The website is updated regularly with locations and times to drop off toys at the Devens Community Center and the food pantry. Volunteers are also needed to inventory toys, pick up and deliver toys, and set up or work at the “Shop for Your Kids” day.
To pitch in, e-mail Deb Roufos at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 978-448-0447.
Feed-a-Family for Fifty
The three food pantries of the United Way of Tri-Country are experiencing the largest food shortage they have seen in 40 years. To ensure 3,000 local families have warm meals for the holidays, the regional nonprofit is holding its Feed-a-Family for Fifty campaign.
A $50 donation will provide a family in need with a turkey and a gift card to purchase the fixings for a full meal, or up to seven bags of groceries, according to United Way of Tri-County senior vice president Jennifer Maseda. Donations will help families carry on traditional holiday meals at a time when the cost of turkeys — and food in general — is rising.
“Being able to sit with your family for a warm meal is really a luxury,” Maseda said. The United Way of Tri-Country serves communities in Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties, and operates food pantries in Framingham, Marlborough, and Clinton, where demand has grown by 400 percent in the last year..
The United Way is also hosting its fifth annual Hope for the Holidays campaign, which provides children up to age 18 with gifts. Maseda said there were 1,114 children signed up as of last week.
Area residents can sponsor a family and provide gifts based on a family’s requests; drop off new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children of all ages; or make a donation of $25 that the agency will use to purchase gifts.
Volunteers are also needed to help sort and match gifts or to assist with pick-ups and deliveries. For more information, contact Barbara LaGrenade at 508-370-4873 or e-mail email@example.com .
Trees for Troops
Mahoney’s Garden Center is once again taking part in the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation’s Trees for Troops program, which allows participants to donate balsam firs from Nova Scotia to soldiers and families at bases across the country and around the world.
But you don’t have to live near one of Mahoney’s eight locations to donate a tree. The company has set up a hot line to allow donations via a credit card. Each tree comes with a blank, waterproof card for donors to write personal messages to the soldier receiving the tree. Mahoney’s also encourages customers to include their names and addresses so that soldiers can send thank-you notes .
To participate, visit any of Mahoney’s locations, including ones in Concord, Wayland, and Winchester, by next Sunday to purchase a 7-foot-tall balsam fir for donation. The tree will be shipped by FedEx to one of more than 60 military bases across the country.
Trees cost $24.50, and Mahoney’s will make a $5 donation to the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation for every tree donated by its customers.
To donate by phone, call Mahoney’s hot line at 781-721-4691. Callers will be able to dictate a personal message for their tree’s card. Visit www.mahoneysgarden.com for more information.
Laura Franzini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at LauraFranzini.