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Holiday season giving is easy, helps local agencies, charities

Does the holiday season make you feel generous? You’re not alone. This is the time of year when most people open their hearts and wallets to help those in need, a way of spreading cheer that feels good.

While there are worthy causes around the world, charitable giving close to home brings an added benefit: strengthening the community where givers live.
To make it easier for Chronicle readers to support some of the South Suburbs’ most beloved and oldest nonprofits, information on how to help this holiday season is below.

South Suburban Humane Society
Mission:  The South Suburban Humane Society helps pets and the people who love them by providing adoption services, low-cost spay/neuter procedures, assistance to help families keep their pets and humane animal care education. It is an animal resource center for the entire southland region.  
What’s needed:  The greatest need is for monetary donations to help cover the costs of operating programs and in-kind donations to support those programs. The organization also actively seeks volunteers to help in all areas of the organization.

How to give: Monetary donations can be given safely and securely through the organization’s website: southsuburbanhumane.org. The website also features a wish list including a link to donate items directly through Amazon.com.  You can start Amazon purchases at smile.amazon.com and designate SSHS as your charity of choice. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to the agency.  Items and donations can also be dropped off at or mailed to 1103 West End Ave., Chicago Heights, IL 60411.  To become a volunteer, visit southsuburbanhumane.org.

Contact:  Emily Klehm at [email protected] or call 708-755-7387.

South Suburban Family Shelter
Mission: South Suburban Family Shelter provides comprehensive, coordinated services to families in which domestic violence exists without imposing any one solution. Services include: 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, counseling for adult victims and their children, court advocacy, medical advocacy, prevention program, professional training and partner abuse intervention program.  All victim services are provided free of charge, all are available in English and Spanish. 

What’s Needed: Food, paper products, cleaning products, personal care products including diapers and baby wipes, children’s pajamas and underwear and gift cards for area stores and gas stations.

How to give: Contact Vicki Meilach, community outreach coordinator, [email protected] or 708-794-2140, ext. 303.

Respond Now
Mission: Respond Now exists to provide immediate relief for residents of the South Suburbs who are in need while maintaining their dignity and affording respect. The agency does this by:

  •  Helping people through their temporary emergencies with financial assistance
  •  Providing food to families and individuals in need
  •  Providing sound referrals and counseling for other needed services

What’s needed: New toys or gift cards for our Christmas Store which is open to clients Dec. 14 and 15.

How to give: Bring the toys to St. Agnes Parish Hall (26th and Halsted in Chicago Heights) on December 13 or to Respond Now before then at 1439 Emerald St., Chicago Heights. To make a financial donation, mail checks to P.O. Box 215, Chicago Heights IL 60412 or visit respondnow.org.

Contact: Sue Perkins at [email protected].

The Cancer Support Center
Mission: The Cancer Support Center is here to give strength, guidance and support to anyone living with a cancer diagnosis, as well as to their loved ones. It accomplishes this as a community-based, volunteer-driven, donor-supported organization. 

Programs, resources and services are always delivered by professional therapists, counselors, nutritionists and experts and are provided in a warm, welcoming and nurturing setting at no cost to participants.

What’s needed: Most of the needs are financial because it is a donor-supported organization. All of the programs and services offered are delivered by professionals at no cost to participants. Through donations, the agency is able to continue to provide these programs and services to anyone who is affected by cancer, including family members and caregivers.

How to give: There are events throughout the year and attending those events can be a great way to support the center. If you wish to make a financial donation online, visit cancersupportcenter.org and click the donate button on the top. If you prefer to donate in person, stop by the center at 2028 Elm Road in Homewood during regular business hours.

Contact: Visit cancersupportcenter.com or call (708) 798-9171. Additionally, you can email [email protected].

This story first appeared in the Chronicle’s Dec. 1 print edition.

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