Those in need are all around us

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The Journal talks to local non-profits about ways everyone can help

Greenville County charities need your help.

Last week, Miracle Hill Ministries turned 15 families away because there was only enough food for 25.

Greer Soup Kitchen and the Center for Community Services in Simpsonville need people to help serve and prepare food on Christmas Day.

And 29 families who get help from the Center for Community Services don't have a sponsor for Christmas presents. The organization has matched about 150 families with sponsors so far. "The demand has been huge," said Arelis Moore de Peralta, the organization's executive director.

The leaders of area non-profits are racing the clock to collect enough to provide the most basic needs such as food and shelter and the dreamed-of desires of families at Christmas. Their lists are not excessive - flatirons, mayonnaise, toothbrushes, board games.

As a public service, the Greenville Journal offered space to various service organizations to tell folks what they need for their clients this Christmas. Here's what we found:

Crossroads Group Home for Girls: 16 girls who have been sexually abused live at the home near Furman. They need G-rated movies, Walmart gift cards and items that can fit in a stocking. No items can contain metal. No pens or pencils. Groups from a church and hospital buy an outfit for each of the girls, coats to shoes, and donate a $25 Walmart gift card for each girl. 246-0266.

The Red Cross: unwrapped toys for children whose homes have burned down and comfort kits to get families through the initial crisis to include a washcloth, shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush/comb, razor/shaving cream, and tissues. Add a small stuffed animal for children. 271-8222

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Upstate: 150 children ages 6 to 14 need Christmas presents. 242-0676

Open Arms Hospice of Greenville: comfort bags to include tissues, white washcloths, toothpaste, deodorant, brushes/combs, crossword puzzles/word searches, individually packaged crackers, chewing gum, eyeglasses, cleaning cloths, eyeglass repair kits, and Ensure. 688-1700.

A Child's Haven, which provides therapy for developmentally delayed, abused, and neglected children and their families: the children have Christmas presents but agency officials would like to provide some sort of gift basket of food for each of the 80 families served. 298-0025.

Public Education Partners: books, books, books for schools. 233-4133

Safe Harbor, which provides shelter for victims of domestic violence: needs financial donations to pay for food, counseling services and medicine. 467-3636.

Taylors Free Medical Clinic: needs sponsors for patients at $103 per visit. 244-1134.

Down Syndrome Family Alliance of Greenville: financial support to help families go to Charleston when their children need heart surgery (50 percent of children with Down syndrome have some sort of heart defect) and to offer scholarships for camps or programs for families.

Goodwill Industries of Upper South Carolina: as always, clothes to be sold in the retail stores - 90 percent of what it costs to run Goodwill's job training program comes from retail sales. Also, old computers that can be refurbished and resold. 351-0100.

Greenville Literacy Association, which provides adult literacy education and English as a Second Language classes: small 70-page notebooks, dry erase markers, letter-sized copy paper and card stock in a variety of colors.

Greer Community Ministries, which serves the elderly, homebound and disadvantaged: small space heaters, blankets and warm coats. 877-1937.

Pendleton Place Children's Shelter, which offers housing and education for abused and neglected children: gift cards from Walmart, Bi-Lo, or Spinx and items for teenage girls, especially flatirons. All weather jackets for school-age children - not slickers - pajamas and scrapbooking supplies are also needed. 467-3650.

Project Host Soup Kitchen: canned non-perishables - except for green beans - and mayonnaise for the sandwiches made every day. or 235-3403.

Loaves & Fishes, which provides perishable food to 30 local food pantries, shelf stable food and financial cash donations, which go a long way - for every dollar donated the organization delivers $11 in food. 232-3595.

Meals on Wheels Greenville: volunteers and money - $50 provides food for 10 people a day. 233-6565.

To volunteer to help with the Christmas meal for about 300 folks at the Center for Community Services call Lateefiah Brown at 688-2245. The organization is also collecting board games so each family can take one home.

Little Steps helps teens and young parents with life skills and parenting classes. They need gas cards, which are used to help teen parents get to school. Also diapers - all sizes but especially sizes 4 and 5 - and over-the-counter child medications.

Julie Valentine Center, which serves rape victims: women's sweat suits and shoes with closed toes to replace clothing in emergency rooms, children's toys, especially infant to toddler and ages 10 - 12 boys and girls. The organization asks for toys to be delivered by 5 p.m. Tuesday at the office, 2905 White Horse Road in Greenville. 331-0560

To volunteer to work the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. shift at Greer Soup Kitchen call 968-0323

To help Miracle Hills Ministries call 268-4357.

Other non-profits in need are:

Aid Upstate

The Blood Connection

Triune Mercy Center

SHARE Community Action Partnership

Project Hope Foundation


Charles Sowell contributed to this report.