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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Help Others this Holiday Season in the Bay Area

It’s a tough time financially for most of us this holiday season. But that’s the time when others need the most help. Throughout the holidays, I’ll post some ideas on how your family can help others.

Today I’ll focus on the Shelter Network, which provides housing and support services to help homeless families and individuals to “re-establish self-sufficiency and to return to permanent homes of their own.”

I was shocked this year to learn that someone I know socially became homeless with her child, due to a marital break-up. The Shelter Network is the type of place she could go for help.

Here are some giving opportunities at the Shelter Network:

Adopt-a-Family or Adopt-a-Resident: purchase items from a specific wish list so someone less fortunate can have something new this holiday season.

Host a holiday party: Bring friends, coworkers or family and put on a party at one of the shelters

Hold a holiday gift drive: whether you get a list of items to pass out, or put “wishes” on a Christmas tree, this is a great way to involve a large group of people much pressure or sacrifice on your part. (We did this with my son's preschool class last year)

Attend a gift wrapping party: help wrap gifts for the residents at several sites, from Daly City to Menlo Park.

Create a holiday dinner basket: you know the drill – buy some items for your dinner, and some items for someone else’s.

Serve holiday dinner: the Maple Street shelter for single adults needs servers for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Donation: cash always accepted, in honor or memory of someone.

For more info, contact them at and click on the “holiday programs” button. Or call 650-685-5880

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