As a follow-up to November's PTA meeting, the following list of non-profit charitable organizations and schools were recommended by our members:
Blessings in a Backpack: Running Brook Elementary (https://secure.givelively.org/donate/blessings-in-a-backpack-inc/running-brook-elementary/bushy-park-pta) Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry.
Bright Minds (www.brightmindsfoundation.org): It’s an organization that uses private and public funding (grants, scholarships, community donations) to support Howard County students and teachers in various ways. Because the organization is an extension of HCPSS they understand where the needs are.
Casey Cares (http://caseycares.org): They are an organization that provides ongoing life enriching experience to critically ill children and their families. Everything from providing pajamas for hospital stays to weekend vacations (and everything in between!). They never turn away any families. 100% of their donations and profits to to programming.
Child Life Donations (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/johns-hopkins-childrens-center/ways-to-give/types-of-gifts/child-life.html), Snowflake Station: Snowflake Station is a free toy shop for caregivers whose children are spending the holidays in the Children's Center. You can help by donating new items from our holiday wish lists. Contact Stacie Morris for more information.
Comfort Cases (https://www.comfortcases.org): A Comfort Case is a small duffel bag or backpack with a purpose to provide comfort for youth as they enter the foster care system. The case provides the essentials for the first few days in a new place as well as comfort items to help ease a scary transition.
Donors Choose (www.donorschoose.org): Teachers across the country post projects they want to do in their classes and request funding (similar to a gofundme type method). The projects and classrooms are vetted by the organization and they have a detailed breakout of materials they are requesting. You have the ability to select projects based upon school need, student need, etc..
Frederick High School: Immediately assistance to hungry students who are homeless by providing healthy snacks. They are lacking "brain food" (or any food at all, frankly), so the school is trying to atleast reduce the distraction that hunger is posing to their focus and productivity during the school day.
Grassroots (https://www.grassrootscrisis.org): Grassroots is a multi-service crisis intervention center providing 24-hour crisis intervention services, emergency and transitional shelter, and community education. General Wishlist & Holiday Wishlist
HCPSS Homewood Center (https://hc.hcpss.org): We are always accepting donations of Noodle Cups, Fruit Cups, Breakfast and Snack Bars, Snacks, Treats, Paper Products, Deodorant, and Lip Balm. "I’d really like to see the teachers and students at this school supported specifically because they already have other challenges they are facing as it is (having no PTA most likely compounds those challenges)."
Thank you for your thoughtful recommendations.