The holiday season is one of giving, and with it comes opportunities to pay it forward. From donating time and supplies to partying for a good cause, here are a few ways to be charitable in Charm City over the next week.
Dec. 23-24: We’ve all been there—after some last-minute shopping, there’s always one gift that needs wrapped in the eleventh hour. Instead of doing it yourself, why not give back in the process? That’s the idea at Boscov’s in White Marsh. Bring whatever last minute gifts you need wrapped, and in exchange for a small donation, a nonprofit on hand will provide its gift wrapping services. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, Friends for Life Cat Shelter, a Frederick organization that rescues cats and kittens and helps them find a home, will be on hand taking donations and wrapping gifts. Previous charity beneficiaries over the past week were Bel Air Woman’s Club, People Encouraging People, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The last day of the event is Tuesday, where in the morning from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Maranthana Truth Center will be wrapping gifts until Veterans of Foreign Wars takes over in the afternoon from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Boscov’s, 8200 Perry Hall Blvd
Dec. 24: Giving Back Linda’s Legacy, based in Annapolis, is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless, and this holiday season, they are doing just that. On the morning of Christmas Eve, volunteers will meet at the Harry S. Truman Park n’ Ride to assist in delivering donated items. From there, volunteers will be given two different destination points and follow a U-Haul to designated shelters—where they will share cookies and scarves, and partake in caroling.
And in the afternoon into the night, Linda’s Legacy and its volunteers are taking to the streets to deliver backpacks and food to the homeless. Signup for either event is not required—volunteers just need to show up willing to help. Anne Arundel Co. Farmers Market, 275 Harry S Truman Pkwy.
Dec. 24-25: For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, Jewish Volunteer Connection’s Mitzvah Day, open to all ages on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, is a great way to give back. The Weinberg Park Heights and Rosenbloom Owings Mills Jewish Community Centers are the epicenters of this initiative, where volunteers assemble more than 2,000 winter care packages and participate in other hands-on projects like making sandwiches and fleece blankets. There are also a lot of other volunteer opportunities to choose from over the next few days. Weinberg Park Heights: 5700 Park Heights Ave; Rosenbloom Owings Mills: 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave.
Dec. 27: Head to The Creative Labs for a post-Christmas holiday party in which admission is only $5 with a coat donation. The party was established as a way to help families and their children stay warm in the wintertime. Enjoy a soundtrack spun by DJ Sole and DJ Lidyaxxo as well as performances by local artists including Alikah Devine and MusicRayy. There will also be food, an Afrobreat dance contest, games, and prizes. The party lasts well into the night, so you’ll have plenty of time to give back and kick back. The Creative Labs, 1786 B Union Ave. $5-10.
Dec. 27-28: Most Baltimoreans are familiar with the holiday spirit that reverberates through 34th Street in Hampden. The SPCA wants to add to this tradition. On December 28, the organization that works to find animals a home will hold a bake sale on 34th Street. They are asking for donations from those who would like to submit a tasty treat to be included in the event, in which proceeds will help the shelter fund its mission. You can make a baked good for humans or dogs. Fill out this form and drop your donation at the volunteer office on December 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or December 28 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The SPCA asks that an index card with ingredients be included, as well. And if you’re interested in getting involved on a more permanent basis with the SPCA, there is a volunteer orientation session December 28. Drop off items at 3300 Falls Rd.