Archive for Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lawrence organizations in need this holiday season

December 2, 2012


During the holiday season, the need in the community for donations and volunteers at local organizations grows. Organizations need gifts to distribute, money, and volunteers to help with everything from serving meals to collecting donations. The list below will help you find a way to contribute during the holiday season. It includes local organizations and their needs this season.

Holiday Bureau

Holiday Bureau is a coalition of nonprofit organizations in Lawrence. The coalition, which consists of Penn House, Ballard Community Services, the Salvation Army and the East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation, recruits community members to adopt families or individuals over the holiday season. By partaking in this effort as an adopter, a person is ensuring a family or individual will receive holiday gifts, clothes and food. More than 1,000 families are adopted annually through these organizations. At least 350 families are still in need of being adopted this season. If you are interested in adopting, contact any of the organizations involved with the Holiday Bureau. You may request a family of a specific size. Adopting a whole family is not necessary. Donations of gift cards to grocery stores are also accepted. These help the families in need to receive holiday meals.

Contact information:

Ballard Community Services, 842-0729

Penn House, 842- 0440

ECKAN, 841-3357

The Salvation Army, 843-4188

Book Drive

The Toy Store, 936 Massachusetts St., is having a book drive to donate to the Ballard Center for the Holiday Bureau program. The store is encouraging the community to buy books at the store and to donate the books to the program. For every book bought and donated at The Toy Store, it will match and donate another book. The store’s goal is to donate 1,000 books to the center.

Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department

Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department facilities will be collection sites for new, unopened toys to donate to an area nonprofit organization. Parks and Recreation Department facilities will have a decorated seasonal box for people to drop off the toys. The toys should be brought to the facilities by Dec. 18. They will be distributed to the nonprofit organizations by Dec. 20.


The Community Building, 115 W. 11th St.

East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 E. 15th St.

Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St.

Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center, 4706 Overland Drive

Prairie Park Nature Center, 2370 Harper St.

Parks and Recreation Administrative Office, 947 New Hampshire St., Suite 200B.

Homeless and foster care children

Donated gifts of clothes, toys, CDs, gift certificates, books and school supplies are needed to give to children who are homeless or in foster care. If interested, a person will be matched with a child and given his or her wish list.

Contact information

KVC Behavioral Health, Mona Kerns: 331-4200 ext. 6638 or

The Villages, Inc., Diane Schulze: 267-5900 ext. 0 or

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army will partner with Lawrence Walmarts to host “Fill the Truck” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 at both Lawrence Walmart locations, 3300 Iowa St. and 550 Congressional Drive. Fill the Truck is a toy and coat drive for local children in need during the holiday season. Walmart shoppers will receive a list of suggested gifts to donate or to help fill the truck. Once the Salvation Army’s collection bin is filled, it will distribute the gifts. The items donated will benefit local children who partake in Salvation Army programs all year.

Penn House volunteer Shelly Armstrong sorts gift items Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, at the agency. Penn House, 1035 Pennsylvania St., and a coalition of other agencies are part of a Holiday Bureau adopting families in need this season. Linda Lassen, director of programming at Penn House, said 73 families have been adopted, but 184 remain. “I have faith in the community,” Lassen said. “I just hope the phone starts ringing.”

Penn House volunteer Shelly Armstrong sorts gift items Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, at the agency. Penn House, 1035 Pennsylvania St., and a coalition of other agencies are part of a Holiday Bureau adopting families in need this season. Linda Lassen, director of programming at Penn House, said 73 families have been adopted, but 184 remain. “I have faith in the community,” Lassen said. “I just hope the phone starts ringing.”

The Salvation Army is also in need of volunteers for the community holiday dinner Dec. 5. Volunteers are needed for preparation and setup, 9 a.m. to noon, and for serving and cleanup, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Contact information

Maria McCluer or Liz Coleman, 843-4188

Community Living Opportunities

Volunteers are needed at Community Living Opportunities to adopt individuals who have developmental disabilities for the holidays. Community Living Opportunity works to help individuals with special needs to lead “enriched and fulfilled lives as fully integrated members of the community.”

Contact information

Brett Bauer, 979-1889 or

Douglas County Senior Services

The Adopt-a-Senior program at Douglas County Senior Services needs community members to provide items from seniors wish lists. Community members may also donate grocery certificates as well.

Contact information

Janet Ikenberry, 842-0543

Douglas County CASA

Douglas County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) needs volunteers to donate Christmas stockings and gifts. CASA works to give children removed from their homes and placed under court protection attention, and the stockings will go to abused or neglected children from ages 3 months to 18-years-old.

Contact information

Douglas County CASA, 832-5172

Douglas County AIDS Project

The Douglas County AIDS Project is in need of gifts, and gas and food certificates for people of all ages. The organization provides care for community members affected by HIV/AIDS, and the donated gifts and certificates will go to those clients.

Contact information

Courtney Buchholz, 843-0040

Douglas County Toys for Tots

Donations of new, unwrapped toys, as well as money to purchase toys, are needed for the Douglas County Toys for Tots. The toys will go to less fortunate children in Douglas County. Volunteers are needed for the Christmas Toy Show too. Douglas County Toys for Tots is the community branch of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. It often helps families and children who do not qualify for help from other organizations or programs.

Contact information

Mary Jones 766-3023

Lawrence Community Shelter

The Holiday Gift Program at the Lawrence Community Shelter is in need of donations for gifts. Items needed include sleeping bags, camping gear, toiletries, blankets, coats, warm clothes, coffee and cereal. Community members may request a full wish list. All items will go to homeless in the community.

Contact information

Diane Huggins 832-8864

Tiny-k Early Intervention

Tiny-K Early Intervention, is an organization that provides support to children from birth to 3-years-old who have a disability or developmental delay. It needs volunteers to provide Christmas dinner and gifts to tiny-k families.

Contact information

Dena Bracciano, 843-3059 or

Lawrence Blue Santa Program

The Lawrence Blue Santa Program is in need of monetary, gift and grocery store gift card donations and volunteers. The program is run by the Lawrence Police Department and provides toys and food to residents of Lawrence who are less fortunate or in need. The families in the program receive a gift card to a grocery store for their holiday meal, and every child in the family younger than 17 receives three wrapped gifts.

Contact information

Lisa Wilcox, 830-7435


justfoodks 5 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget about Just Food! We will be distributing food to more than 900 families (including families that have signed up for Holiday Bureau through ECKAN) December 19-22. Volunteers can come and help:

Monday, December 17: 8am-6pm Tuesday, December 18: 8am-6pm Wednesday, December 19: 1:30pm-dark (mobile style Christmas distribution) Thursday, December 20: 8am-8pm Friday, December 21: 8am-8pm Saturday, December 22: 8am-5pm (waiting list Christmas distribution only) CLOSED: December 24-25, December 31, January 1

If you'd like to get involved & donate, you may visit or text justfood to 80888 to make your $10 donation!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.