If you are somebody who feels it is better to give than it is to receive, Nashville is home to some wonderful charities who would appreciate generosity big or small. Writer Jamie Lober offers these worthy causes.
The Salvation Army. The familiar sight and sound of the red kettle and bell means there is a family in need. You can help by volunteering to be a bell ringer at one of the many locations throughout Nashville. You can also give your time to a mall booth or warehouse or distribute gifts to families who qualify for the Angel Tree program. These are families who need help supplying gifts and basic needs to their kids at Christmas. Other opportunities include tutoring kids in an afterschool program and feeding meals to the homeless. 631 Dickerson Pike Nashville, TN 37207. (615)242-0411. http://salvationarmytennessee.org/nashville/our-programs/angel-tree/.
Nashville Humane Association. You can make your child’s wish come true and help a homeless dog or cat through adoption. Come fill out an application and a pet service representative will arrange a meet and greet between your family members and the prospective pet to ensure he is a good match. However that is not the only way to make a difference. Furry loved ones are always in need of newspaper, plastic toys, towels and blankets, collars of all sizes, paper towels, mops and brooms to name a few. 213 Oceola Ave. Nashville, TN 37209. (615)352-1010. Nashvillehumane.org.
Second Harvest Food Bank. It was reported that 1 in 8 Middle Tennesseans face hunger every day. You can make a difference in the crisis by donating your time to sort food, make a tax-deductible donation or give canned goods. If you do not feel like going to the distribution center you can drop off food in Second Harvest Food Bank donation barrels at Kroger. 331 Great Circle Rd. Nashville, TN 37228. (615)329-3988. https://secondharvestmidtn.org.
Metro Police Christmas Charities. Serving Davidson County since 1961, this organization works hard to help the neediest families in our community make their dreams come true. They host benefit motorcycle rides as well as accept countless donations of money and toys from individuals and businesses alike. During the holiday season selected families receive 4 bushel baskets of groceries and toys that you can help assemble in a warehouse the week before Christmas. Captain Harmon Hunsicker, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.nashville.gov/Police-Department/Community-Programs/Christmas-Charities.aspx. (615)862-7400.
Ronald McDonald House Charities. This year you can enjoy our region’s largest drive-thru light and music show, the Dancing Lights of Christmas on November 17 at the Wilson County and the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. Purchase discounted tickets through Ronald McDonald House Charities. Do not overlook the RMHC holiday wish list as your donation of a new toy or gift card will surely put a smile on a child’s face. If you use Amazon, visit www.smile.amazon.com and select Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville as the beneficiary so a portion of your purchase price can assist the mission. Next time you are at the mall, stop by Dillard’s and check out the book Southern Living’s Cooking for Christmas as proceeds will go to this charity as well. 2144 Fairfax Ave. Nashville, TN 37212. (615)343-4000, https://www.rmhcnashville.com/can-help-holidays/.
Last Minute Toy Store. This charity collects new, unwrapped items priced between 10 and 25 dollars for newborns through 18 years of age. Some popular items on the wish lists include backpacks, telescopes, drones, balls, musical rhymes books, blocks, microscopes and light-up toys. You can drop off toys at the Davidson County Sheriff Office Service Center 5117 Harding Place Nashville, TN 37211. You may also volunteer your time to set up or assist at the store throughout the month. https://www.lastminutetoystore.com/. (615)784-TOYS.
Rudolph’s Red Nose Run. Put on your sneakers and come out for some fun on Saturday, December 1 at 7:30am at the Nissan Stadium at the Riverfront Landing. Funds raised from this 5K walk/run will benefit NeedLink of Nashville who provide financial assistance and resources to families in crisis. There will be a costume contest, holiday treats and beloved Rudolph will be available for photo opportunities. NeedLink of Nashville 1600 56th Ave. North Nashville, TN 37209. (615)269-6835.
Nashville Dream Center. The organization describes themselves as a network of Christians, churches, businesses and community leaders helping the under-resourced of the Nashville region to find hope, healing, help and the love of God. Families and kids are adopted and gifts are provided in December. You can also help with year-round programs like Sidewalk Sunday School where you can teach kids to live free of violence and drugs and Adopt a Block where you clean up streets in at-risk neighborhoods and fix up homes. P.O. Box 290395 Nashville, TN 37229. (615)469-5190. www.nashvilledreamcenter.com.
Toys for Tots. Thanks to the Marines and community volunteers, this program has helped deliver toys to youth since 1947. There are many ways to give including by donating new toys at one of the many Nashville locations, hosting a fundraising event at your home or workplace or volunteering at the warehouse in our area. www.toysfortots.org.
Nashville Public Television. WNPT Channel 8 has been a loyal friend and served our community by providing outstanding programming throughout the year. Audiences of all ages enjoy a variety of shows related to nature, travel, music, art, history and more. They rely on members as their largest source of funding. You can support their efforts by becoming a member this holiday season. Donations range from as little as 40 dollars and entitle you to privileges such as previews, screenings and special invitations to events. 161 Rains Ave. Nashville, TN 37203. (615)259-9325.