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Page Updated on Monday, November 7, and Links Verified on Tuesday, November 1, 2016
This page is updated frequently.  Please visit often.

Baltimore- and DC-Regional Philanthropies for Children
in Time for the 2016 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.  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" as of Tuesday, November 1.

      Most of these are fairly large efforts, regional or national in scale, but all have local activity.  Toys for Tots and The Playtime Project are Baltimore- and DC-based, respectively.  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 volunteer activities 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 editor@geotrees.com.


  • The Helzberg Foundation:   The "I am Loved" page.
    Verified Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
          "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:   playtimeproject.org.  
    Verified "Live" as of November 1, 2016.  UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR UPDATES.
          "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."
          In December 2013, the Project is involved with a clothing collection project with students of Eaton Elementary in NW Washington, DC.  Please contact the Project directly to see how you and your children may also support their activities.

  • St. Baldrick's Foundation:   www.stbaldricks.org.
    Verified "Live" as of Friday, October 7, 2016.  UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR UPDATES.
          "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.
    NEW and Verified "Live" on Monday, November 7, 2016.
          "We're dedicated to providing the best care for our patients.  To do that, we need to be at the cutting-edge of the latest medicine and research in fighting life-threatening pediatric diseases such as cancer, all while freeing families from the biggest burden in getting life-saving healthcare: the cost.
          "Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.  While we accept insurance, many services provided by St. Jude have never been covered by insurance, and will not be in the future.  In fact, only 14% of the money to operate the hospital comes from insurance recoveries and 9% comes from grants.  This is vastly different than most other hospitals that can generate more than 90% of their revenues from insurance recoveries and other sources.  And it's a different financial and operating model than large grant-making charities.
          "St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.  Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from 20% when the hospital opened in 1962 to more than 80% today.  In addition, St. Jude has achieved a 94% survival rate for ALL, up from 4% in 1962, and the survival rate for medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor, increased from 10 percent to 85% today.
          "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.com/.
    Verified "Live" as of Friday, October 7, 2016.  UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR UPDATES.
          "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 Friday, October 7, 2016.  UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR UPDATES.
          "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."

  • Toys for Tots:   www.toysfortots.org/.
    Verified "Live" as of Friday, October 7, 2016.  UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR UPDATES.
          "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.

  • Trick or Treat for UNICEF:   www.trickortreatforunicef.org/.
    Verified "Live" and current for 2016 as of Friday, October 7, 2016.
          "The tradition of 'Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF' began in 1950 in the United States when Philadelphia school children first went door-to-door at Hallowe'en collecting money in decorated milk cartons to help the world's children."  The organization has activities year-round, including educational resources for teachers, parents, and others.

    The tradition continues...


Dedicated with great respect and great love to Kathy, and her dad, and her mom,
to whom this page owes its existence,
and to all children in pain, everywhere.

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