Local businesses and people give back to charities this holiday season

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People and businesses throughout the community are teaming up with holiday charities to help give back this holiday season.

This time of year, the malls are crowded and the parking lots are full. While some get caught up in shopping and sales, others are giving back to the community.

“We are participating in a macaroni and cheese drive that several law firms in the area are participating in, and it is kind of spearheaded by a firm, Vital and Vital, and it goes to the area food bank,” said Janie Pavlis, firm administrator for Offutt Nord Burchett law firm.

Pavlis said the firm participates in an annual coat drive and they adopt angels off of The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree.

Many businesses choose certain holiday charities to support this time of year. For example, Sun Tan City participates in Toys for Tots, which is run by the United States Marine Corps and gives toys to children whose parents can not afford to buy them any.

The Dollar Tree asks customers to donate to Operation Homefront, which provides toys for military children.

The Huntington Mall as well as many local grocery stores have chosen The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. These businesses allow bell ringers from The Salvation Army to stand outside and collect donations in the red kettles. Many other stores and businesses participate in holiday charities this time of year as well.

Students on campus are also doing what they can to give back this holiday season.

The Rec Center does its own version of the Angel Tree through Rec the Halls.

“We collect tags, wishes from seven to eight different agencies in the area and it is partnered with the first year residence halls,” said Dan Belcher, assistant director of Facility Operations at the Rec Center.

Belcher said the residence alls and the Rec Center have trees set up and students and staff pick whatever wish they want from the tree and they will bring it back.

“We are able to give over five to six hundred gifts back to the agencies that we adopt,” Belcher said.

Some local high schools are also participating in holiday charities such as Operation Christmas Child. Locals will gather together and fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and other small gifts. Once the shoebox is full, the box will be wrapped and sent to a child in need.

Kalyn Bordman can be contacted at [email protected]

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