The United Way of Berks County has published a guide for holiday volunteering and gift-giving opportunities.
The guide provides information on the needs of agencies serving the county. Contact the agencies below directly before beginning a collection drive or volunteering as the agencies' needs may change.
Berks County Area Agency on Aging: Volunteers are needed Dec. 19 to deliver a holiday meal to homebound seniors who receive regular home delivered meals. Contact Ann Barlet firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-478-6500 ext. 5523.
Berks Encore: Volunteers are needed to assist with putting together Christmas stockings for Meals on Wheels recipients Dec. 2. Contact Rita Phillips at email@example.com 610-374-3195 ext. 225.
Friend Inc.: Volunteers are needed Dec. 6 and 18 to sort gifts from local churches, load cars with gift bags, distribute turkeys, holiday dinner boxes and gift bags for children. Contact Cathy Dill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-683-7791.
Habitat for Humanity of Berks County/ReStore: Volunteers are needed to clean, help receive donations, prep donated goods for the sales floor, display inventory and assisting customers. Must be at least 16 years old. Contactt Eneida Powell at email@example.com or 610-621-0011.
Heartland Hospice: Volunteer crafters are needed to make bedside decorations for patients. Contact Lori Gourama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-373-6898.
Hope Rescue Mission: Volunteers are needed to help decorate the shelter Nov. 28. Contact Jayme Eenigenburg at email@example.com or 610-743-4945.
Lifeline of Berks County: Volunteers are needed to sort gifts. Contact Debbie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-374-8545.
Opportunity House: Volunteers also are needed to make meals for shelter clients. Contact Stacy Perlaki email@example.com or 610-374-4696, ext. 231.
Safe Berks: Small groups are needed to cook dinner or sponsor a local restaurant to provide dinner for the residents of the Safe House. Contact Mindy McIntosh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-468-9637.
The Salvation Army Service Center: Volunteers are needed to ring bells for the Hamburg service center at at various locations. Contact the kettle coordinator at email@example.com or 610-562-3576.
The Salvation Army Reading Corps: Businesses, groups and individuals are needed to ring bells at various locations in Berks County. Volunteers also are needed to help prepare holiday gifts for distribution. Duties include completing angel tags to be placed on trees at area businesses in the community, hosting an angel tree and sorting toys. Contact Yesenia Mejia at Yesenia.firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-373-5208.
Yocum Institute for Arts Education: Volunteers are needed to put the final touches on costumes, usher and decorate the set for the upcoming show, A Christmas Carol. Masks are required. Contact Beverly Houck at email@example.com or 610-376-1576, ext. 205.
Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading: Volunteers are needed to help make Christmas wreaths that will be donated to senior centers. Materials will be supplied. Crafters will work individually from home with virtual guidance. Donations of brain-boosting puzzle games like crosswords also are being collected for donation to senior centers. Contact Lindsay Sites at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-750-2190.
Holiday Gifts Wanted
Berks Connections/Pretrial Services: Small gifts are needed for the children of incarcerated parents. Suggestions are hats, scarves and gloves, single or full-size sheets and pillowcases, bath towels and washcloths. Contact Julia Ganter at email@example.com or 484-260-3860.
Berks Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services: Gift cards for area grocery stores are wanted for families in need. Contact Lori Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-685-4520.
Berks Encore: Gift items and/or gift cards are needed for holiday goodie bags given to Meals on Wheels recipients. Suggestions include bags to fill with small gifts, toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, hand soap, tissues, disinfectant spray and/or wipes, small containers of cleaning products or gift cards. Contact Rita Phillips at email@example.com or 610-374-3195 ext. 225, or Lori Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-374-3195 ext. 213.
Berks Teens Matter: Donations of gift cards for teen-friendly sites wanted. Contact Nadine Smet-Weiss at email@example.com or 610-375-6523 ext. 107.
Bethany Children's Home: Craft and art kits, teen-adult coloring books, paint-by-numbers, and other arts and crafts supplies are wanted. Contact Carolyn Shultz Spano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-589-6828.
Children's Home of Reading: Gift donations are needed to fulfill wishes. Contact Suku Shaf at email@example.com or 610-478-8266 ext. 427.
Clare of Assisi House: Holiday gift cards for area department stores and local hair salons are wanted for residents. Contact Chris Williammee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-217-8967.
Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania: Children's books for use by therapists, new toys for summer day camp and/or gift cards and tickets for community experiences are wanted. Contact Sue Schamberger at email@example.com or 610-289-0114 ext. 222.
Family Promise: Donations of personal care products, backpacks, BARTA bus passes, paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, gift cards, school and first-aid supplies wanted. Contact Elise Chesson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-373-3323 ext. 24.
Hope Rescue Mission: Donations of men's hats, socks, gloves, packaged underwear and undershirts are needed. Contact Jayme Eenigenburg at email@example.com or 610-743-4945.
Literacy Council of Reading: Winter student transportation is needed December, January, February and March. BARTA monthly passes are a great help. Contact Beverly Hirneisen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-670-9960.
New Journey Community Outreach: Groups are wanted to collect hats, gloves and socks for men, women and children as a special gift for the holidays. Toiletries and personal-care products for men and women, soup, canned and dried goods also are needed. Contact Sue Krall at email@example.com or 610-915-2662.
Northwest and Southwest middle schools, Reading: Gifts for students in need are wanted. Suggested items include: gift cards, sport equipment, headphones, art supplies, young adult fiction books, hair-care products, Chapstick/lip gloss, scrunchies and body spray/lotions. Northwest contact Johanna Zabala at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-371-5882, ext. 52913. Southwest contact Emily Reed at email@example.com or 610-371-5935, ext. 54126.
Olivet Boys & Girls Clubs: Christmas gift donations are needed for the club's teen members. Suggested items include gift cards, board games, headphones, blankets, socks, book bags, movie theater tickets and sporting goods. Contact Abigail Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rose Morales at email@example.com or 610-373-1314.
Phoebe Berks Health Care Center: Small gifts are wanted. Suggested items include: pads of paper, pens, puzzle books, music CDs, lotions and other personal care items, books, magazines, socks, slippers with rubber soles, tissue boxes, change purses, snacks and candy or nightgowns. Contact Liane Mayernik at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-927-8514.
Safe Berks: Gifts are needed for the up to 75 parents and children living center at any given time. Contact Mindy McIntosh at email@example.com or 484-869-5293.
St. Catharine Senior Apartments: Donations of gift cards or gift baskets are wanted for low-income seniors. Contact Alicia Waid at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-743-5374.
Wernersville State Hospital: Small gifts are wanted. Suggested items include shampoo, conditioner, body gel, scented lotions, deodorant, wallets, lip balms, socks, gloves, winter hats, baseball caps, memo pads, coloring books, word search and puzzle books, playing cards, other games and nonskid slipper socks. Men's items especially needed. Contact Kathy Ellett at email@example.com or 610-670-4164.
Veterans Coalition of Pennsylvania: Donations of canned and dry goods, personal care items, underwear, socks, winter coats, winter shoes and boots and grocery or gas gift cards are wanted. Contact Chris Spohn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-372-8267.
Wernersville State Hospital: Small gifts for residents such as personal care items, gloves and hats, coloring books and card games are wanted. Contact Kathy Ellett at email@example.com or 610-670-4164.
YMCA of Reading & Berks County: The child care center needs assistance with donations of various items including area rugs, giant plush stacking rings, dress up clothing, children's music CDs, bean bag chairs, hard cover books, building toys and art supplies. The transitional living unit needs cookware, dish towels and wash clothes, bath towels and clothes, sheets, blankets and personal care items. Contact Dori Bornstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-378-474
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United Way of Berks County guide has ways you can volunteer or give gifts this holiday season - The Mercury
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