For all of those last-minute holiday shoppers, the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center still could use food and gift donations.
The nonprofit organization, at 3222 N. High St., is requesting stocking stuffers and holiday-food items, such as turkey, canned sweet potatoes, boxed stuffing, green beans and dinner rolls.
“Everybody deserves to celebrate the holidays,” said Bill Owens, the CRC's executive director. “It’s part of life.”
The center is preparing for its annual holiday gift-giveaway and food delivery Dec. 11, when it will serve 100 families and 250 seniors in Clintonville and beyond.
The deadline has closed for residents and businesses to sponsor families who had submitted a wish list for presents, Owens said.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the in-person gift shop – where children picked out gifts for parents – was reoriented this year and will offer a drive-thru experience at North Broadway United Methodist Church.
That’s also the time when stockings will be distributed, Owens said.
Recommended items include candy, makeup, Matchbox cars, crayons, school supplies and playing cards.
Holiday gift-giving is a rich tradition at the CRC. For example, Mary Lou Sweeney, also known as the “doll lady,” again has donated repurposed dolls that were given a bath and dressed with hand-knitted clothing.
All donations are welcome from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the CRC’s administrative offices.
“We’re helping people year-round, so if we have toys leftover, that’s OK,” he said.
The same logic applies to food donations.
“That also is food for use in our food pantry for those who are low income or living in poverty,” Owens said.
The CRC participates in the countywide Kinship Care program, where children who are not living with their parents are placed in the care of family members, Owens said.
Through that initiative, gifts are distributed throughout the year, he said.
“We’re even going to be open on Christmas Eve until noon,” Owens said. “Nothing goes to waste around here.”
Hugh Crowell, a member of the Clintonville Area Commission, said the CRC is an important place for the neighborhood and other underserved parts of the city.
"It's especially important during the holidays because family needs for food and clothing and other resources might be difficult for people with limited means to reach," Crowell said. "That just makes the CRC services and the food pantry particularly valuable resources."
This article originally appeared on ThisWeek: Clintonville's resource center makes pitch for stocking stuffers, holiday-food items