Good Neighbors

Collect for a Charity "Wish List"

If you don't know what to get that favorite "charity" on your list this year, why not check their wish list to see what they want? We did.

Running out of time to physically "go" somewhere to volunteer between now and Christmas? Our idea for Day 19 of Sparkt's "25 Days of Volunteering" doesn't even require you to leave your house: hold a "Wish List" party or collection drive. Invite your friends to participate. Or ask people coming to a holiday gathering you're already hosting to bring something for your favorite charity's "wish list." Here are five lists we found:

Dress for Success Pittsburgh makes fulfilling a wish easy: they have an Amazon Wish List . The organization helps women re-entering the workforce by giving them gently worn business-appropriate clothing. But some of their clients also need essentials like shampoo, toothbrushes and razors to help them feel their best for a job interview. Order on line, and these items go right to their "boutique."

The Bradley Center provides treatment and support for children with mental, emotional, intellectual and behavioral disabilities. Because it's all about the kids, The Bradley Center's wish list includes things like DVDs, Ipods, games, puzzles, toys and arts and crafts items.

North Hills Community Outreach relies on lots of physical donations to keep operating. Their wish list includes everything from garden supplies (they operate a garden to supplement their food pantry) to paper products and even vehicles.

Ronald McDonald House (where families can stay while their kids are in Pittsburgh hospitals) is in the middle of their "12 Days of Giving" Wish List drive. Every day leading up to Christmas, they've listed a particular item they need on their website. Clicking on that item it takes you to their Amazon Wish List to make the purchase. Even if you missed one or all of the "12 Days" you can still go to their Amazon wish list to donate.

Women's Center and Shelter calls their wish list "Shop to Help ." There you'll find items to donate that women and children fleeing domestic violence situations might not have been able to bring with them. They need everything from bedding and towels, to PJ's and underwear.

If you don't see a group here that strikes your fancy, go to the website of your favorite organization and see if they have a wish list. Or go to Amazon and search to see if they have an on-line wish list there.

How can you start something good?
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