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Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006 02:39 pm

Lend a hand

Springfield area nonprofits share their holiday wish lists

Illinois Times invited local nonprofit organizations to tell our readers what’s on their wish lists, other than financial support, for the holidays. Other organizations will be featured in coming weeks.

Animal Protective League
1001 Taintor Rd., 217-544-7387
The APL of Springfield and Sangamon County takes in and assists homeless, sick, and injured cats and dogs; makes sure they are healthy and have all their shots; spays or neuters them; and finds them homes. The organization requests additional dog walkers, volunteers to socialize and assist with cats, cleaning supplies (paper towels, mops, laundry soap, used towels), office supplies (copy paper, copier supplies, postage stamps); kitten formula, medical supplies, puppy food, pallet cat litter, collars, chew toys, tennis balls, dog bones, and leashes.

Avenue Thrift Shop
719 W. Jefferson St., 217-528-8580
Profits from this upscale resale shop go to local charities. The organization requests volunteers who will work 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. The shop also requests donations of good used furniture. It will pick up and provide tax receipts.

Contact Ministries
1100 E. Adams St., 217-753-3939
Contact Ministries is a crisis/intervention agency that serves individuals and families who are facing crises. The organization requests donations of meals for its homeless shelter, food for its Christmas Assistance Program and food pantry, diapers, bus passes for low-income workers, and volunteers to enter data and sort clothing.

Lincoln Memorial Garden
2301 East Lake Dr., 217-529-1111
Lincoln Memorial Garden offers environmental-education opportunities to school children and the people of Springfield and central Illinois. The garden welcomes weekend volunteers for its gift shop, the donation of gravel for its parking lots ($150 for a load), wildflowers for a prairie restoration ($5 each), donations to cover summer camp for an underprivileged child ($100), volunteers to teach kids how to make maple syrup, and replacement boards for benches ($15).

MERCY Communities
108 E. Cook St., 217-753-1358
The mission of Mentors, Empowerment and Resources for Change in Young Families Communities is to provide housing and supportive services to foster the independence of homeless and at-risk families. The group seeks volunteers to mentor families, volunteers to transport families to weekday appointments, volunteers to provide an hour of weekly child care between 6 and 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, volunteers to plan and sponsor holiday parties for children, and church or civic groups to move graduating families into their permanent housing. The group also requests home furnishings; bed, bath, and kitchen linens; baby supplies; cleaning supplies; household paper products; laundry supplies; and gift cards.

Parent Help Line at St. John’s Children’s Hospital
800 E. Carpenter St., 217-494-0055 or 217-494-2431
The Help Line assists families in crisis with emergency needs until they’re referred to an agency to provide longer-term help. The group seeks gift cards to stores with good prices and wide selection, gas cards so parents can get to work, grocery-store gift cards, and donations to pay utilities/rent in emergency situations for families stable enough to pay bills the next month.

Planned Parenthood Springfield Area
1000 E. Washington St., 217-544-2744
Planned Parenthood provides confidential and affordable medical and educational services on a sliding scale for women and teens. The organization seeks volunteers to place fliers around town; donations for education pamphlets and videos, both in English and Spanish; and filing cabinets.

Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault
3 W. Old State Capitol Plaza, 217-744-2560
PCASA has a twofold purpose: to alleviate the suffering of sexual-assault victims and to prevent sexual violence. The organization, which provides emergency-department response, medical advocacy, and counseling, seeks contributions of new toys for child clients (Barbies, Legos, dolls, puzzles, stuffed animals, board games), blank journals for children and adults, and small items for clients to hold in their hands when testifying in court (worry stones, hope and courage coins, medallions).

St. John’s Breadline
430 N. Fifth St., 217-528-6098
Breadline, which prepares meals for the needy, requests donations of turkeys for Thanksgiving meals, pumpkin pies, hams, paper plates and plastic utensils, instant mashed potatoes, and juice mixes.

The Parent Place
314 S. Grand Ave. W., 217-546-5257
The Parent Place works to stop child abuse by strengthening parenting skills and helping reduce family stress. The organization seeks donations of diapers, baby wipes, baby blankets, and formula.

1507 E. Cook St., 217-206-7690
TSP-HOPE promotes neighborhood revitalization by developing safe, affordable housing and by facilitating successful homeownership through education and neighborhood programs. In addition to the homeownership program, the organization provides free home-maintenance classes and homebuyer-education classes. The organization requests the donation of postage, a photocopier, a laptop, copy paper, and company-logo products for the organization’s fourth annual golf outing.

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