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Charities spread good will

Acts of selflessness invoke holiday spirit

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 14:12

This time of year is often described as the season of giving. During the holidays, charity becomes one of the most prominent things on peoples’ minds, as well as in the media.

Contra Costa Community College District Director of Communications and Community Relations Tim Leong said, “It’s important this time of year to give back to those that are less fortunate than you. It’s easy to overlook the things we take for granted, but this is the season to show your gratitude by giving back.”

There are huge named charities that everyone knows by name, such as Toys for Tots and the American Red Cross, which deliver not only joy to children across the country, but also aid to those families that are not fortunate enough to be able to feed or house themselves this winter.

But for those that want their money or time to go to a more local cause, there are countless charities that focus on and serve solely the Bay Area.

The Bay Area Rescue Mission is a charity that focuses on providing food and shelter to homeless men, women and children across the Bay Area.

Last year alone, the Bay Area Rescue Mission provided homeless individuals with more than 1,450,000 meals, according to its website.

The Oakland Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation, which provides medical care and research to countless sick children in the Bay Area, is always looking for donations.

This time of year one can find a large list of toys and gifts one can think of donating to help brighten the holiday season for a sick child.

A list can be found of all the ways one can help at

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano counties is also looking for donations and volunteers this time of year.

From their own website, the food bank wants to remind people that for every $1 you donate, they can distribute two meals to hungry people in the Bay Area.

One can also make donations by going to large name grocery stores, such as Safeway, and buying a bag of groceries that the store will then donate to the Food Bank.

The newest member to the District Governing Board, Matthew Rinn, said, “Honestly, I think it’s important to give to charity all year round. This time of year, though, I’d say it’s most important to donate to charities that focus on housing and feeding the homeless, and charities that help foster children. Anything that brings a little joy to a child this time of year, that lets them know Santa doesn’t dislike them, is always good.”

No matter how one chooses to donate this time of year, there are countless ways. Local animal shelters, such as the Hopalong Animal Rescue in Oakland or FurEver Animal Rescue are always looking for donations of food or time for abused or abandoned animals that may not be able to make it on their own during these cold winter months.

The Greater Richmond Inter-faith Program is also searching for donations to help feed those that are in need of help this holiday season in Richmond and its surrounding area.

The Berkeley Food and Housing Project also provided emergency food and shelter to those that need it this season, and any donations would go a long way toward helping.

As the holiday season draws nigh and temperatures around the Bay Area continue to drop, food, clothing and toys are in high demand with charities throughout the entire area.

As people prepare to buy their loved ones expensive gifts and sit down in heated homes for a hot holiday meal, they should take the time to think of those less fortunate than they are, and give a little to help make someone else’s holiday a little brighter and a little warmer. 

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