whaley Children’s Center. If you would like to help Whaley celebrate the holidays in any other way or have questions, please contact Sam Roth at 810.600.0101 or email at SRoth@WhaleyChildren.org.
Sponsor a Child
This year, each sponsor is asked to provide:
- 3 items from the individual child’s Wish List
- 2 items from the child’s clothing Wish List
- 1 pair of shoes
- A set of pajamas
All gifts must be turned in by December 11, unwrapped.
A Wish List with options for gifts as well as children’s sizes will be made available.
Gift cards may not seem as thoughtful as a gift, but the Whaley kids love having the spending power that a gift card provides. Whaley is hoping to provide every child with a $25 gift card to stores such as Target, Walmart or Meijer. This is a great option for those who want to give but don’t want to deal with crowds at the mall.