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How To Give Back This Holiday Season

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington

With the arrival of the holiday season comes the spirit of volunteering and love. To jump-start your spirit, Patch has compiled a list of opportunities to spread the Christmas cheer locally through time, compassion and a helping hand.

Volunteering is a gift given in many ways.

Joy Tree

Sussex Village Hall, N64 W23760 Main St.

The annual Joy Tree, sponsored by the Sussex Community Center, is a tree decorated with gift idea tags in the center’s lobby.

People can come and choose a tag or tags, return the wrapped gift and on Thursday the presents will be handed out to older adults who are in need of a gift.

Presents may be returned to the Village Hall or Community Center.

Wauwatosa Community Christmas Dinner

Help those in need of a warm Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day at 1 p.m.

Bethany Calvary United Methodist Church and Evangelical Convent Church hope to feed 100 people with donations and the help of volunteers.

The dinner is held at the Bethany Calvary United Methodist Church, 7265 W. Center St.

Volunteers or donations are greatly appreciated. Call (262) 347-0544 or (414) 453-6948 for more details.

Blue Christmas Service

The free service is open for those feeling “blue” during the holiday season. It will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church (WAUMC), 1529 N. Wauwatosa Ave.

Individuals will have an opportunity to heal through hymns, prayers, candlelight and prayer.

“A not-so-merry Christmas may be the reality for those in pain due to a lost job, lost health or a lost loved one,” said WAUMC Pastor Sue Burwell in a press release.

Trinity Episcopal Church and WAUMC are teaming up for the special service.

For more information call (414) 453-0700 or visit www.waumc.org

Red Kettle Campaign (Bell Ringer)

When a bell is heard during this time of season, The Salvation Army comes to mind.

Help with the cause to raise funds during this holiday season for those in need.

Shifts and hours can be configured to your schedule and there are several locations throughout the Greater Milwaukee area.

Come together with family and friends and help raise money for the Salvation Army.

Visit samilwaukee.org to sign up or for more information.

Contact Julie Beierle at (414) 302-4300 ext. 2177

Mascots Wanted, Christmas Family Feast

Have an old mascot costume or able to get your hands on one? Join the Salvation Army and bring joy to families as they attend a Christmas Family Feast at the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee on Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact Joy Alexander at (414) 302-4300 to sign up.

Winter Respite Hero

Give the gift of rest and help the Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin plan, play and run activiites for participating families.

Your time will help parents take a breather during the kids' vacation from school and keep kids busy with projects and games.

Contact Program Coordinator Amy McGlothlen at (262) 953-2215.

Supply Drive

Organize a supply drive for children's needs in your neighborhood.

HOPE Network for Single Mothers sponsors the event to help support and provide materials for single mothers. With the hardships of being a single parent, a helping hand could be a mother's gift this season.

For more information contact Executive Director Pauline Beck at (262) 251-7333 or send a letter to P.O. Box 531, Menomonee Falls, WI 53052.

Books For Soldiers

Support our troops this season with books, DVDs, magazines and more.

With just a click of the link above, you can search the site for gifts for troops overseas.

Sending a gift to our troops will help them feel a little closer to home during this holiday season.

Food Pantry Donations

Local food pantries are always in need of food for those in need. This is especially important during the holiday season.

Contact your local food pantry for more information about donations, volunteer help and food drives in your area.

Giving a few food items is a large gift to someone in need of a meal.

For more oppportunities, contact the Volunteer Center of Waukesha County or the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee.

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