A few of the of Calhoun County organizations helping the needy this Christmas season:
ALL SAINTS INTERFAITH CENTER OF CONCERN
Requests for assistance have “dramatically increased” this season at All Saints Interfaith Center of Concern, according to director Kim Johnson.
The center, a ministry of Catholic Social Services, provides financial assistance, food, clothing, furniture and basic household items.
This year, the center moved from its longtime home on West 15th Street to downtown Anniston, at 1513 Noble St. Open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 256-236-7793.
Here is Johnson’s wish list this holiday season:
Canned meats and peanut butter. “At least monthly, I have to buy canned meats and peanut butter. I like to give that to every family that comes in.”
Can openers. “We have clients who don’t have a way to open cans. We get some pop-top cans, but not all.”
Any type of hygiene item: soap, toothpaste, shampoo, feminine products, toilet paper.
Small, portable heaters, preferably with a safety feature that turns the heater off if it tips over.
New underwear and socks. “We have a lot of clients who are staying in tents and need warm, thick socks right now.”
Cash donations are always welcome.
Community Enabler provides food, clothing and utility assistance to those in need.
This Christmas season, they are in need of toys for all ages, from birth to age 15. “It is especially hard to find things for the older children, such as board games or inexpensive handheld games,” said director Maudine Holloway.
Community Enabler is now located at 104 F St., Anniston, 256-237-6144.
Office hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday (closed noon-1 p.m. for lunch). “We will be open until Christmas Eve to make sure we have touched every young person,” said Holloway.
THE SALVATION ARMY
The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides Christmas gifts for needy children. Pick an angel ornament off the tree; each angel contains information about a particular child, including gender, age, clothing sizes and gift wishes.
Trees are located at Quintard Mall in Oxford and at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, 430 Noble St., Anniston. If you can’t make it to a tree, you can request an angel via email.
Send an email to Cristy Lind at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know how many angels you would like to adopt, how many boys and how many girls, and she will scan your angel ornaments and email them to you.
Gifts can be dropped off at the mall or at the Salvation Army office, 420 Noble St., Anniston. The last day to drop off gifts is Dec. 10.
The Salvation Army bellringers will be accepting cash donations at their red kettles through Dec. 24. “100 percent of what goes into the kettles stays here, to feed the homeless and take care of the hurting,” said Salvation Army Capt. Bert Lind.
INTERFAITH MINISTRIES' CHRISTMAS CLEARINGHOUSE
Interfaith Ministries of Calhoun County helps hundreds of families each year through its Christmas Clearinghouse ministry. Eligible families receive gift certificates for food, toys and clothing.
Donations can be mailed to Christmas Clearinghouse, 1431 Gurnee Ave., Anniston AL 36201. You can also donate online at www.interfaithcalhoun.org. For more information, call 256-237-1472.
PIEDMONT BENEVOLENCE CENTER
Collects and distributes food, clothing, toiletries and household items to those in need in the Piedmont area. The center also operates a “Star of Christmas” program to provide toys to needy children. It operates like the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, with donors adopting a star from the center. 20222 Highway 9, Piedmont, 256-447-2220.
Here is director Stephanie Curvin’s wish list for the holidays:
• For each of their “Stars of Christmas” kids, a new toothbrush, toothpaste, kids-type body wash or shampoo, “perhaps a throw blanket that belongs just to them.”
• The center always needs everyday basics such as soap, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels.
• Socks, underwear and gloves are great this time of year.
2nd CHANCE GIFT WRAP
Volunteers are wrapping gifts at Quintard Mall through Dec. 24 in the annual fundraiser for 2nd Chance family aid organization.
JACKSONVILLE CHRISTIAN OUTREACH CENTER
This program is primarily funded by area churches, but anyone can donate. 206 Francis St. W., Jacksonville, 256-435-1891.