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Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 05:58 am

Lend a hand, part 2

Giving the gift of health requires only about one hour of your time.

After last week’s cover story, “Gifts of the heart,” our annual roundup of nonprofits and their “wish lists,” we heard from other organizations hoping to be brought to the attention of generous IT readers. So we include here several more groups and their descriptions of their work. Any other nonprofits who send us information about their organizations between now and Christmas will be included in the listing on our Web site, www.illinoistimes.com.

Central Illinois
Community Blood Center
1134 S. Seventh St., 753-1530

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center supplies for 19 area hospitals and encourages healthy individuals to donate blood, the gift that saves lives. Giving the gift of health requires only about one hour of your time, and you can be sure the recipient will be most grateful. In this season of giving, it is important to remember those less fortunate who need your gift in order to have the health you enjoy. Donations throughout the year are important to help ensure that the necessary supply of blood is available locally.

A healthy individual may donate blood six times per year, and the CICBC requests that individuals give blood at least four times per year to ensure that it is available for their friends, neighbors and family members if the need arises. During the holiday season, the CICBC Donor Center maintains regular hours, with the exception of Christmas and New Year’s Day when the center is closed. Hours are reduced on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and mobile blood drives are scheduled to take place throughout the holiday season.

Haitian Development Fund
4043 Guilford Dr., 546-6360
HDF, founded in 2002, operates a family practice medical clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and the world’s third poorest. The seven-person Haitian staff serves 10,000 people annually receiving treatment free of charge.

The organization encourages families to consider a gift to the poor in place of Christmas gifts for family and friends. HDF is a co-worker organization with: Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, Mission Outreach, Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Springfield, and the Missionaries of Charity in Haiti. Gifts are tax deductible.

Midwest Mission
Distribution Center
1022 New City Rd, PO Box 56, 483-7911

The Midwest Mission Distribution Center compassionately helps God’s people in need locally, nationally and around the world and offers a center to fulfill the call for service to neighbors in Christ’s name. MMDC volunteers pack kits, sort items, sew school bags, hospital gowns, and blankets, and box goods for shipment. The organization borrows no money and has no debt; the public is invited to tour the facility.

MMDC also provides disaster relief materials and humanitarian aid in the U.S. and around the world to Afghanistan, Algeria, Belarus, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan and Zimbabwe.

Central Illinois Foodbank
2000 E. Moffat
Springfield, 62791
Central Illinois Foodbank would like hams for the holidays. Readers may donate at the warehouse, 2000 E. Moffat, Springfield. 522-4022.

Camp Care-A-Lot
7 Apache Drive, 546-4777
Camp Care-A-Lot provides two weeklong sessions for children ages 6 to 10 from low or no income families. The organization aims “to help create strong leaders, responsible citizens, productive members of society and caring adults, because we believe that all kids are capable of success no exceptions.” This is accomplished through educational, social, emotional and recreational activities through teaching of critical thinking, conflict resolution, team building, respect, kindness and responsibility. Many children attending the camp have experienced homelessness or other difficult situations in their young lives. There is no charge to families and agencies recommending children to camp, which is staffed by volunteers and sustained through donations from civic clubs, businesses, houses of worship and individuals.  Wish list: volunteer lifeguards, volunteer nurses; shampoo, conditioner and body wash; towels and wash cloths; bathing suits, tennis shoes, lightweight summer jackets and windbreakers for children ages 6 to 10;  stamps, copy paper, envelopes and books for readers ages 6 to 10; full time counselors for the weeks of June 13-20 and July 11-17 (must apply in December); a large community turnout for the interfaith holiday breakfast on Christmas morning at Temple B’Rith Shalom, 1004 S. Fourth St. Tickets cost $6 for adults, $3 for children and 25 cents per year of age up to age 12.

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