The Columbus community has been absolutely inspirational throughout what has been an undoubtedly tough year. Businesses have developed new operation models, the city has recognized racism as a public health crisis and during the Columbus Foundation’s 25-hour Big Give in June, a record $32 million was raised to provide a much-needed boost to 11,000+ local nonprofits.
As we enter the season of giving, let’s continue to reflect on what we’re thankful for and consider how to help support the greater needs of the community. To show our thanks for the spirit of Columbus, we will be donating $250 to support the work of NNEMAP Food Pantry, a nonprofit social service agency which serves families living at or below 200 percent of the federally designated poverty level.
We’ve rounded up a list of opportunities to help you get started below. Help us spread joy and kindness this holiday season and show the world what Columbus is all about!
Faith Mission Deck the Halls Shelter Gifts
Through Dec. 11
Help brighten the holiday season and bring joy to Faith Mission and CHOICES residents and clients by donating a Deck the Halls shelter gift. Since the community can’t safely gather to package gifts, Faith Mission is asking that those interested in participating donate gifts fully assembled in holiday gift bags. Learn what’s needed and sign up here.
YWCA Season of Certainty Items
Help create a season of certainty for Columbus neighbors throughout the holidays by making a material donation to YWCA of Central Ohio. All items must be new and unopened. Appointments can be made to safely drop off items, or they can be purchased and shipped directly from Amazon Wishlist for those who would like to go completely contactless. Check out the most needed items for the YWCA Family Center and Women’s Residency here.
Seeds of Caring Care Kits
Seeds of Caring seeks to empower kids to create a kinder community with their hearts, hands and minds. This holiday season, there are a variety of kits that can be put together at home and donated to help bring cheer to neighbors in need. These include sack lunches for hungry and homeless neighbors, comfy kits for kids entering foster care, compassion kits for those experiencing homelessness and cards for senior living facilities. New opportunities are added on the 1st and 15th of every month, and can be found here.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital Holiday Toy Drive
Due to COVID-19, Nationwide Children’s Hospital patients must remain in their rooms at all times for their protection, which means they feel more isolated and need more items to support their needs for play and normalization. The holiday toy drive is critical to helping the hospital meet that need. Explore top wish list items and other ideas that can be bought or made, as well as drop-off instructions, here.
Versiti Seasons of Giving Blood Drive at Hollywood Casino
Dec. 28-29 | 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
As we continue to grapple with this global health crisis, giving blood is more important than ever. Unfortunately, due to social distancing measures and cancellation of many drives, the FDA reports dramatic reduction in donations. This holiday season, if you’re healthy and able, consider giving blood during the Versiti Seasons of Giving Blood Drive at Hollywood Casino. To sweeten the pot, all eligible donors will receive a $10 E-Gift Card as a thank you for donating! One eligible donor every hour will win a $50 comp to Final Cut Steak & Seafood. Winners will be notified via phone after the blood drive. Make your appointment here.
Columbus Humane Wish List
There are so many ways to support animal welfare beyond adoption, so no matter where you are in life you can help an animal in need. Columbus Humane makes giving easy with curated wish lists featuring items from food to to toys to office supplies. For those who don't feel safe going out just yet, you can even send directly from an Amazon wishlist. Check out their needs here.
Roots Café Pre-Packaged Meal Prep & Serve
Weekdays | 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Roots Café, operated by Mid-Ohio Food Bank, needs help putting together and serving pre-packaged meals out of their location at the Reeb Avenue Center. Volunteers work in small groups and masks are required for the safety of volunteers and recipients. Find shifts here.
Meals-on-Wheels is serving more people than every before as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The community has the opportunity to assist with food delivery to neighbors who are elderly, medically challenged or homebound in a safe and socially distant way. Routes take an hour to an hour-and-a-half but the holiday cheer is priceless. Consider trying a delivery route this holiday season, especially if your own holiday plans are disrupted. If you enjoy your experience, there are needs for permanent route coverage as well. Learn more here.
If you're looking for a full round-up of opportunities throughout the holiday season, check out the POINT App to match your interest and availability to a need in the community.