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If you’re like many people, you’re always looking for ways to give back to the community – and fortunately, there are plenty of programs in and around Baltimore that will enable you to do that this holiday season.

Giving Back in Baltimore: 5 Great Adopt-a-Family and Holiday Charity Programs

Check out these five great Baltimore-area charities that you can give to this holiday season:

  1. Baltimore Family Alliance Adopt-a-Family
  2. House of Ruth’s Holiday Program
  3. The Arc Baltimore’s Adopt-a-Family Drive
  4. St. Vincent de Paul Baltimore’s Adopt-a-Family Program
  5. Adopt a Family Maryland

Here’s a closer look at each.

Baltimore Family Alliance Adopt-a-Family

The Baltimore Family Alliance’s Adopt-a-Family program allows you to help a family less fortunate this holiday season. Families submit wish lists and share kids’ favorite colors, characters, teams and other information to make gifting easier. Most people spend between $40 and $60 per child after adopting a family through this program, and you’re welcome to purchase gift cards to grocery stores, Walmart or Target for the adults in the family, as well.

House of Ruth’s Holiday Program

House of Ruth’s Adopt-a-Family program is just one way to give through this organization. You can also purchase items on House of Ruth’s Amazon Wishlist, which includes items for the women and children in the shelter. You can also donate other items, such as pull-ups and diapers, new games and activity kits for kids, gift cards for grocery stores, gas stations and major retailers (such as Walmart and Target), or you can sponsor an emergency hotel placement package, a starter home package (for the victims of family violence who leave the shelter to move into their own homes), or special gifts through House of Ruth such as tickets to the Maryland Zoo, Ravens games, the National Aquarium and other entertainment venues.

The Arc Baltimore’s Adopt-a-Family Drive

The Arc Baltimore’s annual Adopt-a-Family drive lets you share the joy of gift-giving with kids all over Baltimore who live with family members with developmental disabilities. The Arc asks that you drop off wrapped and name-tagged gifts no later than Friday, December 17, at their office or directly to the adopted family through the Arc’s coordinator. You can purchase toys, games, socks and slippers, gift cards, bath and body items, art supplies, diaries and journals, books and so much more to make a family’s holiday brighter.

St. Vincent de Paul Baltimore’s Adopt-a-Family Program

St. Vincent de Paul’s Adopt-a-Family program can help you zero in on giving. You can adopt a family living in one of the organization’s homeless shelters or supportive housing programs – there are currently more than 200 families available. Each family has completed a wish list for each member of the family, including adults, and it includes the ages and sizes of all the kids, as well as their interests and ideas of gifts to purchase. The suggested spending range is between $50 and $100 per person in the family, and St. Vincent de Paul asks that you provide wrapping paper, gift bags or tags with your gifts, but that you don’t wrap them yourself. You can also include a holiday card, but they ask that you don’t include any identifying information.

Adopt a Family Maryland

You can become an “Angel” with Adopt a Family Maryland this holiday season. You simply have to let the organization know you’d like to become an adopter and they’ll provide you with information on a family, including wish lists and kids’ ages, so that you can shop for gifts. You’re welcome to purchase toys, gift cards, clothing and nearly anything else for the children and families who ask for help from Adopt a Family Maryland.

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