'Tis the season for giving back, and what better way than to help out right here in Lemont?
Whether it's food, toys or clothing, several Lemont organizations are collecting donations through the holidays to send to families in need. Lemont Patch is making it easy for you to get involved by providing 10 groups in need of donations or volunteers. Read our list and get ready to make a difference!
1. Lemont Food Pantries
During the holiday season, the food pantries at Bethany Lutheran Church, 500 Lemont St., and Lemont United Methodist Church, 25 Custer St., are in need of donations. Food items such as canned meats and spaghetti, cereal, granola bars, dessert mixes, canned fruit and coffee are in high demand, as well as laundry detergent and personal care products.
If you would like to donate or are in need of food, contact Lemont United Methodist at 63-257-5210, Bethany Lutheran Church at 630-257-7953 or Lemont Township Department of Human Resources at 630-257-2522.
2. Lemont Fill the Fire Engine Food Drive
The Lemont Fire Protection District Firefighters Local 3966 is holding its annual Fill the Fire Engine food drive Saturday, Dec. 11. From 9 a.m. to noon, local firefighters will be collecting food items for the Lemont Food Pantries outside the Lemont Jewel, 1202 State St.
3. Lemont Township
The Lemont Township Emergency Fund supports families in need of financial assistance. During the holiday season, they could use all the help they can get. To make a donation, visit the Lemont Township offices at 1115 Warner Ave. or call 630-257-2522.
Lemont Township is also collecting toys for children ages 12 and under. Items can be dropped off at the Lemont Township offices, or at Belle de Jour In Style, 114 Stephen St.
4. Hope and Friendship Christmas Care Box Collection
From now until Dec. 19, Hope and Friendship Ministries will be collecting household items for families in Lemont. These including cleaning products, personal hygiene products (both for adults and children), paper products, boxes and bags.
Collection boxes can be found at Starbucks, the Lemont Police Department, Standard Bank and Trust, This Must be the Place, 3 Corners Grill and Tap, and PC's Pancake Café. For more information, e-mail Terri O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Lemont Library Teen Giving Tree
Stop by the Lemont Public Library, 50 E. Wend St., to select a handmade ornament from the teen-decorated Christmas tree. The ornament will have the age and gender of a child in need of hats, gloves or books. Gifts must be placed under the tree with the attached ornament by Saturday, Dec. 18.
6. Jeff Anderson Children's Foundation
Earl Anderson and his wife have been collecting Christmas toys for children for more than 30 years. Through the Jeff Anderson Children's Foundation, which was founded in honor of their late son, they have been dedicated to spreading the holiday cheer throughout the Chicagoland area.
The Lemont Girl Scouts and MB Financial Bank, 1151 State St., are currently collecting unwrapped, new and unused toys for children 18 and under. Items will be delivered to nearby Ronald McDonald Houses, Silver Cross Hospital, Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, Edward Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and several Joliet and Lockport shelters for abused women with children. New gloves, hats and sweatshirts are also being collected for the United Cerebral Palsy Center in Homer Glen.
All items must be donated by Dec. 20. For more information, contact MB Financial Bank at 630-257-2281.
7. Goodwill Store
The new Goodwill store in nearby Bolingbrook is opening next week. In addition to purging your closet for potential donations and browsing the shelves for purchases, you can find other ways to give to this organization.
The Goodwill Industries also has volunteer opportunities such as spending time with the elderly, mentoring youth and teaching classes in your career field. To volunteer, check out http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/volunteer/goodwill-volunteers/.
8. Tender Loving Care Animal Shelter
The TLC Animal Shelter, located at 13016 W. 151st St. in Homer Glen, is always looking for volunteers to help with their animals. They also run a program called TLC's VIPs, in which volunteers travel to nearby nursing homes with their animals for short visits. If you're interested in volunteering, call 708-301-1594.
9. American Red Cross
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is staffed by more than 90 percent volunteers. Monetary donations are also accepted.
10. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has four different ways to help out locally this season: Donate at one of their donation stations; help distribute toys to children; ring the famous Salvation Army bell; or help feed the hungry by packing food boxes or volunteering in a meal kitchen. For a complete list of local locations, click HERE.