The Giving Guide 2015

By Megan Willome

Giving Guide

If you’re like most people, your reason for not getting involved with a local nonprofit goes something like this: “I’m too busy and just don’t have enough time.”

That was the reason chosen by 49 percent of respondents from Los Angeles, California, in a poll conducted with the Los Angeles Times in September. Another 42 percent of adults said they didn’t have enough money to help. Others said they didn’t know how to get involved or wondered if they could make a difference.

The same reasons why people don’t donate time or money in LA are also true right here in Waco. But you can impact lives without a ton of time or money. You can make a difference by dropping off a package of paper towels or spending an evening wrapping Christmas gifts for children in need. A donation of $5 can help a local food pantry feed a family.

Some people already give back in other ways — perhaps through church or a service club. Those groups are nonprofits too, but if we were to list every one, then this article would fill the entire magazine. Waco is full of generous folks.

It is with grateful hearts that we present the Wacoan’s second annual edition of The Giving Guide. We contacted 57 nonprofits to find out their needs and how you, our readers, can help. The list is not exhaustive, although we have tried to represent a variety of causes. We also asked each nonprofit to list its annual events — because participating in a race or buying a ticket to a gala are legitimate ways to support an organization you care about.

As you read, we encourage you to consider where your talents and resources match up with a nonprofit that catches your eye. It will be the best gift you give all year.

Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children
2323 Columbus Avenue, 752-9330, advocacycntr.org
Promote healing
The Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children promotes healing for those who are hurting due to acts of violence. The center’s hotline is 888/867-7223. Every Christmas volunteers adopt families who are clients of the center and provide gifts for them. The Advocacy Center especially needs gifts for older children, ages 11-15. Please contact the Advocacy Center for a wish list so you can purchase exactly what a child wants and needs. Another way to support families is to purchase gift cards from Walmart. Parents can use the cards to buy gifts or food for their children, and Advocacy Center staff can use the cards to purchase gifts for them as well. Everything is done by numerical code to ensure confidentiality. Volunteers are always needed for the crisis hotline, and the next training session begins in January. On December 12, visit Applebee’s from 8-10 a.m. for Pancakes With Santa and enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for $8. If you purchase a ticket ahead of time, all the proceeds go to the Advocacy Center.

American Red Cross, Heart of Texas Chapter
4224 Cobbs Drive, 523-4985, redcross.org/tx/waco
Your help saves lives
The Heart of Texas chapter of the American Red Cross, serving 17 Central Texas counties, is about more than donating blood. It is about helping to save lives. The dedicated Red Cross team saves lives by helping people in our community be prepared for natural disasters. In addition, the Red Cross provides assistance covering immediate needs — such as shelter, food and clothing as well as mental health support — when disaster strikes, whether that’s a fire, a flood or a tornado. The Heart of Texas chapter also equips volunteers in disaster assessment and disaster response. Each year hundreds of people in Waco attend Red Cross classes in first aid, babysitting, caregiving and lifeguard certification. The Red Cross also serves military personnel and their families in a number of vital ways. If you have never donated blood, please consider doing so at one of the many blood drives throughout the year. This is one of the most critical ways the Red Cross saves lives around the country. Your financial donations, blood donations and volunteer efforts have a deep and wide impact.

Animal Birth Control Clinic
3238 Clay Avenue, 776-7303, animalbirthcontrol.org
Project Treasured Tails

Giving Guide

The newest program at Animal Birth Control Clinic is called Project Treasured Tails. The program is administered in conjunction with Meals & Wheels to help care for the pets of homebound seniors. “We want to see the health and safety and longevity increase for seniors who are getting Meals & Wheels and have animals,” said Executive Director Carrie Kuehl. “By providing those seniors free transportation through our volunteers and free spay/neuter and heartworm and flea treatments, we can keep those animals healthier and keep them living longer with their seniors in the home.” Donations to this program, either through Animal Birth Control Clinic or Meals & Wheels, are greatly appreciated. Opened in 1988, Animal Birth Control Clinic offers affordable spay/neuter surgeries as well as reduced-cost vaccinations. The clinic has an open-door policy and loves to give tours. Please consider dropping off items needed year-round, including Sharpie pens, laundry detergent and paper towels. Each fall the clinic hosts a non-event event: No Balls Ball. This year’s ball has a Rudolph theme. Each $60 “ticket” buys a T-shirt and pays for surgery for a pet in need.

Arc of McLennan County
P. O. Box 3367, 76707, 756-7491, wacoarc.org
Opportunities. Inclusion. Choices.
The Arc of McLennan County supports individuals and families impacted by intellectual and developmental disabilities, giving them opportunities, a sense of inclusion and offering choices. The Arc also operates The Opportunity Center, a place where adults who are on the autism spectrum can develop vocational skills and find a niche after high school. Although The Arc is a United Way agency, two-thirds of its funding comes from local sources. During the holidays The Arc needs monetary donations that can be used to purchase gift cards for clients. If you are interested in volunteering, applications are available online to work with children in the after-school and summer programs, as well as in the teen/young adult group that meets one Saturday each month. In the spring The Arc holds its annual event, Boots on the Brazos, featuring a catered barbecue dinner, open bar, live music, dancing and raffle items. And Kiwanis Clubs of Waco sponsors an annual golf tournament on their behalf.

AVANCE-Waco
3005 Edna Avenue, 235-0834, avancewaco.org
Unlocking America’s potential
“Avance” is a Spanish word meaning to advance, progress or improve. Since 2002, Avance-Waco has been unlocking America’s potential by strengthening local families. It currently serves between 150-180 families each year on a first-come, first-served basis through parent education and support programs. Avance partners with Waco ISD to offer its Parent-Child Education Program as well as ESL and GED classes and workforce development. You can change a child’s future by joining the Avance Family Sponsorship Program. Sponsorships may be paid annually, quarterly or monthly. Gifts of any amount are always appreciated, and gift cards to CVS, H-E-B, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Office Depot, Sam’s Club, Target, Walgreens and Walmart are especially helpful. Each November, Avance holds its Extravanganza & Quinceañera. This year’s celebration was held at the Baylor Club.

Big Brothers Big Sisters
3000 Herring Avenue, 252-7177, facebook.com/BigBrothersBigSistersWacoAndMcLennanCounty
Be a Big. Find a Big. Fund a Big.
Think you’re too busy to mentor a kid? There are 36 kids on the waiting list for a big brother or big sister right now, and it takes less time than you think to Be a Big — only a few hours a month. You can participate as a couple or a family too. Take a kid to a ball game, a museum or just hang out and get frozen yogurt. Another way to offer support is to help Find a Big by requesting that a staff member speak at your organization about the benefits of volunteering as a mentor. It costs about $1,000 to make and support a new match, so Big Brothers Big Sisters also needs people who can Fund a Big. This spring get ready for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake event on March 6, 2016, from 2-4 p.m. The event will include “Bowling with the Bears” and celebrating the many wonderful Bigs and Littles in the program. To register, participate or become a sponsor, please contact Regional Executive Director Megan Hochstatter at 252-7177.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Waco
P.O. Box 447, 76703, 752-6443, facebook.com/boysandgirlsclubwaco
It just takes one
It just takes one person to make a difference in the life of a child. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is a national organization with deep roots in Waco — it’s the oldest club in the state of Texas, established May 2, 1909. The club began serving girls long before the national nonprofit officially began admitting them in 1992. Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe place for kids and teens after school and in the summer where they can learn and grow. There are two branches in Waco — the administration branch, the Joe Troy Brownfield Memorial Branch; and the club branch in Beverly Hills, the Weldon Youngblood Branch. During the school year the club is open weekdays from 2:30-6 p.m. The summer program runs on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In September, KWTX-News 10 hosted a telethon featuring Baylor head basketball coaches Kim Mulkey and Scott Drew. The telethon raised $20,000 in just two hours. “Waco really jumped in and backed us and supported us,” said Executive Director James Jarmon. On April 8, 2016, Boys and Girls Clubs will partner again with KWTX for a dinner at Touchdown Alley at McLane Stadium featuring Baylor head football coach Art Briles. The event is called “Art Briles: Winning Drive.”

CASA of McLennan and Hill Counties
2223 Austin Avenue, Suite D, 304-7982, becomeacasa.org
Making a difference — one child at a time
CASA stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocates. These volunteer advocates, CASAs, are people like you and me who make a tremendous difference in the lives of children. CASAs undergo training and commit to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children who are part of the Child Protective Services system and need a voice in court. CASAs stay with their child’s case until he or she is placed in a loving, permanent home. Often a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in a child’s life. Currently, CASA is serving almost 300 children in our community. Before the holidays, CASA asked each child for a wish list of four things: something they need, something they want, something to read and something to wear. You can provide everything on a child’s wish list for an average cost of only $100. If you would like to adopt a CASA child for Christmas, please email swimberly@casaforeverychild.org or mmasten@casaforeverychild.org. CASA staff and advocates will hand deliver all gifts on December 23. And save the date for CASA’s annual fundraiser, Crawfish for CASA, on April 29, 2016.

Cameron Park Zoo
1701 North 4th Street, 750-8400, cameronparkzoo.com
Go Wild!

Giving Guide

Cameron Park Zoo, Waco’s 52-acre natural habitat zoo, is a great place to go wild! The zoo provides enrichment for all its animals on a daily basis, enhancing their environment and offering mental and physical stimulation. The zoo needs magazines, phone books, tennis balls, Frisbees, mirrors, clean PVC pipes, milk crates, wind chimes and disco balls — a complete list of requested enrichment items is available online. In addition, Cameron Park Zoo participates in the international Great Ape Heart Project. Only three orangutans in the country are trained to give voluntary blood pressure readings, and two of them live at Cameron Park Zoo. Currently, the zoo is raising funds to buy a new cardiac ultrasound and is within $20,000 of the goal. The ultrasound can be used on many of the animals, and most are trained for awake ultrasounds, including the big cats and bears. The zoo has several special events throughout the year to raise awareness and funds, including Brew at the Zoo, Grapes with the Apes, The Mating Game and KidZoobilee. Individuals and corporations can support any of the zoo’s programs by becoming a Cameron Park Zoo Community Partner, joining the Director’s Circle or donating directly to a particular program or event online at cameronparkzoo.com/donate.

Care Net of Central Texas
4700 West Waco Drive, 772-8270, pregnancycare.org
You are not alone
Care Net has a message for women facing an unexpected pregnancy: You are not alone. When women learn they are pregnant, they need help — not just in those early days, but also through the baby’s first year. Women can attend pregnancy and life skills classes at Care Net until the baby turns 1 year old. Participants earn points for attending, which they can “spend” in the Care Net store. Care Net also provides free pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds and free STD screenings. As the weather grows cooler, Care Net requests warm baby clothes and jackets for infants ages 0-12 months as well as baby toys that a mother could “purchase” as a Christmas gift. Infant formula is always needed.
 
Caritas
300 South 15th Street, 753-4593, caritas-waco.org
An emergency room for need
When a person lacks food or clothing, Caritas is an emergency room for need. Requested items include baby formula, Ensure, dress shoes, ladies’ and men’s business attire, hygiene products, and, of course, canned food, including dry mixes. For children, Caritas needs coloring books, crayons, bubble blowers and chalk. Gift cards of $10 to Walmart, H-E-B or local restaurants can be used with clients in Caritas’ case management program. In addition, the Caritas office could use a laptop computer and printers with scanning capability as well as a copier that can network with the other two. In December, in particular, Caritas needs volunteers who can serve for a few hours or a day to help prepare donations. In the coming year Caritas plans to convert an area of its warehouse into a clothes closet and will need extra help. Volunteer registration is required and can be completed with a simple phone call. Caritas also operates two thrift stores and is looking for a location for a third that has approximately 6,000-8,000 square feet. And if you have a gently used forklift sitting around, give Caritas a call — it can be put to good use.

Central Texas Audubon Society
Meets at Carleen Bright Arboretum, 744-7630, centexaudubon.org
Christmas bird count
Each December the Central Texas Audubon Society participates in the Christmas Bird Count, and the society is counting on your help. The count has been ongoing for more than 100 years and is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world. Tens of thousands of participants also know that it is also a lot of fun. Citizen birdwatchers from all walks of life and all levels of interest in birding take part, providing critical data on bird population trends. The Crawford, or western count will be on Saturday, December 19; and the eastern count will be on Saturday, January 2. If you are interested in participating in the Central Texas Audubon Society, meetings are generally held at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Boulevard.

Christian Women’s Job Corps of McLennan County
1101 Wooded Acres Drive, Suite 107, 757-0416, cwjcwaco.org
A better world for women
Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) has been making a better world for women and their families for more than 10 years. CWJC fosters spiritual, personal and professional growth for women, enabling them to transform their families and communities. “Once people hear about us, we don’t have any trouble getting them to jump on board,” said Pam Mohundro, executive director. Right now, the organization’s greatest need is for businesses to hire its graduates after they have completed the training program. Internships and shadowing programs are useful for women who are either changing their career path or who have left a criminal background. If donors would be willing to purchase billboard space, CWJC would like to get the word out to potential clients in areas of town where the message is most likely to be noticed by the women who need their services. Each October, CWJC’s gala, Baskets of Hope, includes beautiful themed baskets donated by businesses and groups along with testimonies from recent graduates.

Communities in Schools of the Heart of Texas
1001 Washington Avenue, 753-6002, cis-hotwaco.org
We keep kids in school!
Communities in Schools (CIS) is a national dropout prevention program that works with 31 schools in 12 school districts to keep kids in school. It recently received a grant from AT&T to expand its work into five rural districts as well as West ISD. The need for school supplies does not end when school starts — backpacks get lost, khakis get torn and notebooks fall apart. CIS also requests donations of shoes and belts that can be worn with school uniforms. In addition, the program needs nonperishable, kid-friendly food that can be sent home inside a backpack so a child can be guaranteed nutrition over the weekend. CIS also needs donations to purchase bus passes and state ID cards so its high school-age students can obtain jobs and get to work. Donations are accepted through the CIS website. Every day CIS empowers children to stay in school and face obstacles with courage, and each fall CIS invites supporters to face their fears and rappel from a building in the annual Over The Edge challenge. CIS also sponsors the Future So Bright, a neon 5k run, in the spring.

Compassion Ministries
1421 Austin Avenue, 755-7640, compassionwaco.com
Transitional housing for homeless families
For 21 years Compassion Ministries has provided transitional housing for homeless women and children. Residents of Hope House (12 apartments) and Hope House Too (a duplex) must be drug- and alcohol-free, obtain employment and participate in weekly budgeting and employment sessions. Residents may stay for up to six months. Compassion Ministries serves an average of 50 families and single women annually, including approximately 100 children ranging from infants to teenagers. On December 15-16, Compassion operates a Christmas Store offering new gifts for those children and teens. Any toys that are not given out at Christmas will be saved for families to use at other occasions throughout the year, such as children’s birthdays or Easter. Compassion Ministries always needs donations of diapers — especially sizes 4, 5 and 6 — as well as baby wipes and hygiene items for women, such as shampoo and deodorant. Throughout the year Hope House may resupply kitchen items and small household appliances, so contact Compassion Ministries to find out how you can help.

Creative Waco
101 South 3rd Street, creativewaco.org 
More Arts Now
Creative Waco exists to grow and support the cultural and artistic life of Waco. To support Waco’s bid to become a Cultural Arts District, Creative Waco is selling canvas bags this holiday season. You can paint the bag or have a local artist paint it for you. The bags start at $20 and cost more for custom work. Creative Waco will be hosting painting parties throughout the month of December in preparation for submitting the bid to make the city a Cultural Arts District in January. It’s not just a bag — it’s a vision for Waco. 

Family Abuse Center
P.O. Box 20395, 76702, 1-800/283-8401, familyabusecenter.org
Everyone deserves a violence-free, safe and healthy life
Family Abuse Center helps clients live violence-free, safe and healthy lives by eliminating domestic violence. They work in McLennan County and in Bosque, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and Navarro counties. Family Abuse Center also provides counseling, legal assistance, life skills and financial planning classes. For kids, the center offers field trips, summer activities and support groups. Homework tutors are needed after school from 3:30-5 p.m. Volunteer training must be completed before volunteering can begin. When you shop at Second Chance Thrift Store, located at 1412 Sunset Boulevard, your purchase benefits the organization’s programs. At Christmas the Family Abuse Center gathers a Holiday Helper’s list of gifts for children and practical items for moms, like a new toasters or a coffee pot. Volunteer groups from churches and other organizations are needed to wrap gifts. Please contact the office if you would like to be involved. Family Abuse Center’s annual event, Dancing with the Waco Stars, will be held September 29, 2016, at the Waco Hippodrome.

Friends for Life
5000 Lakewood Drive, 772-7600, friendsforlife.org
Gifts for Grannies (and Grandpas too)
For 26 years Friends for Life has stepped into the gap for older men and women and those with disabilities. Friends for Life helps clients live independently when they lack family or when their families cannot provide assistance. Each year during the holidays Gifts for Grannies (and Grandpas too) collects gifts for Friends for Life clients. Requested gifts include clothing (especially in extra-large sizes), items to brighten a room and personal care products. A complete list is available on the website. If your business would like to put out a donation box, please call the Friends for Life office. Each box includes a list of needed items. In addition, the organization requests the help of volunteers to wrap and deliver gifts. Gift-wrapping parties will be held on December 12 and 19 from 9 a.m. to noon. There is no cutoff date because gifts received after Christmas will be used throughout the year as birthday gifts for those clients who have no one to remember them on their special day. 

Fuzzy Friends Rescue
6321 Airport Road, 754-9444, fuzzyfriendsrescue.com
Savings the cats and dogs of Central Texas
Since 1997, Fuzzy Friends Rescue has saved the lives of more than 10,000 cats and dogs in Central Texas. Fuzzy Friends believes animals are entitled to respect, compassion and a quality life. If you’re looking for a pet, consider this no-kill shelter that cares for every animal until it is adopted. Fuzzy Friends needs dog and cat food (Purina or Pedigree brands), dog leashes, plastic grocery bags (for picking up after pooches!) and large blankets for the winter. In addition, the office can use postage stamps, pre-scored brochure paper and glossy photo paper. If you’d like to give a big-ticket item, please consider donating a clothes washer and dryer. The Barkin’ Ball is held every New Year’s Eve. This year’s theme is “The Roaring Twenties.”

Generations Adoptions
400 Schroeder Drive, 741-1633, generationsadoptions.org
Hope for future generations
Adoption can bring hope for future generations by providing families for children and infants in need. Generations Adoptions has placed more than 200 children into permanent adoptive families since opening in 2004 in Waco. Generations Adoptions is a nonprofit Christian adoption agency, providing a comprehensive network of care for expectant moms considering adoption, adoptive families and children. Whether your family is seeking adoption services for domestic adoptions, international adoptions or embryo adoptions, Generations Adoptions can help. Not everyone will adopt, but everyone can help make adoption an option for a child in need. Donations that fund adoptive family scholarships are also needed. In addition, the office requests a portable projector for presentations at schools and businesses. Spiral-bound journals are a great gift for expectant moms, and gift cards from Office Depot for office supplies are greatly appreciated. Each fall Generations Adoptions puts on the Hope Gala, a fun evening at the beautiful Baylor Club with silent and live auctions, delicious food and inspirational stories of adoption from families and birth mothers.

Waco Habitat for Humanity
220 North 11th Street, 756-7575, wacohabitat.org
A Decent Place to Live
Habitat for Humanity envisions and works to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Seeking to put God’s love into action, Waco Habitat brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1986, Waco Habitat has come alongside more than 550 families to assure they have a simple, decent, affordable home. In partnership with people needing a hand up, Waco Habitat has built and sold 160 new homes and repaired another 400. Each new homeowner family invests at least 300 hours of sweat equity and receives education and case management. Every gift to Waco Habitat matters, whether people give of their time, talent or treasure. Financial gifts help make the dream of a new home or home repair projects come true for about 50 families each year. Contributions range from $5 to more than $100,000. Volunteers put Waco Habitat’s mission into action, with over 80 percent of their efforts accomplished through volunteer labor. If you can swing a hammer, you can help! Volunteers are needed on construction crews as well as at the ReStore. Please send an email to volunteer@wacohabitat.org to learn more.

Historic Waco Foundation
810 South Fourth Street, 753-5166, historicwaco.org
“Holiday Reflections”
The theme for this year’s Christmas on the Brazos, held December 5-13, is “Holiday Reflections.” East Terrace, located at 100 Mill Street, is the showcase home. Different sections of the house will be decorated for different time periods: Victorian, ‘20s, ‘40s and ‘50s. “It’s looking at history through the eyes of the holiday season,” said Julie Olivere, director of marketing and programs. Bring the kids to Breakfast with Santa on December 5 from 9-11 a.m. at East Terrace. For only $10 a family, enjoy a tour, decorate cookies, make holiday crafts and take a picture with Santa. On Sunday, December 6, there will be a book signing from 1-4 p.m. at East Terrace for “Christmas at America’s Landmark Houses” by Patricia Hart McMillan and David Strahan. East Terrace is one of the 19 historic homes featured in the book, which is a combination of Christmas decorating, history, architecture and interior design wrapped in one sparkling package. Finally, the Candlelight Tour and Soiree will be held at East Terrace on December 12 from 6-9 p.m.

Humane Society of Central Texas
2032 Circle Road, 754-1454, humanesocietycentraltexas.org
Finding a friend is easier than you think
When you visit the Humane Society of Central Texas, you’re likely to find a furry friend. The Humane Society is committed to improving the quality of life for animals and people in Central Texas through humane sheltering, community education and advocacy on behalf of all animals. Adoption fees cover the cost of spaying/neutering, microchipping, vaccinations, 30 days of pet insurance and an adoption kit. The Humane Society purposely keeps costs low to encourage people to consider adoption, so donations are needed to subsidize those costs. The Humane Society can always use volunteers, whether in the office or with the animals. “The majority of young people want to socialize with the dogs, and the dogs need that exercise time,” said Executive Director Don Bland. While the Waco Animal Shelter is undergoing renovation, the Humane Society needs more families to step up as adopters or as fosters. This project will last approximately six months and will require a little more TLC from Waco animal lovers. The Humane Society of Central Texas holds two events each year — the Bag Lady Luncheon in August and the Wine & Food Festival in October.

Waco Animal Shelter Renovation Project
2032 Circle Road, 750-8039, wacoanimalshelter.com
Opening the heart of the community
Thanks to generous support and open hearts from the community, the groundbreaking for the Waco Animal Shelter Renovation Project took place on November 6. Although the fundraising goals for the renovation project have been met, donations — both monetary and in-kind — are still being accepted. Anything given helps offset the cost of the project. The Waco Animal Shelter is a regional shelter, serving Waco and most of McLennan County. While the Humane Society of Central Texas handles the pet adoption process, the City of Waco manages the physical shelter and provides a full-time veterinarian. The new facility will include an adoption center as well as a covered outdoor pavilion, an on-site veterinary clinic and climate-controlled kennels.

Jesus Said Love
1500 Columbus Avenue, 300-7658, jesussaidlove.com
Free her!
Jesus Said Love is an organization dedicated to sharing the love of Christ with women working in the commercial sex industry. The organization recently purchased a new building that will become its headquarters in late January and is raising funds to complete the renovation project totaling $25,000. In addition, Jesus Said Love has a transition fund called The Dixie Fund that assists women leaving the industry. The fund needs cash donations as well as gift cards from Target, H-E-B and Walmart, or it can accept Visa gift cards in $25, $50 and $100 denominations. From a practical standpoint, Jesus Said Love has a group of local business owners, doctors, lawyers, counselors and financial planners who make up a program called House of Love. Members of the House of Love provide their services pro bono or deeply discounted to assist clients in moments of need. Please contact the office if you would like to become involved or visit JesusSaidLove.com. On April 22, 2016, Jesus Said Love will host its second annual gala, Wild Torch, at the Waco Hippodrome. Visit WildTorch.com for details.

Jubilee Theatre
1315 North 15th Street, 753-4900, jubileetheatre-waco.org
“Real”
Come away from the craziness of the Christmas season and enjoy “Real,” a one-act musical adapted from the children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Performances of Lauren Weber’s show will be December 17-20 at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and at 2:30 on Saturday and Sunday. Jubilee Theatre is Mission Waco’s venue for plays, concerts, dance and other artistic expressions from the heart of Waco. It’s one of the few venues for young performers, bringing talent and audiences together. The Jubilee Theatre is located in the historic Texas Theatre. Please check the website for upcoming events and ticket information.

Junior League of Waco
2600 Austin Avenue, 753-5574, jlwaco.org
Developing the potential of women
Junior League of Waco is a charitable organization promoting volunteerism and developing the potential of women. For 80 years this member league of the Association of Junior Leagues International has trained women to make their communities better by developing leadership skills and through opportunities for direct community service. Over the past year the league launched nine new community initiatives focused on improving outcomes for early childhood education and development. Funds raised from the annual Deck the Halls Holiday Gift Market at the start of each holiday season help support these initiatives and other leadership trainings within the Junior League. Endowment funds established through the Waco Foundation support the long-term sustainability of the organization and the maintenance of the historic home, Clifton House, which serves as the league’s headquarters. Donations or bequests are always welcome. Women interested in joining this dynamic group of volunteers are encouraged to apply at jlwaco.org.

Keep Waco Beautiful
300 Austin Avenue, 750-5728, keepwacobeautiful.com
“I make Waco look good!”
If you want to be able to say, “I make Waco look good!” then Keep Waco Beautiful is the organization for you. One way to support Keep Waco Beautiful after the holidays is to bring your live Christmas tree to the free Chipping of the Green recycling event. Bring your tree to the parking lot at Paul Tyson Field on January 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and make sure it’s free from ornaments and decorations before it is ground into mulch. All participants receive a bag of scented tree mulch as a thank-you gift. The Cobbs Recycling Center also accepts Christmas trees from Waco residents. During the holidays Keep Waco Beautiful encourages residents to trim their holiday wastelines by recycling wrapping paper (no foil or plastic coating), gift boxes and holiday cards. E-waste, such as old computers, cellphones and tablets can be brought to the Cobbs Recycling Center by City of Waco residents at no charge. Throughout the year, look for Keep Waco Beautiful’s annual events, including the fall compost sale and the Brazos River Cleanup in the spring. Memberships are available to keep Waco looking good year-round, or you can honor a loved one with your gift.

KWBU
2100 River Street, 710-1033, kwbu.org
Better than a sweater
KWBU is the local National Public Radio affiliate and the only source for classical music in Waco. The station began 15 years ago and is the sole source of programming for NPR in this part of Central Texas. Donations from individuals are the most important source of funding for the station, and your gift to public radio will be better than any sweater. Even if it’s not a pledge drive, you can still become a member by going online and clicking on “support this station.” If you have a car that’s seen better days, don’t trade it in — donate it! Vehicles are sold at auction, and proceeds benefit the station’s programs. Becoming a member of your public radio station is easy, and members receive a card with discounts at local merchants and participating online retailers.

Lake Waco Wetlands
1752 Eichelberger Crossing, 848-9654, lakewacowetlands.com
A haven for nature lovers
When Lake Waco was raised in 2000, the Lake Waco Wetlands was created to replace the natural habitat that was lost. The water from the wetlands goes back into the municipal system and becomes drinking water, so no harsh chemicals can be used. The area is a haven for nature lovers and is full of biodiversity, including aquatic plants, birds, frogs, snakes and lizards as well as macro and micro invertebrates. Volunteers are most needed during months when school is in session, except in December and January, when there are fewer school tours. The wetlands needs volunteers who don’t mind getting wet and can help maintain the area and manage cattail growth. The wetlands has a staff of one, Coordinator Nora Schell, and she always needs volunteers, especially for school field trips. “Don’t be scared off if you don’t have a biology background,” Schell said. “You don’t have to have any teaching experience because I will show you what you need to do. Some of my volunteers had never spent any time out here until they started volunteering here, and then they come back.” Lake Waco Wetlands usually hosts two Community Fishing Events each year.

McLennan Community College Foundation
1400 College Drive, 299-8604, mclennan.edu/foundation
Celebrating 50 years of MCC
The primary goal of McLennan Community College Foundation is to provide student scholarships, and since 1990, it has awarded more than $4 million to 4,307 students. This year MCC is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and it has designated two new funds. One is the 50th Anniversary Scholarship Fund, and the other is the MCC European Choir Tour Scholarship Fund. Next summer the MCC Chorale will travel to Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; and Budapest, Hungary — an extraordinary opportunity for a community college choir. The fund will raise money for students’ travel expenses. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to experience a different world. They need to be exposed to other cultures and societies,” Executive Director Harry Harelik said. Two major events help support the goals of the foundation. The MCC Foundation Golf Classic is held each October. And on May 5, 2016, the gala will consist of dinner at the Baylor Club, followed by a Steinway performance with Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe (known as Anderson & Roe), playing with Waco Symphony at Waco Hall. Harelik said when this duo performed two years ago the concert was standing room only. The foundation offices are in the McLennan House next to The Highlands Gym on 1728 Powell Drive.

Meals & Wheels
501 West Waco Drive, 752-0316, mealsandwheelswaco.org
We deliver!
Central Texas Senior Ministry, better known as Meals & Wheels, delivers meals to homebound seniors, but it does a whole lot more. It delivers groceries too and even food for pets. Volunteers are needed to prepare meals and help make deliveries. In addition, the ministry needs reliable vehicles that can be used to drive clients to medical appointments. And Meals & Wheels always needs monetary donations to help them serve more than 850 people in McLennan, Falls and Hill counties. In December, Meals & Wheels is participating in a heater drive along with several other local agencies. Portable electric heaters with safety features suitable for older adults are requested. The theme of the heater drive is “Be Sweet. Share the Heat.” Each November, Meals & Wheels sponsors the Apple Tree Bazaar, which showcases crafts made by older local artists. Be sure to shop and help support the organizations’ programs.

Methodist Children’s Home
1111 Herring Avenue, 800/853-1272, MCH.org
Offering hope for 125 years

Giving Guide

Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) has been offering hope to children, youth and families for 125 years through residential services at the 130-acre Waco campus and the MCH Boys Ranch, located 10 miles northeast of Waco. In addition, MCH offers in-home and community-based services through a dozen Family Outreach Services locations throughout Texas and New Mexico. To assist MCH in providing the best care for children, please consider one of the following levels of sponsorship: $25 provides diapers and wipes for children in the Family Outreach Services program; $50 pays for piano lessons for one child for one month; $75 makes you a Secret Santa for one child at a residential campus; $100 covers the cost of clothing for six months for a child ages 0-2; $250 pays for one week of boarding and day care for a foster child; and $500 supports one child in FFA, Future Farmers of America. 

Midway ISD Education Foundation
13885 Woodway Drive, 761-5614, midwayisd.org/foundation
Raising the bar
The Midway ISD Education Foundation assists teachers who want to raise the bar and give their students an experience above and beyond the traditional classroom. The foundation has different funds for different projects. One fund gives grants of $1,000 or less. A middle school teacher recently applied for and received money to operate a retail store and give students real-world experience. Smaller projects might include a teacher who wants to start a chess club, bring in a worm farm or install those bouncy bands that go around desk legs so kids can get their wiggles out without bothering their neighbor. Once a semester, larger grants between $1,000-$5,000 are distributed for big-ticket items, like a 3D printer, a digital microscope, GoPro cameras for science labs or a field trip to NASA in Houston. The foundation has been around since 2002. It looks for applications that are creative and innovative. Executive Director Suzi Pagel said, “Now teachers say, ‘I saw this thing on TV, and I’m going to write a grant application for it.’” The fund also provides small grants to first-year teachers to help set up their classrooms. Donations can be mailed or received online. The Showcase of Stars Academic Banquet, held in May, is both a ticketed event and a recognition of students and teachers who make Midway ISD a great place to learn.

Mission Waco
1315 North 15th Street, 753-4900, missionwaco.org
Cross-cultural experience
You don’t need to go overseas to have a cross-cultural experience — just attend one of Mission Waco’s Poverty Simulations, intensive weekend experiences held 16 times a year. In 43 hours, you’ll gain insight and understanding while living by the rules of poverty. In December, Mission Waco operates a Christmas Toy Store, where eligible families can purchase new toys and gifts at an 80 percent discount. The store allows parents to have the dignity of buying their own children’s presents. Last year the store served more than 550 families and 1,700 children. Recently, Mission Waco formed the Jerry Johnston Creative Arts Memorial Fund to celebrate the legacy of their dear friend Jerry Johnston. All donations will serve the sole purpose of using arts in the lives of the poor and marginalized, especially lower income children and teens. Contact Mission Waco at volunteers@missionwaco.org to connect and serve.

Planned Parenthood
1121 Ross Avenue, 759-5762, plannedparenthood.org
Care. No matter what.
In 2013, Planned Parenthood in Waco launched the patient assistance fund called Building Our Future to ensure that thousands of women patients in Central Texas have access to the health care they need — no matter what. The fund uses private donations to assist patients who are seeking family planning services. A special gift to the fund ensures that all Texans have access to lifesaving care. You can even give your gift in honor of a loved one. To learn more about donations, please call 492-1781. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas provides preventive health care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings and birth control as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

Project Angel Tree Central Texas
Richland Mall, Santa Claus Court at JCPenney, 296-8949, projectangeltree.org
Be an angel
You can be an angel when you purchase a gift for a child with a parent in prison. Project Angel Tree Central Texas is affiliated with Prison Fellowship Ministries, a national organization, but it helps ensure that local children receive a Christmas gift. Since 1981, Project Angel Tree has brought together individuals, churches and organizations who care about serving Central Texas children. After businesses and churches adopt children, the names of those that remain are placed on the tree at Richland Mall. Each angel has a child’s name and a wish. The tree is already up in the Santa Claus Court across from JCPenney and will remain up through December 19. If you prefer to make a donation to the local Project Angel Tree, please send it to P.O. Box 8596, 76714, so the money stays in the McLennan County area. Project Angel Tree serves not only Waco, but also Bruceville-Eddy, Elm Mott, Marlin and surrounding Central Texas towns. When children receive a present from Project Angel Tree, it lets them know that somebody loves them, at least once a year.

Providence Foundation
6901 Medical Parkway, 751-4762, providence.net
Invest in your own health
Invest in your own health and the health of our community by making a gift in support of Providence Healthcare Network. All gifts made to the Providence Foundation help make exceptional health care available for your family, friends and neighbors. Donor support ensures the most up-to-date, advanced equipment and technologies are in place to provide the highest level of patient care possible. While unrestricted donations give the foundation flexibility to direct resources to areas of maximum impact, Providence Foundation also seeks support for specific causes, such as breast health (the Pink Partner Fund), cardiology, the Women & Newborns Center and other areas of need. In addition, the foundation raises funds each year through the annual Providence Classic Golf Tournament and the Champagne Luncheon & Style Show.

Restoration Gateway, Uganda
4300 West Waco Drive, B2-314, 752-0583, restorationgateway.org
Bringing God’s restoration
In 2005, Dr. Tim and Janice McCall stepped out in faith to follow God’s call to begin Restoration Gateway in northern Uganda. Restoration Gateway is a 700-acre plot overlooking the Nile River that exists to restore peace and heal wounds among vulnerable children and war-torn people by providing orphan care, health care and ministry to the church. Restoration Gateway needs people to pray for the ministry and people who can sponsor a child. In November, Restoration Gateway holds a gala, and the last two years, the special guests have included Joanna and Chip Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” In season 1, the Gaineses redid the McCalls’ house after they returned from Uganda.

Salvation Army
4721 West Waco Drive, 756-7271, salvationarmytexas.org/waco
Doing the most good
The Salvation Army has been “doing the most good” in Waco for 125 years. When the holidays come, the Salvation Army goes on the march — complete with bell ringers for the Red Kettle Campaign. You don’t have to be part of the Salvation Army to ring a bell. You can even start an online Red Kettle and help the Salvation Army by raising donations through email and social networking. All funds raised go into helping with ongoing programing in general and December programs in particular. For more information about volunteering, please contact Christy Huffman, who serves as volunteer coordinator. The Salvation Army feeds people 365 days a year, and during the winter months it requests donations of scarves, gloves, coats and hats that can be given to people who are homeless and come in for a hot meal. On Christmas Day, the Salvation Army will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Before that day, The Salvation Army needs donations of turkeys and hams. If you bring a donation to the office, please include a note specifying how you would like it to be used or call the office for further instructions.

Scott & White Healthcare Foundation at Hillcrest
100 Hillcrest Medical Boulevard, 202-9553, foundation.sw.org
Help patients live better lives
The Scott & White Healthcare Foundation at Hillcrest works locally to meet a wide variety of critical needs in health care, helping patients and their families live better lives. The foundation works with individual donors to specifically match those areas in which they are most passionate with the programs, services and equipment needed so that medical providers can best serve others in a Christian ministry of healing. The Scott & White Healthcare Foundation sponsors and participates in fundraising events throughout the year, including the Jamie Hilton Memorial Golf Classic, benefiting Jamie’s Place; and the Charity Dove Hunt, Dinner & Auction, benefitting Baylor Scott & White McClinton Cancer Center. Each event always needs volunteers to serve on committees. In addition to financial support, a loyal corps of hospital volunteers donates more than 22,000 hours of service to patients, their families and the medical center. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 202-9591. 

The Shepherd’s Heart
1401 North 34th Street, 722-9517, shepherdsheartpantry.org
Every $5 donated will feed a family
In an area in which the poverty rate is almost twice the national average, The Shepherd’s Heart works to feed, clothe and empower families in need. Each week they feed between 600-650 families, and they feed even more in December. They also provide Christmas gifts to homeless children, working with liaisons from local school districts who know the children and their families. “There are other toy drives that don’t touch these kids,” said Bob Gager, executive director. The children receive an invitation to a Christmas party and RSVP if they plan to attend. Gifts are provided for the entire family. Monetary donations to the toy drive can be made through PayPal or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 23175, 76702. In addition to its primary food pantry, The Shepherd’s Heart operates two mobile food pantries and two resale shops. School counselors often shop for free on behalf of homeless students. The Shepherd’s Heart also delivers groceries to 470 homebound senior citizens. Their primary fundraising events are The Hungry Games, held in September; and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, which takes place in November.

Susan G. Komen
3000 Herring Avenue, Suite 4E, 753-3037, komencentraltexas.org
Go pink
Can you imagine a world without breast cancer? Susan G. Komen, with its iconic pink ribbon, is working toward that goal. Komen funds community-based programs that address barriers and needs related to breast cancer. They also work to increase access to early detection. Examples of commonly funded interventions include outreach programs, support groups and assistance in patient navigation. Komen also works to reduce financial barriers for patients who need mammograms or are facing treatment. Of the funds raised, 75 percent are distributed locally as community health grants, and the other 25 percent go to national research. The Komen Central Texas affiliate is a 100 percent volunteer-driven organization, always looking for people who want to help. They are currently seeking volunteers who can review grant applications, and they are accepting board applications for two-year terms. If you would like more information, please email cta@komencentraltexas.org. Don’t forget the Race for the Cure, held each September.

Talitha Koum Institute
1311 Clay Avenue, 753-1144, talithakoum.org
Rise up!
In the book of Mark, when Jesus reached the bedside of Jairus’ daughter, she was already dead. Even so, he called out to her in Aramaic, “Talitha koum,” or, “My child, rise up!” Talitha Koum Institute is a mental health therapeutic nurture center helping children ages 0-5 rise up out of poverty. Helping can be as simple as rocking a baby, reading a book to a toddler or playing with a boy or girl who can benefit from a little extra nurturing. Currently, Talitha Koum needs contributions toward a Hobart half-size electric convection oven, either new or refurbished. The current oven is badly in need of repair. As the new year begins, Talitha Koum is stepping up to the challenge of topping proceeds from last year’s Hottest Ticket in Town series of parties, which raises funds for Talitha Koum kids. Beginning in January with “Downton Abbey Entertains,” a new series of fun events in 2016 will begin. If you are interested in supporting Talitha Koum, please send all correspondence to P.O. Box 2202, 76703.

Toys For Tots
6700 American Plaza (KWTX), 756-7271 (Salvation Army), waco-tx.toysfortots.org
All aboard!
Every December, Wacoans know they’ll see the image of the little red train reminding us it’s time again for Toys For Tots. It’s not too late to climb aboard! “We were at Toys R Us with the Marine Corps today. We need over 10,000 toys,” said Bradley Caldwell, area coordinator for the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army serves as the registration point for Toys For Tots. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation operates the local toy drive under coordinator First Sergeant Derrick Cordova of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Many families have made a tradition of dropping off a toy at the KWTX Toys For Tots Drive-By. News 10’s Rusty Garrett is the chairman of the Central Texas toy drive and will be at the KWTX offices again on December 18 from 3-10:15 p.m. Please bring all donations — including monetary ones — to KWTX, located at 6700 American Plaza, throughout the campaign. Toys are needed for boys and girls, ages 0 to 15. Toys For Tots gives away 100 percent of what it receives.

Waco Civic Theatre
1517 Lake Air Drive, 776-1591, wacocivictheatre.org
Be starstruck!
Community theater means year-round performances — comedies, dramas and musicals — that will leave you starstruck. Even if you’re not a performer, the Waco Civic Theatre needs behind-the-scenes help to make every show possible, including folks who can paint, hammer, saw, nail, sew costumes, sell tickets and usher. Executive Director Eric Shephard says you don’t have to have experience — they’ll train you. This month support Waco Civic Theatre by attending its two holiday shows. “Miracle on 34th Street” will run from December 4-13, and the young actress playing Susan will light the Christmas tree at Waco Wonderland during the opening ceremony. And for one night only, on December 19, don’t miss “The Story of Scrooge,” back by popular demand for a third year in a row. In late January the theater will present “Miss Nelson Is Missing,” based on the popular children’s book. There will also be a matinee — maybe two — at the Waco Hippodrome. Stay tuned for details.

Waco GoodFellas
wacogoodfellas.com
Helping kids believe in Santa

Giving Guide

The Waco GoodFellas help Central Texas children believe in the miracle of Christmas and the importance of giving. Each year the GoodFellas provide presents to children in need, along with a Christmas lunch for their families. The Waco GoodFellas have served the community at Christmas time for more than 20 years. Initially, a group of men, all small business owners, each put $250 in a hat and went looking for families to help. Along the way, they became a nonprofit and picked up some significant sponsorships: Waco FM-100, Salty Dog, Oliver Bros. Transmissions and Outback Steakhouse. Each year on the Saturday before Christmas, Outback caters a lunch for the approximately 250 families receiving assistance. The lunch has grown so large it will be held at Waco Founder Lions Club Den. Mr. and Mrs. Santa will be flown in by helicopter, and then the gifts will be distributed. “We try to fill these kids’ wish lists. It’s not trinkets and beads — we want these kids to get something they’re wanting or needing, to make a memorable Christmas for them and tell them we believe in Santa Claus,” said member Brian Wilson. In the summer Waco GoodFellas puts on a Christmas in July Bash to raise funds for the Christmas project. But if you didn’t get a chance to donate then, the GoodFellas need assistance buying and wrapping gifts.

Waco ISD Education Foundation
P.O. Box 2369, 76703, 755-9517, wacoisdfoundation.org
Raising the power of education
The Waco ISD Education Foundation encourages excellence in public education, focusing on early childhood development, enhanced programming for advanced students, extended education for staff and an emphasis on student performance. The foundation raises money through fundraising drives and campaigns involving alumni, local businesses, parents, teachers and the Waco community. Each year Waco ISD Education Foundation awards approximately $100,000 in grants to educators for innovative and creative projects, and volunteers are needed to review those grant applications, which are awarded in the spring. In addition, the district’s Adopt-A-School program has many areas where individuals, businesses and nonprofits can lend a hand. The foundation’s largest fundraiser is the H-E-B Celebrity Chef Cookoff, held this year on February 19, 2016. Tables can be purchased by contacting Molly Young at molly.young@wacoisd.org.

Waco Mammoth Foundation Inc. supporting Waco Mammoth National Monument
P.O. Box 326, 76703, 750-7946, waco-texas.com/cms-waco-mammoth
Meet a mammoth that isn’t woolly
On July 10, the Waco Mammoth National Monument became the newest member of the National Park Service. The park, located at 6220 Steinbeck Bend Drive, is the site of the discovery of the bones of at least 23 Columbian mammoths as well as fossils from other ice age-era creatures. The next project is to add the Children’s Discovery Area. Grants from the Cooper Foundation and Waco Foundation have already provided funds for a planning study. Waco Mammoth Foundation Board President Gayle Lacy said the discovery center will not be a playground, but an area where families and school groups can expand their learning beyond the dig shelter. “It will involve play so they can have more of an interactive experience,” Lacy said. The plans have been drawn up, and just over a quarter million dollars has already been raised. Waco Mammoth National Monument hosts two fun events for families each year: Mammoths on the March, which takes place in March; and the Fall Fossil Festival, presented in October.

Waco-McLennan County Library
1717 Austin Avenue (Central branch), 750-5943, waco-texas.com/cms-library
Read!
The Waco-McLennan County Library has four branches where patrons can indulge their love of reading — one in South Waco on South 18th Street, the central location on Austin Avenue and the West Waco Library on Bosque Boulevard, which includes a genealogy center. The East Waco branch on Elm Avenue is undergoing renovations and should be open again this spring. In the coming months the library has several programs for teens and adults. “We have lots of children’s programs. People are familiar with Storytime. We’re doing more things for teenagers and adults. We’re going to do some things during the Christmas break time for teenagers — mostly at the Central and West branches,” said Jessica Emmett, community services librarian. Donations for the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale, held in November, are accepted year-round. And gifts of small items, such Chick-fil-A gift cards, can be used as prizes when the library hosts events, such as a scavenger hunt. If you are interested in becoming a library volunteer, please call 750-5990 to learn more.

World Hunger Relief Inc.
356 Spring Lake Road, 799-5611, worldhungerrelief.org
Alleviating hunger
World Hunger Relief Inc. is committed to alleviating hunger, both in Waco and around the world. The organization’s interns spend a year serving at the property in Elm Mott, as well as working in the School Garden Clubs, which are found in urban schools. As you prepare for the season of gift giving, honor friends and loved ones with one of the farm’s alternative gift ideas, found on the organization’s website. Whether you want to donate chicks in honor of your mom or give a goat to be named after your spouse, your donation will help meet needs on the farm, in the community and with World Hunger Relief’s international partners. In November, World Hunger Relief Inc. hosted A Night on the Farm, a true farm-to-table dinner. This spring World Hunger Relief will hold a new fundraiser. The farm is asking people to make a short cooking video — three minute maximum — showing how they cook their veggies. The farm will post the videos online where viewers can vote with dollars. The winners will be recognized with a sign on the Veggie Van, at Spring Farm Day and on the organization’s website. Stay tuned for more details.

YMCA of Central Texas
6800 Harvey, 776-6612, ymcactx.org
We want you to join us!
“Join us because you belong!” said Hilary Grant, who works in the YMCA development office. A membership at the YMCA of Central Texas goes beyond a workout. When you join, you open a powerful portal that connects you to the cause: strengthening community. The YMCA does this by nurturing the potential of children and teens, improving health and well-being and empowering people to give back and support their neighbors. The YMCA provides dozens of opportunities at all three of its campuses — Doris Miller Family YMCA, Edna Learning Center and Waco Family YMCA. Join the YMCA of Central Texas for a workout for yourself and for fun and games with the kids, and please consider volunteering some time in the YMCA community.

Youth Connection Inc.
P.O. Box 20984, 76702, 202-8480, youthconnectionwaco.wordpress.com
Helping young people
Since 1988, Youth Connection Inc. has helped young people overcome obstacles and influences that put them at risk. By helping youth make wise choices, they can live their lives to the fullest potential. Youth Connection is a small agency with a big job — it supplies most of the equipment for the Real Care Baby program to Central Texas schools. Teen boys and girls check out baby simulators that not only look like real infants, but also replicate the crying and unpredictable schedules of real babies. “We’re the checkout baby library,” said Executive Director Carolyn Nichols. “It’s a great mind-changer for teens to realize they don’t want to have a baby at this age. It’s a great program to teach reality. We have many, many letters from the kids and the teachers to show that it is effective.” Counselors from Youth Connection also meet with teen mothers who give birth at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center. In addition, Youth Connection runs an after-school program called Too Cool for Trouble and hosts an annual conference called Moving Forward for professionals who work with young people. Each fall Youth Connection presents Down on the Bayou, its Cajun-zydeco festival.

Shop for a Cause

Sometimes a regular, everyday purchase can benefit an organization you already support. When you buy from these retailers, the profits go back into the sponsoring agency. Also, don’t forget about resale and thrift stores — many are operated by local nonprofits that need your help.

Goodwill Industries
1700 South New Road, 753-7337, hotgoodwill.org
Donate. Shop. Change Lives!
After the holidays, take some time to clean out your closet and bring the items you no longer need to your nearby Goodwill. You’ll be a job creator! Goodwill Industries has served the Heart of Texas since 1955. It operates six stores in the Waco area and 16 stores in the Heart of Texas region. New items are introduced on the sales floor each day, and you can also shop online. Your purchase at Goodwill benefits employment, as well as training programs for people with disabilities and disadvantages in the community through Goodwill’s Learning Centers. Job counseling and other employment training programs are offered at no cost to the public.

ReStore
1224 Franklin Avenue, 756-0131, wacohabitat.org/restore
ReUse. ReCycle. ReStore.
Waco Habitat builds houses — most people know that. Not everyone knows Waco Habitat also operates ReStore, a building materials center where recycled merchandise is sold at discount prices. The ministry diverts about 3,000 tons from the landfill each year, which saves the City of Waco approximately $165,000 in fees. The net income from ReStore builds and repairs homes in our community. DIYers who shop at ReStore during the holidays will find white paint, paint brushes, brick, block, pavers, fans, lights, doors, cabinets, lumber and windows. Check out what local shoppers have done with their ReStore purchases at pinterest.com/wacohabitat/waco-restore. ReStore will open on Friday, December 11, from 5-9 p.m. for a special event called Elf on a ReStore Shelf. Purchase a ticket and shop after hours. Food, drinks, music and Santa will be part of this inaugural event. New ReStore hours begin in January, when the store will be open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Veggie Van
Magnolia Market, Waco Downtown Farmers Market, 799-5611, worldhungerrelief.org
The good stuff … to go!
There are lots of places where you can support World Hunger Relief Inc. This year the farm launched the Veggie Van, a mobile market that sells fresh produce in food deserts. Anyone can purchase veggies from the van — go online to view a complete calendar listing stops on the van’s route. Or you can visit their farm stand at the new Magnolia Market location at the silos. Their booth at the Waco Downtown Farmers Market is open each Saturday morning. You can also become a part of the farm’s CSA, either in the fall or the spring. Wherever you shop World Hunger Relief’s offerings, be on the lookout for tasty treats to give as gifts during the holidays.

World Cup Café
1321 North 15th Street, 757-1748, worldcupcafe.org
Come and enjoy

Giving Guide

Sometimes supporting an organization is as easy as purchasing a cup of coffee or an omelet or the daily special. Come and enjoy a meal at World Cup Café, a ministry of Mission Waco located at the corner of 15th Street and Colcord Avenue. The cafe is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Specialty drinks are served on weekdays from 2-5 p.m., and shopping in the World Trade Market is also available during those hours. If you can’t drop by the cafe, check out the online store to find fair trade clothing, jewelry, accessories, housewares and unique gifts from around the world, including holiday items. After years of requests from faithful customers, the World Cup Café is now open on Saturday evenings from 5:30-8 p.m. with a special menu and live music each week. If you are looking for a great location for your group’s Christmas meal, reserve the back room of the cafe. But don’t wait long to make your reservations.

Give All Year

Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t even think about giving until the holidays, and then we’re too overwhelmed to follow through with our commitment. We see an organization that we’ve always wanted to help and fear that we’ve waited too long, that it’s too late to make a difference.

Guess what? All these nonprofits need volunteers in January too. And in March. And oh, how they need you in the summer, when donations drop and volunteers go on vacation.

We hope you do more than read this guide and toss it aside. Pick a nonprofit that sparks your interest get involved in the new year. They’ll still need you.

January

Lecture & Luncheon with Dr. Patsy Sulak, Altrusa International of Waco
MLK Day of Service, World Hunger Relief Inc.
Miracle Match Marathon, Baylor Scott & White Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match

February

Go Red for Women, American Heart Association
H-E-B Celebrity Cookoff, Waco ISD Education Foundation
Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball, Advocacy Center
Mission Waco Banquet, Mission Waco
Trivia Night, Waco Center for Youth

March

Bearathon, Baylor Student Foundation
Providence Pink Partners Reception, Providence Foundation

April

Book Boogie, Hewitt Public Library
Boots on the Brazos, Arc of McLennan County
Bowen Classic, Bowen Family Foundation for AVANCE and Boys & Girls Clubs of Waco
Brazos River Antiques Show, Historic Waco Foundation
Celebrate Waco, Waco Symphony Council for Waco Symphony
Feast of Caring Soup Cook-Off, Caritas
Going the Distance, Daughters of the Nile Foundation for Shriners Hospitals for Children
Human Race, Care Net
March for Babies, March of Dimes
MCH 5k, Methodist Children’s Home
Spring Farm Day & Ride for Relief, World Hunger Relief Inc.

May

Crawfish for CASA, CASA of McLennan and Hill Counties
Feast for Beasts, Animal Birth Control Clinic
Future So Bright 5k Neon Run, Communities in Schools
Jamie Hilton Memorial Golf Classic, Baylor Scott & White for Jamie’s Place
Memorial Run, Waco Citizens Police Academy for Waco Police Department
Providence Gala, Providence Foundation
Showcase of Stars Academic Banquet, Midway ISD Education Foundation
Table Toppers Luncheon, The Art Center of Waco
Waco Heart Ball, American Heart Association and Providence Healthcare Network
Waco ISD Distinguished Alumni Awards, Waco ISD Foundation

June

Couture for Cancer, American Cancer Society
Mini Book Sale, Friends of the Waco-McLennan County Library

July

Cattle Baron’s Ball, American Cancer Society
Stars Over Broadway, Waco Civic Theatre
Christmas in July, Waco GoodFellas

August

AIDS Walk Waco, D. Harris Foundation
Bag Lady Luncheon, Humane Society of Central Texas
Margarita & Salsa Festival, Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo
SpayGhetti Night, Fuzzy Friends Rescue

September

Care Net Banquet, Care Net
Charity Dove Hunt & Concert, Baylor Scott & White’s McClinton Cancer Center
Hope Gala, Generations Adoptions
Out of the Darkness, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Race for the Cure, Susan G. Komen

October

Baskets of Hope, Christians Women’s Job Corps
Brew at the Zoo, Cameron Park Zoo
Brunch & Fashion Show, Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center Auxiliary
Education 4 Everyone Golf Tournament, SpaceX for Brazos Education Foundation
Dancing with the Waco Stars, Family Abuse Center
Fall Fossil Festival, Waco Mammoth National Monument
Heart O’Texas Fair & Rodeo, HOT Fair & Rodeo Scholarship Fund
Signature Chefs Auction, Baylor Scott & White for March of Dimes
MCC Foundation Golf Classic, MCC Foundation
Providence Golf Classic, Providence Foundation
Waco Wild West 100 Bicycle Tour, Be The Match
Wine & Food Festival, Humane Society of Central Texas
Zombie Run, Heart of Texas Comic Con for Fuzzy Friends Rescue

November

Book Sale, Friends of the Waco-McLennan County Library
Colors of the Season Style Show, Historic Waco Foundation
Deck the Halls Holiday Gift Market, Junior League of Waco
Fall Farm Day, World Hunger Relief
Food For Families, H-E-B and other sponsors
Central Texas Turkey Trot, Altrusa International of the Brazos
Restoration Gateway Gala, Restoration Gateway
Zoo Stampede, H-E-B
Zoo Tunes, Waco Symphony Orchestra and Cameron Park Zoo

December

Barkin’ Ball, Fuzzy Friends Rescue
Christmas on the Brazos, Historic Waco Foundation
Feast of Sharing, H-E-B
Pancakes With Santa, Advocacy Center

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