Good Karma Holiday Program
Key dates for 2023:
Thanksgiving basket drop-off:
October 24 – November 14
New toy donation drop-off:
November 1 – December 9
Give Joy This Holiday Season
The holidays are just around the corner! At A Wider Circle, we know that this time of year often presents a real challenge for families who have difficulty allocating time and money to celebrate.
Once again, we are betting big on the power of our supporters to help us give out thousands of gifts, distribute hundreds of food baskets, and sponsor hundreds of families in November and December.
We have several ways you can help your neighbors this holiday season. Read through the options below, and download this flyer to pass out to your coworkers, friends, neighbors, and loved ones.
Assemble a Thanksgiving Basket
Over the past few years, we have seen a dramatic increase in families experiencing food insecurity. The Capital Area Food Bank recently found that 32% of households in the Washington region did not always know where their next meal would come from.
What we are doing:
Each year, we give out 300+ Thanksgiving baskets to families in DC and MD. Our recipients include the residents of served by our Ward 8 Hub in DC’s Washington Highlands neighborhood, as well as clients attending furniture, clothing, and career support appointments at our Center in Silver Spring, MD.
The baskets include a set of non-perishables and a gift card for fresh grocery items. Donated baskets or individual items/gift cards can be dropped off to us in Silver Spring between October 24 and November 14, and we’ll deliver them to families in need.
Send your questions to email@example.com or call 301-608-3504 and dial 0 for the receptionist.
How you can help:
To help your neighbors experience the bounty of a full table, please consider dropping off a gift card and a bundle of shelf-stable items. With your help, we’re looking to fill all 300 baskets with the following items:
- 1 $50 Safeway or Giant gift card (If $50 is not within your reach this year, you can decrease the value to $25; if the opposite is true, you can increase the value to $75 or $100)
- 1 Cranberry sauce (whole or jellied)
- 1 Stuffing mix (Stove Top, etc.)
- 1 Box of Instant Mashed Potatoes
- 1-2 Cans of Sweet Potatoes
- 1-2 Cans or Jars of Turkey Gravy
- 1 Box of Macaroni Noodles
- 2-3 Canned Vegetables (low sodium preferably)
- 1 Cornbread Mix
- 1 Can or Box of Shelf-Stable Milk
Create a whole bag, box, or basket. Make 2 or 5 kits, even! Or, you can just contribute particular items and leave the rest to our team to assemble.
Please drop your donation off at our headquarters, the Ann and Don Brown Center for Community Service, 9159 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, starting Tuesday, October 24, through Tuesday, November 14.
Our hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday-Saturday. You do not need to confirm your participation or call or email ahead of time.
Sponsor a family with gifts in December
What we are doing:
We’re banding together to make the holidays brighter for 300 families in DC’s Washington Highlands neighborhood in Ward 8. Centered in a public housing community in the neighborhood, A Wider Circle’s Ward 8 Hub serves as a resource hub where we have the privilege of working with a majority of the families we will assist for the holidays.
How you can help:
By mid-November, we are meeting with the head of each family in this community to find out their specific needs and preferences. As a potential sponsor, you can visit our Signup.com page to view the families that need sponsorship. You can select by family size – for example, perhaps you can support three separate single-member households, or perhaps you want to support one family with a few teens or young children. We are grateful for anything you can do.
We are asking sponsors to provide (1) a grocery gift card loaded with $25 per each household member; (2) a retail store gift card for adult household members 18+ and; (3) and a toy, coat, and book/educational item for children in the home 17 and under. You will be invited to deliver your gifts to the family directly between December 1 and 21, unless you or your sponsored family requests that A Wider Circle makes the delivery happen. If you are not delivering to the family, you will need to drop your gift off to our administrative building at 9141 Brookville Road on select dates and times identified at the bottom of our sponsor FAQ.
Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 202-891-7894.
Donate new toys for local children
What we are doing:
This year, we are once again partnering with the DC Housing Authority to ensure that each child living in public housing in DC — or scattered site housing across the District — has a few toys to make their December holidays joyous. Thanks to supporters like you, we are able to give out thousands of toys through this partnership each year.
Every year, we also set up a magical “Winter Wonderland” for neighbors who visit our Silver Spring Center for furniture and clothing appointments in December. Neighbors select new toys for their children — then our volunteers wrap and send the toys home with the parents to distribute during their own holiday celebrations.
How you can help:
There are a few ways you can participate:
- Peruse our
Amazon wishlist for potential gifts to purchase and donate. Toy and gift donations are not limited to what is on the wishlist — we will take any new toys, games, sports gear, or educational gifts
for children between the ages of 2 and 17. Keep in mind that we’ll need to cover a wide variety of ages, genders, and specific interests.
- Drop off new unwrapped gifts to our headquarters, the Ann and Don Brown Center for Community Service, 9159 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, starting Wednesday, November 1 through Saturday, December 9. Our hours
are 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday-Saturday. You do not need to confirm your participation or call or email ahead of time.
- If you prefer to ship items to us, our Amazon wishlist will allow you to send items directly to us. Or, you can use any other shopping website to send gifts to: “A Wider Circle, ATTN: HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE, 9159 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910.” Please plan for your items to arrive between Wednesday November 1 and Saturday, December 9, 2023.
Something that inspires us every year is how many supporters run a toy drive at their workplace, or among their family and neighbors, and drop items off in bulk.
Send your questions to email@example.com or call (301) 807-9380 to speak with or leave a message for Liz Anne, our coordinator.
Volunteer to deliver or wrap gifts
We need individuals and families to sign up for volunteer shifts wrapping gifts, helping parents select gift items at our headquarters in Silver Spring, and delivering Thanksgiving baskets and holiday gifts to families in the DC area.
If you would like to help out, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Existing and recent volunteers will be provided the link to sign up for shifts directly. New volunteers will first be provided with a link to complete the volunteer waiver. We will provide a brief orientation to anyone on or before their first holiday volunteer shift.
If you have any questions, please send them to email@example.com or call 301-608-3504 and select the prompt to reach the Volunteer Team.
Support our work with a donation!
If you are not able or prefer not to shop directly, you can still help us reach our goal and round out your neighbors’ needs.
Click here to support the holiday program with a financial gift. Or, you can also give a general gift to support all of A Wider Circle’s programs and services throughout the year.
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Karma Kenny, a role model for us all.
In 2020, we renamed our Holiday Program to the Good Karma Holiday Program in honor of our long-time supporter and dear friend Karma Kenny, who passed earlier that year.
Karma was a consummate gift giver whose spirit of generosity and infectious enthusiasm for sharing her time and treasure with us, and the Holiday Program, touched all who encountered her. She truly enjoyed the act of giving and is a role model for us all. While she will be missed, her spirit lives on.