This time of year, giving is in the air. We take the time to think of what we have, what we can give to show our appreciation, and what others who are not as fortunate may need. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite local, non-profit organizations on Delmarva that would greatly benefit from your donations.
Get Well Gabby is a foundation dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Pediatric cancers are the leading disease killer of children. Donations to Get Well Gabby have supported the construction of the new Oncology Playroom at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, as well as providing funds to help families that have children battling a cancer diagnosis. In the future, Get Well Gabby hopes to fund a software initiative that allows Oncology patients to have electronic medical records, providing a way to share diagnosis and treatment information nationally.
This farm on Sixty Foot Road in Parsonsburg provides therapeutic and recreational horseback riding for people with disabilities. Riding and interacting with the horses develops a relationship that is focused on abilities and partnership rather than disabilities. Horseback riding can also improve a riders strength, balance and coordination. Participants in the program range from age 3 – 80 and through various levels of ability. The horses and instructors at 4Steps provide gentle and kind instruction and companionship to those who need it most.
Diakonia offers a number of services in Ocean City including transitional housing programs, an emergency solutions program offering help to maintain permanent housing for those in need, a veteran’s support program, thrift shop and emergency food pantry. Diakonia accepts monetary donations as well as in-kind donations. You can find a full list of the items Diakonia has a particular need for here. Diakonia serves over 55,000 meals to residents and gives out over 100,000 pounds of groceries. Their transitional housing can hold up to 40 people at a time, and in 2015 they housed 155 people experiencing homelessness. A donation to Diakonia helps them continue this wonderful work.
Operation Shooting Star is committed to funding research for a cure for autoimmune diseases. Operation Shooting Star strives to send 100% of their fundraising efforts directly to research. There are over 80 autoimmune diseases, including MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. An estimated 24 million Americans suffer from one or more autoimmune diseases. Donations to Operation Shooting Star go straight to researching a cure for autoimmunity.
The Salisbury Zoo remains admission free, allowing everyone to learn about the animals and enjoy a day with family. You can support the zoo and their mission in a number of ways. The first is to become a member, which offers free admission to over 110 other zoos and aquariums, discounts on education and family programs, and merchandise discounts. Alternatively, you can adopt your favorite zoo animal. This also makes a great gift. Finally, donation stations are at each entrance of the zoo when you visit!
The Cricket Center is Worcester County’s only Child Advocacy Center. Child Advocacy Centers help protect the rights of children while determining if they have been the victim of a crime. In 2015, the Cricket Center served 93 children and identified 38 sex offenders. A donation to the Cricket Center helps this group continue to offer these important services.
Justin’s Beach House offers a much needed vacation home in Bethany Beach for families dealing with cancer. The family of Justin Jennings believes in the importance of families spending quality time together at the beach during a stressful time of illness. When a family member suffers from cancer and experiences high medical costs, vacations can become financially impossible. This organization helps ensure that families can still enjoy time together.
Worcester County G.O.L.D. provides financial aid to families in crisis, vulnerable adults and children in foster care. G.O.L.D stands for Giving Other Lives Dignity. During the holidays, this programs seeks sponsors to provide gifts for needy children and vulnerable adults in Worcester County. You can contact this group if you would like to sponsor a family. Additionally Worcester County G.O.L.D accepts monetary donations that go towards assistance for foster children, basic care items for adults and seniors, baby supplies, funds for students, a summer camp or general aid for food and utilities. Along with monetary donations, this organization also accepts new school supplies, gifts, clothing and pantry items.
Maryland Coastal Bays is dedicated to protect and conserve the watershed of Maryland’s coastal bays. This organization does research, restores degraded habitat and promotes ecologically sound, sustainable development. Donations go toward protection our local watershed, its habitat and wildlife.