5 local ways to give back this season

While we may have a million reasons to give thanks this holiday, many others are far less fortunate. Let us ban together as a community and channel some positive energy and excess spending toward generosity and the true meaning of the season. It’s a jolly good thing to do. Peace on Earth and goodwill toward all…

– Drop-off Toys for Tots to Stadium Thriftway, the Port of Tacoma or Bunce Rental in South Tacoma among a long list of other collection points across the city. For more locations, visit the website, and help the Marine Corps Reserve Program reach their goal of 65,000 new toys for deserving children.

– Tis the season of bow ties and cocktail dresses, but the gowns being modeled on streets near you may be worn with a greater purpose in mind. Throughout the entire month of December, a group of 49 local ladies have committed their attire to Dressember, a dress-up initiative lasting 31 days! The goal of the fashion statement is to bring awareness to and advocate for young girls across the globe enslaved by sex trafficking. By stepping out, these Tacoma women are spreading a message of hope and empowerment. Last year team “Beauty and Dignity” raised $26,000 for worldwide rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Join the fight by cheering on these gallant gals and pledging any dollar amount toward the cause.

Photos taken by Heather Verhagen, Jenny Storment, Jessica Uhler, Kristine Lasley, Lisa Monet, Oona Copperhill

FISH Food Bank is accepting non-perishable food donations at Heritage Bank in South Tacoma before December 20.

Also, visit these local shelters to find out how you can donate food, money or time to holiday meal preparation and distribution for needy families in the community.

Tacoma Rescue Mission – Emergency housing for adult men
Nativity House – Supporting homeless adult men and women
YWCA Pierce County – Domestic violence shelter
Phoenix Housing Network – Serving military veterans and low income families with children

Bears and Blankets inventory of new stuffed animals, toys and blankets are stocked in the vehicles of first responders answering distress calls involving children. Child protective services offices at the courthouse are also equipped with these gift packs while others have been requested and sent across the state and even the country. Donations of bears and stuffed animals should be 12 to 18 inches long, soft and cuddly. Regular throw blankets are accepted in addition to hot wheel cars collected year around and assembled after the holidays for the year to come. Help provide a small token of comfort at an uncomfortable time. Contact Donna Buck at (253) 224-7837 or mrsdonnabuck@gmail.com.

YMCA Giving Tree is decking the halls of the Morgan Family Y through December 19th. Choose from local underprivileged youth as represented in hanging ornaments on the tree. Each card gives a name and personal wish list awaiting a generous sponsor. Gifts should be dropped off by Monday before Christmas.