It’s official. The US economy is in recession. Over the past twelve months, thousands of Americans have lost their homes, and even more men and women have lost their jobs. With such a grim outlook, it is evident that many Americans will not have “happy holidays”; and many families on low wages will have to work harder during the holidays to bring something home for the holidays. Community organizations in the Twin Cities can be channeled to reach many of these people in need.
• Holiday Lights in the Park is a new community program that will host a series of family activities in Phalen Park, St. Paul. Organized by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) proceeds will: provide food for the hungry, rebuild the lives of physically, emotionally, spiritually and educationally challenged individuals, provide recreational park funds for the Saint Paul community and help educate youth on careers in construction. Sightseers will pay a vehicle entrance fee of $8.00 Sundays through Thursdays and $10.00 on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. All events run from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm from Nov. 25 through Dec. 31.
• African Health Action is a Minneapolis based organization that primarily caters to the healthcare of African immigrants. This year’s holiday event, on December 13th, will be dedicated to children below 14 years old. Call 612-216-3886 to send toys, clothes, sweets and cookies for the tots. AHA adopted 25 families last year, the executive director, Alvine Siaka says that the gifts to the children bring them joy, and offer relief to their parents.
• Through the Aliveness Project, a community center that caters to people and families living with HIV/AIDS, has a Holiday Basket program where one can donate a basket of gifts that costs as little as $35, or whole families. Jeanne Burns, a resident of Minneapolis, has been adopting a family for the last four years. This year, Burns and her partner, have adopted a family of six and an adult couple. “We do this instead of giving gifts to each other because we have everything we need. And it’s fun to shop during the holidays for someone who might otherwise go without.” The Aliveness Project also needs volunteers to help with delivery and other tasks.
• Drop off a gift for a child at Golden Thyme coffee shop at 921 Selby Avenue, St. Paul.
Do you know of a good place to donate gifts? Or to volunteer? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or click on the comment button and add them here.