Generous hearts during the holiday season help local groups that seek both donations and volunteers this time of year.
Many local organizations, agencies and businesses collect gifts during the Christmas season, and those presents make their way to less-fortunate youngsters before the holiday. Other groups seek food items or cash contributions to assist the needy in the region. And others still just need volunteers willing to, for instance, help ring bells.
A list of some giving and volunteering opportunities in the area follows:
·Gifts for Redfield collects presents for clients at the South Dakota Development Center in Redfield. See the list of needed items and drop sites published daily in the American News. Gifts must be dropped off by Dec. 18.
·Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys for less fortunate children in the region. For more information, including a list of drop sites, visit toysfortots.org. Use the search tool at the upper right side of the page to search for South Dakota, then Brown County. From that page, click on the "Toy Drop-Offs" menu item to find drop sites. Toys will be collected until Dec. 15 in Aberdeen and Dec. 17 in Redfield.
·The Airport Travel Center, 4707 Sixth Ave. S.E., has a Wall of Wishes. Stop by and grab a card that contains a requested gift, then return it wrapped and place it under the tree.
·Dakota Broadcasting and Aberdeen Monument are collecting funds for the United Way of Northeastern South Dakota through the Tree of Giving program. Donations are accepted at Aberdeen Monument, 101 Sixth Ave. S.W., until Dec. 20. Ornaments are given to those who donate.
·The Brown County 4-H tree in the Brown County Courthouse Annex, 25 Market St. in Aberdeen, accepts unwrapped gifts for Aspire clients. A list of items sought is posted near the tree and includes CD players, puzzles, board games, men's cologne, women's lotions and body sprays, towels, wash cloths, gloves, scarves and stocking hats.
·Ring bells for The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign. Ringers are needed from 10 a.m. through 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 605-225-7410.
·Gifts for children are also being collected through Wednesday via The Salvation Army's Angel Tree. There are various drop sites in Aberdeen, including at Lakewood Mall.
·The Salvation Army and Wal-Mart are joining together on a project called Fill the Truck from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Shoppers entering the store can grab a list of toys and coats, then buy the items and drop them off as they leave.
·The Salvation Army needs volunteers Dec. 19 and 20 to help pack and distribute Christmas food packs and gifts. Call 605-225-7410.
·The Yelduz Shrine Secret Santa program collects gifts and cash for gifts for children at the Shriners hospital in the Twin Cities. Drop off gifts or contributions labeled "Secret Santa" at the Yelduz Shrine Center, 802 S. Main St., Aberdeen.
·The Lakewood Mall Giving Tree features Aberdeen Area Humane Society pets that need adoption. Donations to the Humane Society are accepted at Vanity.
·Secret Angels of Kiwanis sew and collect outfits for dolls for girls. Kiwanis also purchases toys for boys. For more information, call Joy Flagtvedt or Ramona Woodman at 605-225-5212 during weekday regular business hours.
·The Boys & Girls Club of Aberdeen Area is looking for volunteer mentors and homework helpers during the holiday season and during other times in the year. Call 605-225-8714.
·The National Kidney Foundation oversees South Dakota's Kidney Cars program. It collects used cars, motorcycles or boats at no charge. Proceeds fund prevention programs and direct patient services. Call 800-488-2277 or visit kidneycars.org for more information.