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‘Tis the Season to Give Back to the Community

Hope Springs will start taking in residents in early 2021.
‘Tis the Season to Give Back to the Community
Sadly, we even get kids coming into foster care on Christmas Day.
Joseph Galeta

Yes, it’s officially time to start holiday shopping (for those who didn’t start in August), which means it’s also a good time to support local community organizations and their holiday wish lists. Luckily for us, they have made it very fun to do so!

Here are just some of the ways to support our Northern Nevada organizations and the underserved people in our community that they’re helping. 

  • On Dec. 2 from 6-8 p.m., you can bid on an “adventure” with a local personality to benefit the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation! Time to Adventure, Together is a free online event for anyone ages 21 to 90 to gain new experiences with some of Reno’s sparkling personalities. Attendees are encouraged to consider a donation of $5 or $10 to the nonprofit for a nominal “entrance” fee, then you can bid on fun activities with Northern Nevada locals to benefit the children of the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation. 
  • Step II is taking its annual Jingle & Mingle online for a pajama party on Friday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. The program will include stories of hope, along with a live auction, including a one week stay at The Rocks Luxury Residence Club in Scottsdale and five days at the Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas. There will also be a silent auction that will stay live for registered guests from Nov. 27 through Dec. 4. Depending on your sponsorship level, volunteers will deliver charcuterie, wine, cocktails and/or dessert to enjoy the evening of the event.
  • Our Center is hosting a Holiday Wreath Auction on Dec. 6, and they’re inviting locals to create and donate a wreath, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for Northern Nevada’s LGBTQ community center. There are no rules, except that they must be delivered by Dec. 2. Contact Kay Jaynes for information and to arrange for delivery of your wreath.
  • Every year, the Sierra Association of Foster Families and the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the National Charity League produce an Arts and Crafts Christmas celebration for hundreds of children and teens, along with birth parents and grandparents of the kids, foster and adoptive parents. This year’s event takes place on Dec. 6, and the theme is STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), so they’re looking for gift certificates to the Discovery Museum, along with donations of science kits, nutrition books, mathematical tools, art kits and related items. They’re also collecting financial donations and gift cards to distribute to families with new kids entering the system after the celebration. “Sadly, we even get kids coming into foster care on Christmas Day,” says SAFF executive director Joseph Galeta.
  • Winter holiday joy is already in full swing at the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra (WACCS). This year, the organization has more than 300 children who might not be receiving visits from Santa. You can help by adopting a family, or donating new toys, or new and used (clean) blankets. And let’s give a shout-out to Anthem, which is sponsoring the organization’s Holiday Stocking Stuffers Day on Dec. 21. Call 775-825-7395 or email Angie at to find out more. 
  • Northern Nevada HOPES is collecting donations of cash and items on its Amazon Wish List for the residents who will soon move into Hope Springs, a bridge-housing community where people without homes can live while they address their physical and mental issues. They can also use full-sized quilts, hats, scarves, hygiene items and dog food/supplies for their pets. And they’re interested in establishing a partnership with a veterinary clinic. For more information, visit
  • Project 150 is asking for gift cards for high schools students who won’t be getting much in the way of gifts from anyone at home. Think about what you would have wanted in high school like fast food, Amazon passes and department store gift certificates. Ideally, they would like these in $25 or $50 increments so they can spread the love even further.
  • Lexie’s Gift is creating holiday gift bags for children referred by their counselors, and they also need to fill their closets at Eddy House and Bristlecone Family Services. They’re trying to avoid donations of any used items at this point because of COVID, so they’re asking for gift cards to Old Navy, JCPenny and Target so they can shop online during super sales. “Someone might spend $15 on a pair of men’s pajamas, but this way I can grab three pairs instead of just one,” explains Barbie Marcoe, the organization’s founder and executive director.
  • This holiday season, the Wilbur D. May Museum is teaming up with Raise the Future to Comfort A Kid this holiday season. Now through December 31, during normal business hours, the Museum will accept donations intended to bring comfort to adoptable children, including new blankets, towels, robes, slippers or stuffed animals. Raise the Future will then distribute all items to children in need throughout the state. The Museum will also host the Nevada Heart Gallery, a compelling exhibit that introduces the children who are waiting to be adopted in Nevada. Visitors can see their photos, read their stories, and pick up information to learn more about the adoption process. The Wilbur D. May Museum is located in Rancho San Rafael Regional Park at 1595 N. Sierra Street, Reno.

These are only a few of the many different ways we can help make our community a little more jolly this holiday season. Find the one (or more) that speaks to you, and donate something that makes you happy!

And if you know of a local organization doing some creative fundraising for a good cause this holiday season: Tag us on Facebook, or drop us a line to let us know!

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