Local organizations giving back this holiday, and how you can help

Local organizations giving back this holiday, and how you can help
By: Peyton Mahlmann Last Updated: November 5, 2019

Organizations and businesses in the Region are working hard to make this year’s holidays a little more special for community members in need. In the spirit of spreading good, we’re here to share with you some ways you can help support their causes. Whether it’s bringing a box of stuffing to a local business, giving a donation to a worthy cause, or volunteering to serve food to others, there are countless ways to help:

Boulder Bay Realty Group

Donating to New Creation Men’s Center and Housing Opportunities

They will be collecting hats, gloves, socks, and winter clothing necessities at their Valparaiso location (259 Indiana Ave, Suite B) throughout the month of November. For more information about dropping off a donation to help their cause, contact Lynda Anderson (llynda@boulderbayrealty.com).

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana

Donating to local youth, specifically club members

Their event in December titled Christmas to Remember will bring together local businesses and individuals to sponsor a child’s holiday. On December 12, all youth will come together at the Gary Genesis Center to meet Santa, open presents, and enjoy a meal. To help you can shop for gifts, sponsor a child, or volunteer at the event. Email shamilton@bgcgreaternwi.org for more information. Join their cause to try and make sure that no child has a holiday without any gifts.

McColly Real Estate

Donating to Toys for Tots

They will be hosting a toy and book drive to donate to local children in need. Bring donations to any of the McColly locations in Indiana and Illinois during the first week in December to help them make the holidays a little brighter for local families. Visit www.mccolly.com for information on all office locations.


Donating to 500 Turkeys

They will be collecting 200 boxes of cornbread until November 8, and anyone making a donation will be entered to win a pair of brunch coupons. Reach out to jkukelka@storypoint.com for more information about how you can help.

Patrick’s Catering & Events

Donating to Deserving Children, Shop with a Cop, Salvation Army, and Toys for Tots

They will be starting their new Tuesday Community Give Backs, bringing a bit of help to different area non-profits each month. This means that every Tuesday, 10% of regular dining room sales will be donated to the certain non-profit for that month. They have selected Deserving Children and Shop with a Cop for November, and Salvation Army and Toys for Tots for December. Check out their menu and hours here: http://www.patricksgrille.com/

Chester Inc.

Donating to Porter Starke Services and Porter County United Way

They are sponsoring the 2019 Valparaiso Turkey Trot in support of Porter Starke Services. To sign up for that, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/IN/Valparaiso/ValparaisoTurkeyTrot. Chester, Inc, also is involved in the Pacesetter and Goodwill Ambassadors Programs for the Porter County United Way. For more information on getting involved in Pacesetter, contact Kasie Tenbarge at kasandra@unitedwaypc.org. Help them achieve their goals by donating or volunteering.

Dental Arts Group

Donating to the Valparaiso Community Schools Backpack program

Dental Arts Group is working to combat food deserts in Valparaiso by sending students home with food for after school and on the weekends. They are always in need of food and financial donations, but the need is always greater after the beginning of the school year. Email Erin Hawkins (ehawkins@valpo.k12.in.us) to learn how you can help with this special cause. Tell her Dental Arts Group sent you!

Terry’s Discount Windows & More, LLC

Donating to 500 Turkeys

In support of the 500 Turkeys mission to feed 1,500 families this holiday season, Terry’s Discount Windows & More is collecting 200 cans of green beans for the charity. Anyone who drops off a donation at their Valparaiso office (1153 Marsh St, Suite A) will be placed into a $50 gift card drawing until November 8. They are in need of help, so head over to their office to support their efforts.

Team 360

Donating to 500 Turkeys

Their agents are fundraising and collecting stuffing to donate to 500 Turkeys, and you can join in their efforts by bringing a box to their Valparaiso office (2110 Calumet Avenue) until November 8. Contact darlene.knoblock@cbexchange.com for more information on what you can do.


Donating to the Michigan City Salvation Army, the La Porte Salvation Army, and the Pax Center

They will be hosting a food drive during November to collect non-perishable food items to be delivered during the first week of December. You can join in their collections by bringing any donations to their locations, or contacting Mari Chapala (219-326-7889) to make arrangements for picking up a donation.

Latitude Commercial

Donating to area nonprofits

Their executive officers give back to the community all year, supporting organizations like Lake County United Way, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club of Great NWI, Crisis Center Inc., The First Tee of Lake County, and many Lake County Law Enforcement Agencies. This year celebrates their 10-year anniversary, and they will host a holiday-themed charity party to collect funds for donating to a select few, undecided organizations. If you want to help, contact Latitude Commercial at 219-864-0200.

Ivy Tech Community College Valparaiso

Donating to the Kenya REAL Shoe Drive

Their Design Technology program is collecting gently used shoes to donate until November 20. Join their efforts by bringing donations to the box by the FLEX Lab on the Valparaiso Campus, or contact Jason Gordan (jgordon50@ivytech.edu) for more information on how to help.

Porter Regional Hospital

Donating to 500 Turkeys

The hospital will be providing a free Thanksgiving turkey to every Porter employee, and any extra turkeys will be donated to 500 Turkeys to support their efforts this holiday season. For more information on donating turkeys yourself, visit https://www.500turkeys.com/

La Porte Hospital

Donating to PAX Center, Salvation Army, and Bundle Up La Porte. 

The hospital served as a collection site for the Bundle Up La Porte coat drive. In addition, they will be providing a free Thanksgiving turkey to hospital colleagues, and any extra turkeys will be donated to Center Township Food Pantry, Salvation Army, and the PAX Center. Click on any of the organizations above to learn more about how you, too, can help.

Opportunity Enterprises, Inc.

Supporting their Angel Tree Program

OE arranges an Angel Tree program to support residential programs for adults with disabilities. You can join their efforts by purchasing and donating an unwrapped gift from their list before December 11. Contact Jeremiah Bissonnette (jeremiah.bissonnette@oppent.org) for information about the gifts found on their list.

Methodist Hospitals

Donating to the NWI Food Pantry

Each year their Leadership Development Institute Meeting they hold a food drive, and this year’s will take place on November 6. Additionally, each Methodist Hospitals employee receives a $15 turkey coupon, which often gets donated back to the hospital to then be given back to the community.

McAfee Animal Hospital

Donating to Vets N Pets

They support U.S. veterans struggling with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other emotional challenges, and want to help them return to a better life through obedience, training, or sharing love and devotion to a canine companion. They will be collecting donations all November, and those donations will then be matched by Dr.Larry McAfee. To help them reach the maximum match, contact McAfee Animal Hospital at 219-462-5901 or https://mcafeeah.com/.

Horizon Bank

Donating to La Porte County Salvation Army

They will be hosting their annual toy drive to collect toys including legos, jewelry, fuzzy socks, crafts, scarves, sports equipment, board games, card games, books, clothes, or drawing books to give children in need. You can join in their efforts by bringing a donation to any of their La Porte County Horizon Bank branches until November 30. For bank locations visit https://www.horizonbank.com/locations/.

United Way of Porter County

Donating to more than 100 nonprofits

United Way works tirelessly all year to support community members in need. You can visit their website here to search through hundreds of volunteering opportunities to find one that works for you. In addition, NWI nonprofits or organizations can post their volunteer opportunities to this free, online volunteer match service to invite others to participate in their giving.

Franciscan Health

Donating to Centers of Hope, Prenatal Assistance Program, St. Francis Center, VASIA program, and their St. Clare and McAuley Health Clinics

Their foundation stewards more than 60 restricted funds, including the names above. Centers of Hope treats pediatric and adult victims of sexual and physical assault. The Prenatal Assistance Program offers vital prenatal care, baby items, and necessary outreach to expecting mothers with limited income. St. Francis Center provides adolescent behavioral health for youth. The St. Clare and McAuley Health Clinics provide free, primary healthcare to uninsured and underinsured patients.

The foundation is also providing meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas, coats, and clothing for those in need. You can be part of their philanthropy this season of giving by making a donation to their foundation here.

St. Jude House

Donating to their clients and their children

As they work to help the children and clients who have fled from violent situations, St. Jude asks for $10 or $20 gift cards to Family Express, Speedway, Amazon, or Walmart to support their efforts this Thanksgiving and Christmas. Their Corporate Team Building or Family Service Project asks for any volunteers who are able to help paint bedrooms to help families start a life free of abuse. The upcoming holidays are meant to be a time of peace, joy, and hope for all, and the families they work for should be no exception. For more information about how you can help this incredible organization, contact Buffy Adams (BDAdams@stjudehouse.org).