December is a time often filled with laughter, family and fun. But for some people, the holidays can bring stress and worry. It is an ideal time to give back to those less fortunate.
The spirit of the holidays is togetherness...a selfless time where we forgive, take stock of what's important and become better versions of ourselves.
What better way to show that spirit than by becoming involved in local programs that benefit our community? Whether you give money, items, or your time, there are plenty of ways to get involved and help out someone who needs a helping hand.
Arizona Helping Hands Annual Holiday Toy Drive for Foster Families
There are more than 14,000 Arizona children in foster care. Arizona Helping Hands (AZHelpingHands.org) raises money and brings in gifts to help thousands of those kids. This year, AHH is hoping to serve 6,000 kids. You can host your own collection drive, donate toys or make a cash donation. AZHelpingHands.org/holidaytoydrive.
Peoria Diamond Club Helping Change Children's Lives
The Peoria Diamond Club (PeoriaDiamondClub.org), established in 1993, partners with the Spring Training MLB teams to provide charitable giving to help educate and enrich kids' lives throughout western Maricopa County. Over the years, PDC has donated almost $2 million. There are some great ways for you to get involved. You can become a PDC volunteer, make a tax-deductible donation or become a sponsor.
Help Young People Discover and Nurture Safe and Healthy Relationships
BLOOM365 (BLOOM365.org), founded by Peoria resident Donna Bartos, works to promote safe and healthy relationships among Gen Z youth. The group's overall goal is to uproot abuse in a generation. There are many ways to get involved in this local organization, from volunteering to donating. Details are online.
Turn Over a New Leaf
A New Leaf (TurnANewLeaf.org) helps communities across Arizona. Whether it's a veteran transitioning to the civilian world, a family thrown into disarray due to unexpected medical expenses or a lost job, a woman looking for a haven to escape abuse or counseling services to help children, teens or adults through a crisis, A New Leaf is there to help. Get involved by donating or volunteering.
Help Out Local Cities and Organizations
There are ample opportunities to get involved with the City of Peoria (PeoriaAZ.gov) or the City of Glendale (GlendaleAZ.com). In addition, there is always a need for volunteers at the local libraries and theaters, including Arizona Broadway Theatre (AZBroadway.org) and Theater Works at Peoria (TheaterWorks.org). And remember the parks! Check out volunteer clean-up days at Lake Pleasant and other municipal parks.