"We are All Involved!"
- James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause, 1955 -

Updated on Sunday, November 26th, 2017 at 2:46 PM:
Wish List Angels of Northern Virginia added.

Baltimore- and DC-Regional Philanthropies for Children
in Time for the Late-Year Holidays

      This page offers descriptive links to a number of charitable activities that benefit children in particular, and that often involve active participation by children.  Such groups often have volunteer opportunities, especially during the late-year holidays.  Some work year-'round.  The page's purpose is twofold: to concretely benefit those in need, and to give our young people the experience of making the world a better place through their own personal efforts.

      All of the links have been checked and validated as being "live" for the autumn of 2017.

      Most of these are fairly large efforts, regional or national in scale.  There is room for more on this list!  We welcome any that you might recommend, of any size, particularly those local to our area, and would happily credit you and your organization as source.  We'd particularly like to learn of activities and organizations that bring love and comfort to children who have been abandoned, abused, or who are severely injured or ill, such as those spending the holidays in shelters, hospitals and hospices.

      Feel free to contact us at gh.truck.54@geotrees.com.


  • The Helzberg Foundation:   The "I am Loved" page.
    Verified "Live" as of Thursday, November 16th, 2017.
          "Spread the Message of Love" with this foundation, home of the "I am Loved" button campaign since 1967, and key to "Pennies'" original inspiration.  An activity of the Helzberg Diamonds company, which is engaged in a number of charitable and service activities to benefit those young and not-so-young.  Thank you, Kathy...

  • The Playtime Project:   www.playtimeproject.org.  
    Verified "Live" as of Thursday, November 16th, 2017.
          "We believe that play is a human right that all children deserve, regardless of housing status. We seek to help create a city that provides every opportunity for homeless children to succeed by advocating for affordable housing and safe shelters for all families.
          "Since 2003, our trained and screened volunteers have provided weekly activities, healthy snacks, and opportunities to play and learn for the children at emergency shelter and transitional housing sites in the District of Columbia.  In the past ten years, Playtime volunteers have served thousands of children at seven different sites throughout the city.
          "Through thirteen weekly children's programs, volunteers provide playful games, chances to learn through art, movement and imaginative play, one-on-one attention and caring adult supervision for children, as well as support for the entire family with parent support and referrals, clothing and school supply donations, and chances to celebrate with holiday parties throughout the year.  Older children accompany volunteers on field trips throughout the year to experience the rich culture of Washington, DC and take a break from weekends staying in a shelter."

  • St. Baldrick's Foundation:   www.stbaldricks.org.
    Verified "Live" as of Thursday, November 16th, 2017.
          "St. Baldrick's is a whimsical twist on St. Patrick's Day - when brave volunteers agreed to shave their heads bald to raise funds for childhood cancer research. . .  In our first year together as an independent St. Baldrick's Foundation, we raised over $5.3 million. . .  St. Baldrick's began with three people who wanted to make a difference, and chose to help children with cancer.  Today, the St. Baldrick's Foundation unites thousands of volunteers whose shared mission - to shave the way to a cure - has captured the enthusiasm and devotion of people around the world."
          "'Virtual shaves' are available for those who don't want to go 'the full Monty.'"
          There are many events and participants throughout the Baltimore-Washington area, and they take place year-round.  To find one (or more) near you by Zip code and selected distance range, start with this link: www.stbaldricks.org/events/ and see "Find an Event" on the left of the page.
          Thanks to Steve Sheldon of the Old Brogue Restaurant and Pub in Great Falls, Virginia for the original information on St. Baldrick's.  The Foundation has many local organizers and contacts - please visit their home site to find one near you.

  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital:   www.stjude.org.
    Verified "Live" on Friday, November 24th, 2017.
          "St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
          "Our Mission Statement:  The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.  Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.
          "Our History:  Unsure of his life's direction, a young Danny Thomas sought guidance from St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes.  If the saint would point to the path he should take, Danny vowed to build a shrine in his name.  Success followed Danny's plea and soon after, the legendary entertainer set about fulfilling his vow to St. Jude.  The result was St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
          "Families are Free to Focus on Their Child:  St. Jude was the first institution to develop a cure for sickle cell disease with a bone marrow transplant, and has one of the largest pediatric sickle cell programs in the country.  And we freely share our breakthroughs so that one child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists in communities everywhere can use that knowledge to save more children."

  • Santa Claus Anonymous:   www.santaclausanonymous.org/
    Verified "Live" as of Thursday, November 16th, 2017.
          "A Baltimore area charity dedicated since 1934 to: 'Give a Child a Christmas' by providing anonymous monetary support in the form of gift certificates to parents or guardians of underprivileged children in Baltimore City and the following counties in Maryland: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard."
          Phone: 443-557-7000 or 410-456-9269;   E-mail: santa@santaclausanonymous.org.

  • Shriners Hospitals for Children:   www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/
    Verified "Live" as of Thursday, November 16th, 2017.
          "Shriners Hospitals for Children is a network of pediatric specialty hospitals, founded by the Shrine, where children under the age of 18 receive excellent medical care absolutely free of charge. . .   We are committed to providing the best care for children in our specialty areas of Orthopaedics, Burn Care, Spinal Cord Injury, and Cleft Lip and Palate, regardless of a family's ability to pay."

  • Toys for Tots:   www.toysfortots.org/
    Verified "Live" as of Thursday, November 16th, 2017.
          "Mission: To collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.  Goal: To deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders." 
          Very active in the Baltimore area for many years.  This is a nationwide organization; visit their home page to find your local points of contact.

  • Wish List Angels:   www.wishlistangels.com/
    NEW!  Posted on Sunday, November 26th, 2017
          "You can't help everyone. . . but everyone can help someone."
          "It's that time of year when we reach out to our generous and caring community and ask your help to make the holidays a bit brighter for those who need a little help. . . 'Angels' big and small can help those in need over the holidays.  This project DIRECTLY helps families in area shelters and Teens in Fairfax County Foster Care by providing them with the Wish List item or items that they have personally requested.
          "The Wish List Project began during the holiday season of the year 2000.  With the generous support of donors, we helped ten families that included 47 individuals staying at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter in Reston.  We were able to get the parents some gifts as well.  Over the years we have grown and given to more than 400 individuals, seven area shelters and countless children in foster care.
          "Wish List Angels directly helps families in local elementary schools identified by counselors in need of support, area shelters, alternative housing and children in foster care.  Your generosity and support will perpetuate the essence of the holiday season.  We continue to partner and support Fairfax County Foster Care, Second Story (formerly The Alternative House), Shelter House (formerly Artemis Domestic Abuse Shelter), Buzz Aldrin, Herndon and Hutchison Elementary Schools."

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Dedicated with great respect and great love to Kathy, to whom this page owes its existence, and to her dad, and her mom.
To Baby Roe.  To Aaron, Bill, Chad, Chelsea, Christianne, Joel, Katie, Matthew, Nabra, Nicole, Paul, Priya, Samantha, Steve, and Xia,
and to all children in danger and in pain, everywhere.

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