Jenna Knepper ‘21: Feelings of community and giving back come in full swing with the holiday season just around the corner. For any Romeo citizens hoping to spread some cheer, endless opportunities in the area give people the chance to help others.
In 1995 a local church, St. Clement of Romeo Catholic church, turned its routine charitable services into a corporation known today as the Samaritan House. Located in Washington, Michigan, this non-profit organization receives its funding solely from sponsoring churches and community members. This organization creates so many opportunities for individuals to donate their time and resources to help others in need.
Kathy Wojcik takes part as the Executive director of The Samaritan House running charity and overseeing projects.
“The best part of being the Executive Director is that I get to see firsthand how our efforts help those in need. We offer hope and a sympathetic ear to all those that come through our door” said Wojcik.
The Samaritan House gladly accepts any financial support and food donations to help their charity grow. Continually searching for more help, this worthy cause offers opportunities to work in the pantry, donate pantry items, and help with various special programs or fundraising events. The Samaritan House creates a perfect opportunity to give some of your time to provide for those in need.
“We deliver groceries once a month to homebound individuals. We are always seeking volunteers to help with this program. Interested persons can follow us on Facebook where we post items that we are low on in the pantry as well as information about what is going on at Samaritan House ” said Wojcik.
The options to give never end at The Samaritan house as they begin their annual holiday help.
“We are in the midst of packing over 200 food boxes for thanksgiving and we do the same thing at Easter. We also have a Christmas program called Sharing Tree that assures no family is without gifts at christmas” said Wojcik.
Another great charity, Salvation Army, creates multiple chances for citizens to help others. Many people know of the clothing and item donations Salvation Army stocks its store with, however, as the holiday season nears, the annual Salvation Army Bell Ringer opportunities arise.
“The bell ringing season starts each November and runs to Christmas Eve. Volunteers are the difference between a nearly empty kettle and one that raises nearly $30 per hour- enough to provide a family with two bags of groceries, or shelter an individual for a night” said Salvation Army.
Becoming a Bell Ringer creates the chance to collect donations and help financially challenged families in the community. To volunteer as a bell ringer, simply enter your zip code at registertoring.com and select a shift.
Two more ways to volunteer, Salvation Army needs help with their Toy Shop and Food Pantry programs.
“Toy shop volunteers give hope as they guide shoppers and take part in imagining Christmas morning for countless families who rely on The Salvation Army during the holidays,” said Salvation Army. “Food pantry volunteers help our friends in need have a special Christmas meal and enough food for their families during the holiday season”.
Anyone wishing to participate in either Salvation Armies Toy Shop or Food Pantry sign up here to begin helping improve the lives of others.
A third charity worthy of attention, Friends of Foster Kids works to provide foster kids with a better life. This non-profit organization founded in 2008 helps around 900 foster children each year solely from Macomb, Michigan.
“We provide Christmas for foster children from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect and placed in temporary housing or shelters. FoFK fulfills each child’s wish list with new items wrapped with care and then works to ensure timely delivery for Christmas.” said Friends of Foster Kids.
Recently expanding their horizons, Friends of Foster Kids now supports adults just out of the Foster system that don’t have a family or home and helps them live independently.
“We begin (christmas activities) Saturday November 30th and are tentatively scheduled through December 19th. If you would like to find out about other volunteer opportunities, please email us at email@example.com” said Friends of Foster Kids.
Every holiday season, the opportunities to help never end and those in need of help continue to grow. If you feel interest in donating time or resources to any of these charitable organizations, your help never goes unappreciated. The holiday season creates a time where the community comes together and makes a difference in the lives of those in need.