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Holiday charities

Nov. 22, 2008 @ 11:15 PM

Here are a list of organizations planning holiday-related charity fundraisers:

CHRISTMAS SEALS: The American Lung Association is seeking donations as part of its annual Christmas Seals program.

Millions will receive Christmas Seals in the mail this month. The decorative holiday stamps are part of an annual fundraising tradition dating back to 1907 when the Lung Association led efforts to conquer tuberculosis.

The American Lung Association continues to work to prevent lung disease and promote lung health by working with lawmakers, conducting clinical research, and teaching children with asthma and their caregivers to understand and manage their illness.

The American Lung Associations urges people to visit www.christmasseals.org to learn more about the history of Christmas Seals, to view past Christmas Seals, to make a donation or to send a holiday e-card.

COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS: The Coalition for the Homeless is asking for charitable contributions this season to offset operating costs from providing medical and dental services to the uninsured homeless. The coalition provides on-site services at its multi-purpose day shelter, Harmony House, in Huntington. The organization is also seeking donations of hygiene/personal care products for individuals experiencing homelessness. Items needed include soap, shampoo, razors, deodorant, toilet paper, laundry detergent, coffee/sugar and bottled water. Send or bring donations to the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, 627 Fourth Ave., Huntington, WV 25701. Monetary donations may be made on the coalition's Web site at www.coalition-homeless.org. For more information, call 304-523-2764.

PROJECT HOPE: The Huntington City Mission and Project Hope provide emergency shelter and transitional housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The Mission provides Christmas gifts on Christmas morning to all those living at the shelters. Donations of new, unwrapped toys and clothing are appreciated for men, women and children. Wish lists are available if individuals, businesses or churches are interested in sponsoring a specific family or single person. Monetary donations also are accepted. For more information, contact Huntington City Mission at 304-523-0293, Ext. 307.

CRICKET'S KIDS: Area residents are invited to a buy a chicken and dumplings meal from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at 2349 Adams Ave. The meal costs $6 and funds go toward buying toys for underprivileged kids from birth to 15 years old. The meal includes mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, rolls and a drink.

Donations and toys also will be accepted at the event.

Funds will go to provide a Christmas party with toys and food for the children from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Celebration Church at 19th Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Last year's event served more than 700 youths in and around Cabell County.

A gift wrapping also will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, and Wednesday, Dec. 17, at Celebration Church. Volunteers may call 304-429-2000.

More information is available by calling 304-429-4618.

CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKET DRIVE: Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department is accepting donations for the annual Christmas Food Basket Drive. Donations needed are non-perishable food items, a new toy for a child or cash/check to be used for purchasing winter clothing and Christmas for local children.

Donations may be dropped off at the station from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or mailed to P.O. Box 325, Barboursville, WV 25504. Please mark donations for "Christmas Fund Drive." More information is available by calling 304-736-7420.

CHRISTMAS ANGELS: The Christmas Angels program at the Golden Girl Group Home is seeking donations for the holiday season. The nonprofit group home for girls in Ceredo hopes to provide $150 of gifts per girl this Christmas. The residential care facility houses 24 adolescent foster girls. More information about tax-deductible contributions is available by calling Becky Davis at 304-544-7400.

JOY TREE: The Jeffrey George Comfort House is inviting the community to donate $10 for the lighting of a "joy light" in honor or remembrance of a person or family. The fundraiser helps the house continue to provide for out-of-area patient families referred by the seven local hospitals.

The joy tree will be lighted on Saturday, Nov. 29, and will continue through Jan. 6.

The Jeffrey George Comfort House is a Huntington-based private charity that operates solely on donations. The house hosts more than 600 patient's families each year.

Donations may be sent to Jeffrey George Comfort House, 2801 South Staunton Road, Huntington, WV 25702.

More information is available by calling 304-522-1832.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD: Operation Christmas Child will collect shoeboxes through Monday, Nov. 24, to provide gifts to children in poverty-stricken and war-torn areas throughout the world.

The ministry is part of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to victims of war, poverty, natural disaster and disease.

One local collection center is located at the Prince of Peace Free Will Baptist Church, at 4637 Piedmont Road, in the west end of Huntington. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

Volunteers in Ohio also will collect boxes at First Southern Baptist Church at 110 Collins Ave. in South Point from noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday, and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Volunteers also will collect the gifts at Union Baptist Church at 10109 State Route 141 in Kitts Hill, Ohio, from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Boxes also may be dropped at the East Lynn Baptist Church on Route 37 in Wayne from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22.

Each gift should contain small toys, personal hygiene items, clothing and school supplies.

More information is available by calling 800-913-1730 or visiting www.samaritanspurse.org.

RONALD McDONALD HOUSE: On Sunday, Dec. 7, the Ronald McDonald House hopes to "Light the House that Love Built." The holiday program asks for donations that will go to help families who need a place to stay while their children are in the hospital. You may donate an amount per light or a gift of your choice. $1 for one bulb, $10 for a family's one night stay (or 10 bulbs), $25 for a string of bulbs, $70 for a family's seven-night stay. The Ronald McDonald House will have its holiday open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Ronald McDonald will light the house at 5:30 p.m.

Send the following information to the Ronald McDonald House at 1500 17th St., Huntington, WV 25701: approximate number of lights; donor name: address; per light donation; flat donation; check; credit card number (Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted); credit card expiration date; and cardholder signature.

Send your holiday charity information to lwilcox@herald-dispatch.com or fax to Laura Wilcox at 304-526-2857.