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Holiday Guide Feature

Calling All Angels

How You Can Help Local Organizations With The Gift Of Your Holiday Dollars

By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 11/17/2004

Want to do good this holiday season? We took a look at what is one some local do-gooders’ wish lists and created this chart to show you what your donating dollar buys. From a few bucks to a bank account’s worth, notebooks to an entire warehouse, there are needs all over town that you might be in a position to fill.

The following dollar amounts give you a concrete idea of what your kind donation will buy. We’ve also listed some specific items and services the organizations in question say they need, although you should always call ahead before trying to provide or deliver such items.

Baltimore City Municipal Animal Shelter

301 Stockholm St., (410) 396-4688

Holds Stray Or Unwanted Animals And Tries To Find Them Homes.

$25: Cat toys.

$89: Plastic dog bed.

$320: Pack of 30 diagnostic testing kit for feline leukemia, AIDS, and heartworm.

They always need pet food. You could also bring rolls of chain-link fencing, six feet tall, or Plexiglas to repair the dog runs. Short on cash? Bring a few old ratty towels. The dogs and cats love to lie on them much better than the concrete floor.

Book Thing of Baltimore

82645 N. Charles St., (410) 662-5631,

Gives away a million used books a year to schools, teachers, and readers.

$25: Book case.

$100: Two tanks of gas for the van.

$1,000: New transmission for the van.

Russell Wattenberg, the Book Thing guy, says he needs unheated warehouse space of at least 5,000 square feet in which to relocate.

CASA Baltimore

5 S. Frederick St., (410) 244-1465,

Advocates for abused and neglected children in the Baltimore City court system.

$50: Portable CD player.

$100: Gift certificates to places teens shop.

$1,000: Training for a volunteer.

CASA also needs volunteers, 21 or older, especially African-American men.

Center for Poverty Solutions

2521 N. Charles St., (410) 366-0600,

Focuses on the eradication of poverty by fostering self-sufficiency for those living in poverty, including the working poor.

$10: An emergency food package for a family of three.

$50: Groceries for a family of three for one month.

$100: Career education workshops for five adults.

$200: Two weeks of camp for a child.

Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center

847 N. Howard St., (410) 225-3130,

Offers music lessons for kids, performances, and exhibitions on Baltimore jazz greats, including Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, and Chick Webb.

$35: Sturdy card table.

$50: After-school music and dance lessons for a middle-school student for a month.

$2,500: A scholarship for the Saturday music school—six weeks of instrumental instruction for kids ages 6 to 15.

The center also needs round tables, 68 inches or 72 inches in diameter, as well as sturdy folding chairs. If you have an old musical instrument to donate, they’ll take it. They especially appreciate keyboards, drum kits, and flutes.

House of Ruth Maryland

2201 Argonne Drive, (410) 889-0840,

Provides food, shelter, counseling, and legal services for battered women and their children.

$25: Two packs of diapers.

$100: Eight packs of diapers.

Bring on the little kid butt-coverings—baby wipes, and training pants. You might be surprised to know that House of Ruth also needs gardening tools, a lawn mower, and a weed whacker. Lots of grass to mow.

Maryland Art Place

Power Plant Live!, 8 Market Place, (410) 962-8565,

Art gallery and educational collaborative.

$25: 10 Three-ring binders.

$100: DVD player.

$1,500: LCD projector (PowerPoint style).

You could give your old projector and get a tax write-off. They also need a strong stereo (small speakers are better than large), milk crates, and black (or dark) table linens to go over eight-foot tables.

Project Bridge

222 E. Redwood St., (410) 837-1800

Teaches job skills and finds jobs for men and women coming out of prison.

$25: Two suits from Goodwill for job interviews.

$132: Two weeks of bus passes for four people so they can get to work before their first paycheck.

$500: Security deposit for an apartment that will allow someone to move out of transitional housing.

A little cash can mean a lot to people with nothing—it costs $15 to get a photo ID from the MVA; a copy of one’s birth certificate costs $12 from the state Department of Health. Those two bits of paper are sometimes key to filing a job application.

Rose Street Center

521 N. Rose St., (410) 675-1207,

Tutors adults preparing for their high-school equivalency exam; helps reintegrate inmates back into the community; cleans up the streets and does small home repairs for folks.

$25-50: Nails, lumber, joint compound and other materials necessary to do small home repairs for an elderly person.

$100-200: Tools for the men that do these repairs for free.

$1,000: Heavy-duty electric clothes washer and dryer.

Rose Street needs spiral-bound notebooks for their tutoring program, new books, and used tools including a circular saw, cordless drill, and jigsaw.

Run of the Mill Theater Company

3600 Clipper Mill Road, (410) 796-1555,

Brings new plays and unpublished scripts to Baltimore theaters.

$25: One bulb for a stage light or one actor’s salary for half a play’s run.

$100: Programs and posters for a production.

$200-500: Brand-new script written by a professional playwright.

For $500, Run of the Mill could purchase all the materials needed to build the set for its next production, Erik Ehn’s 13 Christs, scheduled for May. The group could also really use a new light board and a computer for sound control.

Baltimore Station

:8 E Ostend St., (410) 752-4454,

Provides basic life needs for recovering substance abusers.

$35: Services including addiction counseling, food, and shelter for one man for one day.

$50: Dinner for 50 men.

$400: Basic housewares—dish soap, laundry soap, scouring pads, hot pads, aluminum foil, plastic wrap—in industrial quantities.

The shelter always needs donations of towels, bedding, toiletries, and clothes.

Women’s Housing Coalition

119 E. 25th St., (410) 235-5782,

Helps homeless women find homes and keep them.

$25: A pair of shoes for a child.

$100: Four pairs of school shoes.

$300: School supplies for five kids.

The Women’s Housing Coalition currently has 16 families in need of holiday gifts. It also needs 70 new twin-size blankets.

Related stories

Holiday Guide Feature archives

More Stories

Stuffed (11/18/2009)
The 2009 City Paper Holiday Guide

The Gifts That Count (11/18/2009)
The presents that have stayed in our writers' thoughts

The Wish List (11/18/2009)
Gifts we wish we could afford

More from Edward Ericson Jr.

Old Habits (7/28/2010)
Medicalization is the hot new thing in drug treatment. Just like in 1970.

Room for Improvement (7/14/2010)
Celebrated crime control measure actually a flop, former chief reveals

Shelling Out (7/7/2010)
Mortgage broker goes bankrupt, seeks mortgage modification as taxpayers face mounting bailout bills

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