The Season for Giving

The holidays are wonderful in so many ways, but for some it can be a difficult time. In this economic climate, more people than ever before need assistance, and we can all help through our time or contributions.

Toys for Tots/Gifts for Teens

FiveCap coordinates the Toys for Tots/Gifts for Teens program for Mason and Manistee counties. Each year, hundreds of needy children receive toys for Christmas. Please consider donating a monetary gift or a new toy, which can be dropped off at the Salvation Army, 1101 S. Madison in Ludington. Distributions will be December 16 & 17, 2020 at the Holiday Inn Express-Graystone Event Center, 4079 W. US-10, Ludington. For more information, call (231) 757-3785. Parents/guardians may apply for the Toys for Tots/Gifts for Teens on the Salvation Army website,, or on its Facebook page.

"Spirit of Giving"

West Shore Bank teams with Shop-N-Save of Ludington and Benzonia, Hansen Foods in Hart and Family Fare in Manistee for the "Spirit of Giving" event. Special pricing is available for the purchase of a complete dinner to be distributed to local food pantries in time for Christmas. Donations are being accepted at any of West Shore Bank's banking offices through November 27. With the money raised, West Shore Bank distributes certificates to food pantries in Mason, Oceana, Manistee, and Benzie counties, which can be redeemed for a complete dinner. Every $10.50-$15 buys a complete holiday dinner for one family in surrounding counties. West Shore Bank will match the first $2,500 raised. In 2020, 1046 meals were distributed to local food banks, after donations totaling $13,383 were collected.

Food Banks

Many area food banks (including the Salvation Army) run low on supplies, just when people need food the most. Local churches, schools, and businesses organize drives where you can donate canned and boxed goods, personal items, and paper products. While you're grocery shopping, it's so easy to pick up a few extra items to share with others.

Mitten Tree

Since 1950, Church Women United have decorated a tree with handmade mittens, scarves, and gloves. All clothing is donated to the children of Mason County. Please consider helping out the Mitten Tree, located at the Salvation Army, 1101 S. Madison in Ludington from 10am-3pm through Friday, December 4. The Salvation Army distributes the mittens and scarves so that all children can have a nice, warm winter. Donations of yarn and cash will also be accepted. Attendants from local churches are present to accept donations.

Project Mary

This annual Christmas outreach project sponsored by The West Shore Pregnancy Care Center assists the Center's clients. Donor families provide a laundry basket of household goods (the Center provides the list: toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry detergent, etc.) and one warm outfit for each child in the family. This frees up a client and family from the burden of the necessities and allows them to then purchase the "fun" items for Christmas. For more information, call West Shore Pregnancy Care Center at (231) 843-7094; the Center is located at 603 E. Tinkham Ave.

Lakeshore Animal Friends

Lakeshore Animal Friends rescues animals and pays for spay/neuter for all animals. It also provides a humane education program to all county schools, fosters animals from Mason County Animal Control, provides funding for medical care for animals at MCAC as well as for foster animals. This would not be possible without the support of the community. Volunteers can donate their time and efforts at one of the LAF fundraisers; they can also donate funds to enable LAF to continue its spay/neuter program and to fund special projects. A "Gift of Life" of $100 or more can give a homeless animal another chance. Call Lakeshore Animal Friends at (231) 843-1414 or write LAF at P.O.Box 503, Ludington MI. 49431.

The true meaning of the season lies within us. There are so many ways to give, and it takes so little time and money to fulfill the Christmas dreams of many. Let's band together as a community to make sure the holiday season is warm, happy, and bright for everyone.

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Last Updated: 12-07-2022 05:30 PM ID: 618