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Charitable Giving, Tied with a Bow
Giving programs brighten up the holidays for Baltimore’s neediest children

Wrapping up a good time with Community Services’ Elana Omari, second from left, and Carolyn Chance, far right, are Connie Stewart of oncology, left, and patient/visitor services coordinator Doris Alwine.

While some kids are making a list and checking it twice, another child’s wish might be to own a pillow. His mother’s is to have heat this winter. For some, there will be no gifts at all this Christmas.

Here’s a chance to alter reality.

Employees, students and departments can sponsor children and shower them with presents through the Department of Corporate and Community Services, which for more than 10 years has organized a gift-giving program as part of its Community of Caring Campaign.

“This year we’re partnering with the Douglass Homes Tenant Association and will collect gifts for 300 children,” says Community Services’ Terry Todesco. The Douglass Association, which represents a public housing development located on Fayette and Orleans streets, will provide Community Services with lists of present ideas from adults or guardians who know what their children need.

In past years, gifts have included toys, blankets, clothing, certificates to supermarkets, books or sports equipment. “The only criteria are that the present be new and age-appropriate,” says Todesco. Each year there are so many presents that Community Services must hire a moving company to transport the collection.

“Providing for the kids is what this holiday is all about to me. Sometimes it’s an overwhelming project,” says Todesco. “But that one day when we deliver the presents makes it all worthwhile.”

—Lydia Levis Bloch

Info: For a list of children’s first names, gender, age and wishes, go to Sponsors can drop off unwrapped presents at JHH sub-basement room 234 by Dec. 12. Gift wrappers urgently needed Dec. 12–17. To volunteer, contact Elana Omari at 410-614-0744.

Gifts Galore

Throughout Hopkins Medicine, there are plenty of ways to keep the holiday spirit alive for families in need:

SHARE AND CARE. This program, coordinated by Corporate Security, Parking and Transportation Services, provides gifts for more than 300 children, up to age 16, from Martin Luther King, Jr. Early Head Start, Perkins Daycare, Johns Hopkins Mental Health, local community organizations, and some employees’ families.

Info: To sponsor a child or make a monetary donation, contact Rhonda Allen at 410-614-3902. Drop off gifts by Dec. 15 at the 550 Building, Suite 503. Santa distributes gifts to the children on Dec. 17.

ADOPT-A-FAMILY. This Harriet Lane Clinic program accepts clothing and food presents for distribution during the holidays. (The clinic also collects small presents, such as crayons and stickers, throughout the year, which are given to children as prizes when they undergo invasive or painful procedures.)

Info: To sponsor children through the Adopt-a-Family program, contact Cora Gallagher, 410-614-3109. Gifts must be delivered by Dec. 16.

CHRISTMAS ANGELS. Howard County General Hospital’s employees and departments buy presents for needy children in Howard County through this Salvation Army program. Each angel is tagged with name, gender, age and gift wish of a child.

Info: Contact Karen Sterner, Public Affairs, 410-740-7810, by Dec. 9.



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