KATY MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019
By Ali Litton and Katrina Katsarelis
Thanksgiving is a season of reflection, a time of appreciation, and a great opportunity to serve and give to those in need. While many non-profit organizations and charities request year-round donations, the need is often greater, and the spirit of giving more poignant during the last few months of the year.
Here are 10 charitable organizations with holiday programs that directly benefit Katy people in need.
1. Deliver Meals to Homebound Seniors on Thanksgiving
Interfaith Ministries' Meals on Wheels program plans to provide 13,000 hot holiday meals to seniors and is very much in need of volunteers to achieve their goal. Currently over 4,400 seniors in the greater Houston area rely on the program every day, but many more seniors will not have family or friends to visit and feed them on Thanksgiving day.
Interfaith Ministries Meals on Wheels
3303 Main Street, Houston
How to help: Prospective drivers can learn more about volunteering here. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers will pick up meals from the distribution center and deliver to Katy-area seniors.
2. Donate Clothes to Clothed By Faith
Clothed by Faith provides gently-used clothing to those in need and they are constantly seeking gently used clothing and shoes, plus new socks and underwear for all ages. While donations are requested year-round, their need is especially great right now to support their upcoming clothing giveaways: one during the Katy Thanksgiving Feast on November 28, as well as their annual Coat Giveaway in December.
802 Dominion Drive, Suite 100, Katy
How to help: Drop off new or gently used clothes and coats at the location above or in the Clothed by Faith donation box on the side of their facility.
3. Donate a Turkey to Katy Christian Ministries
Katy Christian Ministries is seeking turkey and food donations to help stock their food pantry for the holiday season. They are asking the community for turkeys, hams, non-perishable food items, gift cards and personal care items to help our needy neighbors.
Last year, KCM was able to provide a holiday turkey/ham for 972 Food Pantry households, and they hope to exceed this for 2019.
In 2017, KCM Food Pantry distributed over 726K pounds of food to those in need. On an average day, KCM serves about 105 families, and on September 30, 2019 the number grew to 186 families.
Katy Christian Ministries Food Pantry
5506 1st Street, Katy
How to help: Drop off frozen turkeys/hams at the location above Monday - Thursday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm (around the back of the building).
4. Drop Food Items in Red Barrels at Katy Grocery Stores
Don’t have time to drop off at KCM's Food Pantry? You can also drop off food while you shop in any of Houston Food Bank’s Red Barrels at Katy-area Kroger’s, HEB, and Sprouts. The barrel donations also benefit the KCM Food Pantry, as donations are shared with local food pantries.
The Food Bank distributes 104 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals each year.
535 Portwall Street, Houston
How to help: Purchase pre-packaged food bags at Kroger's, HEB, and Sprouts and drop them in the red barrels on your way out.
5. Donate at Various Katy Blood Drives
It's easy to give the gift of blood this holiday season. Just make appointment to donate at one of several Katy-area blood drive locations. Monty Ballard YMCA and Katy Church of Christ will have blood drives on November 11, and Bear Creek Baptist Church will be hosting one on November 12 to honor cancer survivor teen, Eden Green.
“The blood drive means so much to us!” shares Eden’s mom, Shannon Green. “Without blood donors, Eden would not be here today. Her blood type is different from my husband and I so we could not give her blood. Donors were vital to her survival.”
The process is very simple and doesn't take much time. You'll be screened on-site by a questionnaire and the blood center makes sure everything is comfortable and medically safe.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank
1400 La Concha Lane, Houston
How to help: Find a Katy Blood Drive location here and set up an appointment time.
Monty Ballard YMCA, November 11 from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Katy Church of Christ, November 11 from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Bear Creek Baptist Church, November 12 from 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
6. Feed the Needy on Thanksgiving Day
The Katy Community Thanksgiving Feast dates to 2003, when Kaye Brown and the Junior Mission at Antioch Baptist Missionary Church wanted to ensure that no one in the area went without a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. Since then, many churches, charities and businesses have teamed up to provide a hot meal, services and a fun environment for kids and families.
Last year approximately 1,200 meals were served. This year's event will be held at Katy's First Baptist Church on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.
Katy Community Thanksgiving Feast
Katy's First Baptist Church
600 Pin Oak Road, Katy
How to help: Register with your local church or email KatyThanksgivingFeast@gmail.com with Volunteer Opportunity in the subject line. They are also seeking donations of food and personal care items.
7. Attend the Festival of Trees
The Festival of Trees will be held on Friday, November 29 from 9:00 am - 6:00 pm and Saturday, November 30 from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. This amazing event is a holiday fundraiser benefiting the Ballard House in Cinco Ranch.
There will be live entertainment, a parade of trees, food trucks, holiday shopping, and a Big Kids Fun Zone. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and veterans, and $5 for kids aged 3-12 years. (Ages 2 and under are free.)
Proceeds benefit the Ballard House in Katy, which provides temporary housing in a warm and supportive atmosphere for those individuals and their families who are hospitalized or receiving treatment for a serious medical condition.
Festival of Tree at Cane Island
2100 Cane Island Parkway, Katy
How to help: Purchase tickets online and make plans attend this worthwhile event that supports the Ballard House. Open to all ages.
8. Help Stuff the Sleigh Provide for Cancer Families
The holidays are an especially tough time for families affected by childhood cancer. Stuff the Sleigh in Katy strives to deliver joy to these families through generous donations. The holiday giving program was started in 2008 and became a year-round support to patients and families in 2018. Stuff the Sleigh helped over 500 people in 2018 and continues to grow.
As the name suggests, Stuff the Sleigh seek toys for gifts, but they also run the Dare to Dream program which helps provide families with trips.
P.O. Box 342, Katy, TX 77492
How to help: Visit Stuff the Sleigh on Charity Row at the Festival of Trees on November 29 and 30 or donate through their website here.
9. Donate to Katy ISD Santa Cops
Katy ISD Police Department's Annual Santa Cops program helps families that may be experiencing hardships, by providing gifts and clothing for their children during the holidays.
Every year, students, community organizations, as well as district employees, help make this program a success. Sponsor information will be sent out around the third-week of November. In past years, the program has been able to help over 900 students.
Katy ISD Police Department
How to help: If you would like to donate or sponsor this program, call 281-237-4012 or email email@example.com.
10. Help Give a Homeless Person a Hand Up
Hope Impacts helps people and families experiencing homelessness. They host many helpful programs including Supper & Showers, a monthly outreach breakfast, regular Bible studies, as well as provide use of computers, phones, and showers.
During Katy's cold months, Hope Impacts will also distribute warm coats and blankets to Katy's homeless residents. They have numerous volunteer and donation opportunities during the holidays and throughout the year.
802 Dominion Drive, Suite 900, Katy
How to help: Reach out to the organization for opportunities to volunteer or serve. You may also make a donation on line here.
While the giving spirit is abundant during Thanksgiving, consider serving the community through these charities that offer an incredible outpouring of support to those in need during this season and beyond. Give to a charity that touches your heart and helps provide a sense of security and a spirit of hope for others to grow and thrive in Katy.
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