Our communities are strengthened when those who have more step forward to help those who have less. Every year, organizations around Madison arrange charity drives and events to benefit those who are struggling during the holidays.
We encourage you to check out this list of events and drives to give if you can. It doesn’t matter if that’s a bag of toys, some old coats, or a can of green beans. Anything you can donate will go a long way toward improving someone else’s situation and making their holiday season a little more joyous.
- NBC15’s Share Your Holidays is a very successful food drive program that’s now in its 21st Since 1996, it’s raised 33.35 million meals for families in need. To get involved, check out the Second Harvest Food Bank site.
- Give to the Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. It’s one of the largest food pantries in Dane County. It’s run almost like a grocery store, allowing people to choose food their families will eat so nothing goes to waste. Find out more by clicking here.
- Donate to Koats for Kids. This program has been running for over 30 years and collects coats, hats, gloves, and other warm clothing for children and adults struggling with poverty. Last year over 3,629 coats were donated. Find out where you can donate or sign up to be a volunteer.
- One Warm Coat is a nationwide program that collected more than 4 million coats through over 20,000 coat drives. They keep their operating costs low so 95 percent of every dollar goes to supporting their programs. In fact, just $1 can help provide two coats to someone in need. Spread the warmth this holiday season; find out more about how you can help.
- All year long, the Make-A-Wish Foundation holds Make-A-Wish Toy Drives to provide toys and gifts to children living with life-threatening medical conditions. To help, you can donate any unwrapped item from the Wish List or start a toy drive at your business or office. For more information on Madison toy drives, email Madison@wisconsin.wish.org.
- The S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has been around for many years and is a great way to give toys to kids in need this holiday season. There are plenty of ways for the whole family to participate. You can start a toy drop site, volunteer at Toys for Tots, or deliver toys to a drop-off location near you.
- The Child Life Wish List at American Family Children’s Hospital is always in need of toy donations, especially during the holiday season. Toys are used to give to patients, as BINGO prizes, and to restock playrooms, emergency departments, and waiting areas. Toys can be dropped off at the Guest Depot at American Family Children’s Hospital at 1675 Highland Ave. in Madison Mon-Fri from 7am-5:30pm or at the security desk on Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to check out the wish list before you make a purchase.
Charity Events and Programs
- The Sharing Christmas Program, put on by the Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM), exists to help families who are unable to purchase holiday gifts. The program matches a donor family with a local family in need. Donor families are responsible for spending $50 for each member of the family in need to provide them with gifts and food for the holidays. Learn more about how you can participate by clicking here.
- MOM also hosts a holiday art fair called Creating for a Cause. The fair features local artists who make pottery, jewelry, clothes, paintings, and more. Each vendor donates 20 percent or more of their proceeds to MOM’s homeless prevention and hunger fighting programs.
- Each year the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Macy’s sponsor the Macy’s Believe This fun charity opportunity invites children to drop off their letters to Santa at local Macy’s locations. You can also create and send a letter online. For every letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1 million. Madison residents can drop off their letters to Santa now through Dec. 24th at: Macy’s Hilldale, 702 N. Midvale Blvd., Madison WI 53705.
- Looking for a fun way to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation? Look no further than the Annual Santa Swimsuit Run at Whiskey Jack’s Saloon, 552 State St., Madison, WI 53703. Wear a swimsuit or dress as your favorite holiday character and take part in this 1.5 mile run for a great cause. Afterward, enjoy good food, great beer, and wonderful company for free at Whiskey Jack’s Saloon (must be 21 to enter). Click here to get details or go ahead and register online.
We hope that you’ll make this holiday season an opportunity to give to those less fortunate. From all of us at Boller & Vaughan, we wish you and your family a very Happy Holidays!