COMPILED BY SHELBY CLARK PETKUS
The holidays can seem like a nonstop series of shopping and decorating, but there are always those less fortunate who get forgotten in the hustle and bustle. Here are a few examples of some local nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to add to your shopping list. (To learn more about LGBT-friendly nonprofits and service organizations, visit the Pride Source Yellow Pages at https://www.pridesource.com/directory.html.)
Tail Wagger’s 1990
Looking to spread the holiday cheer to the often forgotten four-legged members of society? Livonia’s Tail Wagger’s 1990 is hosting a Thanksgiving food drive through Nov. 25, playfully advertised as a competition between “#TeamDog” and “#TeamCat.”
The nonprofit animal wellness and preventative center isn’t limiting its holiday outreach to Thanksgiving. Their “Pantry for Paws” program assists pet owners who have fallen on difficult times and cannot afford to feed their pets. They ask parents to consider getting their children’s schools involved: “Please consider hosting a holiday drive this Christmas! We provide donation box and signage and make it easy and fun!”
For more information, call 734-855-4077 or check out http://www.tailwaggers1990.org.
The Detroit Police Department’s “Bridging the Gap Initiative” is hosting its third annual warm coat drive. The drive will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 at Henry Ford High School, 20000 Evergreen, Detroit.
The event features entertainment and members of the Detroit police, including Captain Steve Walton of the Sixth Precinct and Captain Jacquelin Pritchett of the Eighth Precinct. Contact P.O. T. Owens at [email protected] with any questions.
Ruth Ellis Center
The youth social services agency that helps runaway and at-risk youth in Metro Detroit is known for its residential program for LGBTQ youth – in fact, it’s the only organization in the country to have this service specific to LGBTQ teens experiencing homelessness.
REC will host their fourth annual “Bowl-A-Rama” at Hartfield Lanes Family Fun Center, 3490 12 Mile Road, Berkley. While REC takes donations for needed supplies throughout the year, this is a chance to donate much needed funds to the center while sharing in the holiday spirit with friends, family and LGBTQ youth in need. The event will feature an ugly holiday sweater competition, 50/50 raffle, silent auction and pizza and pop.
Bowl-A-Rama begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Tickets are $25 for students, $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Contact Amy Flory for more information at 248-321-3635 or visit http://www.ruthelliscenter.org.
Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit
Also helps REC this holiday season, MCCD in Ferndale is collecting coats for the center. They are in need of large, extra large and 1x and 2x men’s and women’s winter coats as well as large boots, gloves and hats.
Divine Peace MCC of Waterford
Divine Peace MCC of Waterford Michigan will be hosting it first Thanksgiving Dinner to collect toys for families associated with Lighthouse of Oakland County. Divine Peace is also collecting gift cards for various place like Kroger, Meijer, gas stations, etc. that they can hand out to those in need this Christmas.
Jen T., Divine Peace Blessing Crew Team Leader, says, “When members of the church volunteered with the distribution of the baskets (of food, gifts, etc.) to the families, it was noticed that there was a large need for toys for the children of the families. Divine Peace’s Blessing Crew came up with an idea to host a dinner in which attendees would bring one new unwrapped toy to the church as admission to the Thanksgiving Dinner. The goal is to collect enough toys to help make Christmas special for the children of the families associated with Lighthouse.”
The dinner will be held from 4-6 p.m., Nov. 21 at Divine Peace MCC 1400 Scott Lake Road, Suite H, Waterford.