‘Tis the season to spread cheer – and shine! If you’re looking for ways to make the holiday season a bright one for all, there are a number of wonderful opportunities right here in our communities. There are ways to give your time, your talent, or monetary gifts. Whichever way you choose to give back, know you’re making Greater St. Cloud shine brighter.
St. Cloud COP House: Local coffee roastery, Muggsy Beans is selling their COP House Blend with 100% of profits going to the St. Cloud COP (Community OutPost) House. The St. Cloud Rotary Richard C. Wilson Community OutPost is an extension of the greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation. https://www.muggsysbeans-onlinestore.com/product/cop-house-blend-14-oz/
Toys for Tots: The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. There are a variety of ways to volunteer including toy drop pick up, toy sorting, or toy distribution. https://st-cloud-mn.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/local-volunteer-form.aspx
Catholic Charities: St. Cloud Catholic Charities offers a great opportunity to make the holidays bright for another family. Share the Spirit matches individuals and families who are referred to us by area social workers, medical providers, and education professionals with individuals, groups, and organizations that wish to provide gifts for a memorable holiday experience. They also accept financial donations for those who are not able to sponsor a household and they’ll take care of the shopping. https://www.ccstcloud.org/share-the-spirit
Anna Marie’s Alliance Adopt-a-Family: When a family leaves their home because of relationship abuse, they generally face economic hardship for the first several years following. Anna Marie’s Alliance invites you and your family, organization, or business to adopt a family from Anna Marie’s Alliance. https://annamaries.org/donate/needed-items/
Brews for Baby Bums: Beaver Island Brewing, Jules’ Bistro, and herARTS In Action sponsor an annual diaper drive. Bring in a box of diapers anytime between now and December 7th to receive a free pint! Limit 1 per customer. All diaper donations will go directly to Operation Baby New Year, providing diapers to low-income families in need. Plus, $1 from every pint sold, $3 from every growler sold, and all tips earned during the Tending for a Cause event on December 7th will be donated to Operation Baby New Year as well. https://www.beaverislandbrew.com/babybums/
Volunteer Your Time Helping at Salvation Army: The St. Cloud Salvation Army is accepting volunteers to help sort and organize food shelf donations, assist with food preparation for weekday lunches, assist in the dining room, and assist in the dish room after lunch programs. https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/northern/stcloud/volunteer/
Ring Those Bells: If you’re interested in ringing the red Salvation Army bells this holiday season, you can sign up here: https://www.registertoring.com/default.aspx
Breakfast for a Good Cause: The Foley High School Minnesota Honor Society is hosting breakfast with Santa! They will serve French toast sticks, mini-cinnis, sausage patties, potato smiles, coffee, juice, and milk. Breakfast with Santa 2022 There will also be crafts, a cookie decorating station, music, a silent auction, and a photo-op with Santa. The cost is $5 and 100% of the proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. https://www.bigdefenders.org/calendar/breakfast-with-santa-2/
Promise Neighborhood: Promise Neighborhood is in need of donations for families, programs, and their facility. In addition to cash donations, they also accept in-kind donations and gift cards to local stores and restaurants. They have a full list of items needed on their website. http://pncentralmn.com/donate.html
Gift Wrappers for Wildlife: Wrap holiday gifts at the Central Minnesota Wildlife Rehabilitation fundraising gift wrapping station at Crossroads shopping center. https://getconnected.unitedwayhelps.org/need/detail/?need_id=742529
Hope for the Holidays: Join in supporting the 10th Annual Hope for the Holidays by adopting a family in Sauk Rapids and surrounding areas. In 2021, 86 families were adopted… let’s get to 100! https://hope4holiday.wordpress.com/
Higher Works Collaborative: Founded in 2017 in St. Cloud, Higher Works Collaborative is a nonprofit organization that has worked tirelessly to advance the lives and livelihoods of the African-American community in Central Minnesota. Higher Works Collaborative takes a holistic approach to empowering individuals in the key areas of Education, Transportation, Housing, Employment, Health & Wellness, and the Arts. https://www.hwcmn.org/donate#sustaining-giver
This season, take a moment to enjoy the merriment, sparkling lights, and abundant opportunities we’re given to see, hear, learn, and share all the ways #StCloudShines.