Family Events Best Charitable Organizations for Holiday Giving in Southeast Michigan Great organizations that help you and your family donate, give or volunteer to the less fortunate in 2016 in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. « Previous Next » Metro Parent Editorial • November 4, 2016 Read Comments (7) Tweet The holiday season is all about giving. Help make someone’s spirits a little brighter by partnering with one of the charities in Michigan’s southeast region this year. Bonus: You and your family get to spend some quality time together – all while helping worthy local groups. Or, if time is at a premium, why not make a donation to a great cause? What are some of the best charity organizations to donate to? Metro Parent gathered details from some great nonprofit charities in southeast Michigan. Browse this list to see where your family can volunteer – or give to – this holiday season. Having trouble deciding which charities to donate to, or wondering how to chose one that is legitimate? You can look at nonprofit organizations and charities a bit closer. Here are suggestions on what questions to ask these groups. Arbor Hospice Address: 2366 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor Phone: 734-662-5999 Hours: Volunteers are needed 24/7 Arbor Hospice offers comfort and support to caregivers and patients who face life-limiting illnesses. Volunteers can offer support to caregivers and patients – or donate time helping with administrative tasks. Interested in financially supporting the organization? That option is available, too. Volunteers must complete a training program; minimum age is 16. Area Agency on Aging, Meals on Wheels Detroit (Wayne County) Address: 1333 Brewery Park Blvd., Detroit Phone: 313-446-4444 Hours: Vary Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties Address: 29100 Northwestern Highway, Suite 400, Southfield (serving Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties) Phone: 800-852-7795 Hours: Vary The Area Agency on Aging provides a Holiday Meals on Wheels program, and Meals on Wheels throughout the year. You can also donate to both organizations. For more details on each program and what is needed, visit their websites. Art Road Address: based in Livonia Phone: 734-536-6256 (speak with Steven Hofgartner) or email firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Volunteers needed during class hours; usually in class 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and Fridays (call for location information) Art Road offers art classes with supplies and teachers for schools that do not have a program. Families can volunteer in class or at events – or donate money to this organization. All ages are welcome. Big Family of Michigan Address: 41757 Irwin Road, Harrison Township Phone: 586-415-6968 Regular hours: hours vary; call ahead Big Family of Michigan strives to serve the needs of Michigan’s foster children and young adults. You and your family can help out in various opportunities including organizing a drive and giftwrapping during the holidays. Visit their website and complete a form about your interest in volunteering. Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Meal Programs Addresses: Conner Kitchen (serves working families and seniors), 4390 Conner St., Detroit; Meldrum kitchen (serves chronically poor), 1264 Meldrum St., Detroit Phone: 313-822-8606, ext. 210 (Conner); 313-579-2100, ext. 213 (Meldrum) Hours: Call ahead for details Volunteerism is at the heart of this long-time local program, from serving meals and sorting clothes to working in the Earthworks Garden and tutoring children and teens. Young and old are welcome to help: It’s rewarding hard work, the website says. Check ahead to see when you can jump in. Cass Community Social Services Address: 11745 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit Phone: 313-883-2277 (talk to Sue Pethoud) Hours: Open 24/7; volunteers work various shifts, even just an hour. This Detroit-based charity works throughout the metro Detroit area to provide food, health, housing and jobs in places overcome with poverty. You and your children (over age of 10 preferred) can volunteer in many ways. Make monetary donations online, over the phone or by mail. Coalition on Temporary Shelter Address: 26 Peterboro St., Detroit Phone: 313-831-3777 Hours: Call for details Based in Detroit, COTS provides emergency shelter for the homeless and families in need, complete with beds and food. COTS also offers transitional housing and permanent supportive housing. COTS has various ways to give back and donate. Contact them to find out about opportunities. Detroit Goodfellows Address: P.O. Box 44444, Detroit Phone: 586-775-6139 Hours: Contact through the website to inquire about volunteering There are many ways to help this organization give kids and families a joyous holiday. Each year, the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund of Detroit puts together Christmas gift packages. Participate in the Doll Program (issuing dolls to girls 5-9 years old) and Package Distribution Program. Kids can also join the Junior Goodfellows Program. Donations are welcome, too. Food Gatherers Addresses: Warehouse: 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor; Community Kitchen: 312 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor Phone: 734-761-2796 (or email email@example.com) Hours: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; volunteer hours vary Food Gatherers provides food to 150 local community programs directly serving adults and kids in Washtenaw County. That assistance takes the form of hot meals, nutritious snacks and emergency groceries. Volunteers help sort and package the food at the warehouse, plus prepare and serve meals in the Community Kitchen. Forgotten Harvest Address: 21800 Greenfield Road, Oak Park Phone: 248-967-1500 (or email volunteer coordinator Nicole Peeples at firstname.lastname@example.org) Hours: Contact for details Forgotten Harvest aims to relieve hunger in metro Detroit by gathering extra food from grocery stores, bakeries and more – to distribute to emergency food providers. Volunteers are able to help pack food. Note: Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age, and volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Gleaners Community Food Bank Address: 2131 Beaufait St., Detroit Phone: 866-GLEANER (453-2637) Hours: Vary Donate food, money or time to this local food bank. Make one-time or monthly donations online. “Every dollar you donate provides three meals to a hungry neighbor,” the organization’s website notes. Donations are currently being matched to provide six meals for every dollar donated. Find out more about how you can help out this holiday season by calling. Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit Addresses: Multiple addresses throughout Detroit and surrounding areas Phone: 313-557-8791 Hours: Vary by location Goodwill makes it a priority to put people to work who are having difficulty finding employment. Volunteers sort clothing, stock shelves and move furniture in the stores, work at special events or complete other duties. Leah’s Happy Hearts Address: based in Livonia Phone: 734-522-1269 (talk to Kristen Collins) Hours: Hosts two events per year to fund its mission (in early summer and late fall); call or visit the website to see how you can contribute Leah’s Happy Hearts was created in memory of Leah Elisabeth James, whose life was cut short due to an inoperable brain tumor. Help this group raise funds for research for pediatric brain cancer – and provide support for the kids – at the Holiday Gift Giving Party on Nov. 13, 2016 from noon until 2 p.m. Unable to come? Visit the website to make a monetary donation. Macomb Charitable Foundation Address: 18215 24 Mile Road, Macomb Phone: 586-232-3473 Hours: Vary based on events This nonprofit seeks to help kids living at or below the poverty level in Macomb County. It provides financial assistance for items such as food, clothing, rent/utility assistance, educational aid and more. Volunteer opportunities include fundraisers and summer camp for homeless children. Macomb Food Program Address: Warehouse: 44900 Vic Wertez Drive, Clinton Township Phone: 586-469-6004, Ext. 1 Hours: Vary based on need Providing food to the hungry in Macomb County since 1975. The organization works with county food pantries. Volunteers are needed in the warehouse to sort and box food seasonally; call for details. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult; kids must be older than 10 to volunteer. Donations of nonperishable food items accepted (call ahead). Monetary donations can be mailed to 21885 Dunham Road, Suite 10, Clinton Township, MI 48036. Ozone House Address: 1705 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor (youth shelter); 102 N. Hamilton St., Ypsilanti (drop-in center) Phone: 734-662-2265 Hours: Contact for details on how to get involved This community-based nonprofit agency helps young people have safe, healthy and productive lives through intervention and prevention services. Volunteers can help with projects, host fundraisers or a homeless simulation, work at special events or assist with other duties. Fill out a volunteer application online to get involved. Ronald McDonald House of Southeast Michigan Address: 4707 St. Antoine St., Suite 200, Detroit Phone: 313-745-5909 Hours: Check ahead to see how you can get involved This organization provides a “home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children” focused on supplying health and support services to those in under-served communities. You can volunteer by raising funds, cooking, selling merchandise or working in the office, among other options. Or pitch in with monetary donations, as well as gifts of non-perishable food. Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division Address: Eastern Michigan Division Headquarters, 16130 Northland Drive, Southfield Phone: 248-443-5500 Hours: Vary by volunteering opportunity; check ahead for details The Salvation Army is a nonprofit supplying social services and programs to people in need. There are plenty of family volunteer options and ways to donate. Sign up to volunteer your time as a kettle ringer. Southfield Goodfellows Address: P.O. Box 2336, Southfield Phone: 248-788-5899 Hours: Vary on available time slots (check online and sign up now) Southfield Goodfellows is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization providing food and toys to families in need for more than 50 years. Families come and sort foods and gifts before packing them. Parents must accompany young children for food sorting. Teens recommended for gift sorting. Call for 2016 volunteer opportunity dates. The Bottomless Toy Chest Address: Office: 735 Forest Ave., Suite 204, Birmingham; warehouse: 435 Elmwood Ave., Troy Phone: 248-646-8931 Hours: Call for details Ring in the holidays by sending a gift to a sick child. Help them celebrate by hosting a toy drive or a wrap party. Monetary donations go to P.O. Box 623, Bloomfield Hills. Call for more information. United Way for Southeastern Michigan Addresses: Main: 660 Woodward Ave., Suite 300, Detroit; Oakland County: Bank of America Headquarters, 2600 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 160, Troy Phone: 313-226-9200 (main Detroit office) Hours: vary based on volunteer opportunity United Way aims to make a difference in Southeastern Michigan. Its method? Ensuring kids graduate ready for college and a career, and providing individuals and families with access to food and shelter and to help them eventually become financially stable. You can help by choosing one of the many volunteer opportunities offered at United Way. Variety the Children’s Charity Address: 600 S. Adams St., Suite 230, Birmingham Phone: 248-258-5511 or email email@example.com Hours: Vary by type of volunteering; call ahead to see what’s available This children’s charity is focused on helping kids, no matter what the need is. Variety allows you to volunteer in a way that interests you. Wigs for Kids Address: 30126 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores Phone: 586-772-6656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Tuesday and Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday Wigs 4 Kids is a nonprofit focused on kids and teens/young adults with hair loss, helping them deal with social acceptance based on their appearance by providing them with an age-appropriate wig at no cost their family. Wigs 4 Kids has many opportunities for you to volunteer based on your interests, from easy money donations to an “Adopt-A-Kid” option and volunteering time. Make donations to the organization as it is trying to open another permanent facility and continue serving children. Call for more information. This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for 2016 by Jessica Schrader.