Christmas is the time of year to give to those who are less fortunate. The Greater Flint community is especially generous and always willing to lend a helping hand. This year, the need is greater than ever due to fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Following is a list of some organizations that help the needy and how you can assist them.
You can make a monetary or Wish List donation
at one of three locations:
Catholic Charities of Genesee County
901 Chippewa St., Flint
Catholic Charities of Shiawassee County
120 W. Exchange St., Ste. 300, Owosso
Restoring Hope Capital Campaign
517 East Fifth Ave., Flint
Catholic Charities Angel Tree program provides an opportunity for individuals, teams, or companies to make the holidays special for one adopted family. Your gift will always make a difference. Families are available to be adopted starting November 1. Catholic Charities has been doing these programs for 38 years. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the Center for Hope is accepting donations of new, unwrapped children’s toys that will be distributed at the Center. They are also always in need of men’s winter gloves, hand lotion and Chapstick.
North End Soup Kitchen/South Flint Soup Kitchen
Catholic Charities will serve hot meals at both of the soup kitchens the entire month of December. “On Christmas Day, we will also give away new toys to every child who visits the soup kitchens and adult care packets to the clients at the Center for Hope and North End Soup Kitchen,” states Community Service Director, John Manse.
Donations of new toys, older kids’ toys, bath towels and socks are appreciated for their Christmas Day celebration.
“Volunteers are welcome to help on Christmas Day or other days, if they wish,” adds Manse. Individuals, groups and families can schedule volunteer time – call 810.785.6911.
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
2300 Lapeer Rd., Flint 48503 ® 810.239.4441 fbem.org
This holiday season, the Food Bank will continue to support local organizations and persons in need. A donation of just $1 equals six meals the Food Bank can provide. A donation of $100 feeds a family of four for 50 days. Visit the website for more information and how to donate at fbem.org/donate-fb/
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint & Genesee County
1176 Robert T. Longway, Flint ® 810.235.0617
Each year, community members volunteer to purchase Christmas gifts for needy families. “We provide the donor with information including the number of children in the family, their ages, gender and clothing sizes,” reports Reta Stanley, President/CEO of the nonprofit organization. Provide gifts to one child or an entire family – you can select and wrap them or BBBS will do it for you. This year for the holidays BBBS also needs stocking-stuffers! The organization is also in need of volunteer mentors for the year. If you would like to help volunteer or donate, call 810.235.0617. “We are grateful for the support of a caring community,” Stanley adds.
Carriage Town Ministries
605 Garland St., Flint 810.233.8787
CTM has served the needy since 1950 and operates on the generous donations of the community. In order to best meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness, CTM has created an Amazon Wish List. Items can be purchased directly from amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2MTUSSOUN7SWM?sort=default
Donations of the following necessary items may also be dropped off at 705 Garland St. (behind the Family Center) on Wednesdays 10am-4pm:
- Scrubs for men and women (new or used)
- Men’s and women’s coats (new or gently used, size L, XL, 2XL)
- Personal care (full size)
- Pillows (new) and pillow cases
- Hats, scarves, warm gloves for men, women & children
“Thank you so very much for partnering with us to meet the critical needs of neighbors in a desperate situation,” says Cindy Johns, Director of Community Engagement. “Your gift provides HOPE – something we are all in need of these days!”
Neighborhood Services Center
601 Saginaw St. #1B, Flint 48502 810.232.2185
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
Shelter of Flint, Inc.
924 Cedar St., Flint 48503 810.239.5433
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 810.239.5433
Adopt a Family Program
This program helps to bridge the gap between hopeless and hopeful – bringing joy to kids and families. This year, Shelter of Flint is asking for the donation of gift cards for $25, $50, or $100 to be distributed equally between participating families, enabling parents to purchase gifts for their loved ones. To donate to the program, please email email@example.com.
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, bath towels and wash cloths (white), twin-sized bedding (white), strollers, car seats, and more. To view the full Wish List, visit shelterofflint.org and click on the “donate” button.
Old Newsboys of Flint
6255 Taylor Dr., Flint ® 810.744.1840
The Old Newsboys have brightened Christmas mornings for thousands of needy children across Genesee County. The nonprofit organization, which has been under the direction of Tony Tucker since March of 2019, is best known for its Christmas Box Program. “The need is even greater this year,” states Lisa Kirk, ONB Director of Programs and Volunteers. Children who are low-income or suffer from special circumstances qualify for the program. “We are prepared to help over 6,000 kids,” she adds. And due to the pandemic, signing up to receive assistance is a little different. “We have moved to an online system,” Kirk reports. Once a child qualifies, he or she receives a sweat suit, socks and underclothes, a hat and pair of warm gloves, dental hygiene products and a beautiful, new, age-appropriate gift.
You can also help by sponsoring a child in the Christmas Box Program. Every $20 donation will sponsor one child – visit onbflint.org/sponsor-child.php.
According to Kirk, in-kind donations are accepted: board games, socks and underwear, hats and gloves, coloring books and crayons, backpacks and new toys. ONB also has a Coat Program for kids, grades K-8. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated. “Since many of our events have been canceled due to the pandemic, we are looking to the community to help as much as they can. Their support is greatly appreciated.”
Salvation Army Flint Citadel Corps
211 West Kearsley St., Flint 48502 810.232.2196
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. In addition, kind-hearted folk can sign up virtually to adopt an angel from the Angel Tree or volunteer as bell-ringers for the season. Visit centralusa.salvationarmy.org/genesee/ for details.
Toys for Tots Genesee County
4425 S. Saginaw St., Flint 48507 810.715.4401
Local Coordinating Officer: Vicky 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 your Toys for Tots donation goes to its mission to provide toys, books and other gifts to children. The campaign ends December 20.
To donate, visit Flint-Mi.ToysForTots.org and click the “Donate Local” tab.
United Way of Genesee County
111 E. Court St., Flint 48502 810.232.8121
The Volunteer Center coordinates the Holiday Wish List efforts of several organizations that help people in the community. The Wish List is a compilation of non-monetary needs of non-profits 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 810.223.0420
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 on 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 810.234.3603
During the Christmas season, there are a variety of ways to give to Whaley children. You can do a toy drive, host a party, donate gift cards or sponsor a child. To sponsor a child, email JSanders@WhaleyChildren.org or call 810.234.3603.
1495 Dauner Rd., Fenton, MI. 810.919.9937
Started in 2015 by three siblings in honor of their grandfather, Snuggle Sacks “strives to bring awareness to homelessness in our communities, and extinguish the stigma that goes with it.” This charity provides homeless individuals with survival kits that include food, blankets and cold weather apparel, and an array of toiletries. Snuggle Sacks is in need of tax-exempt cash donations, new or gently used toys, clothing, furniture, personal care or food items. To donate or volunteer, please visit snugglesacks.org/take-action.