Lend a hand to these central Illinois organizations this holiday season. Check Illinois Times next week for more local wish lists. Send lists to firstname.lastname@example.org
Forever Home Feline Ranch
3600 Persimmon Dr., 679-1593
Forever Home Feline Ranch is an organization created to provide a “forever home” to every cat in need. The ranch is a sanctuary where cats have a second chance to live a full life in a no-cage, no-kill environment. At the present time, while raising funds for property, the group is assisting local residents in keeping their companion pets by providing programs such as the Pet Food Bank and Vet Care Assistance (includes dogs). Helping people keep their companion pets is the best way to keep animals out of shelters and will help achieve their ultimate goal of establishing central Illinois as a no-kill community.
- Pet taxis - all sizes
- Dry cat and dog food
- Wet cat and dog food
- Cat toys
- Gift cards: PetSmart, K-Mart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, Walmart, Petco, Big R and Target
- Cat brushes
- Litter pans and scoops
- Copy paper
- Forever stamps
- Fleece material (animal themed) to make cat and dog mats
- Raffle items such as gift certificates, gift baskets or any items to put in baskets
Animal Protective League
1001 Taintor Rd., 544-7387
The Animal Protective League operates a no-kill shelter for abandoned, abused, sick and injured cats and dogs. In 2009, APL has taken in 1,800 animals and found homes for 1,600 of them. In April 2006, APL opened a high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic that has performed 28,000 surgeries to reduce cat and dog over-population.
- Cleaning supplies (paper towels, liquid laundry detergent, bleach, liquid hand soap, dishwashing liquid, scouring pads, fabric-softener sheets, Playtex gloves, brooms, dustpans)
- Office supplies (AAA, C, and 9-volt batteries; copy paper, postage stamps, file folders, filing cabinets)
- Food (canned food for cats and puppies, jars of all-meat baby food; dry cat food; Milk-Bone dog biscuits)
- Maintenance supplies (trash bags of all sizes, snow shovels, heavy-duty indoor-outdoor extension cords, storage totes with lids)
- Animal-care supplies (serviceable sheets, blankets, pillow cases, rugs, towels, cat and dog crates, nail clippers, new litter boxes, leashes, sandwich-sized Ziplock bags)
- Gas cards
- Sam’s Club gift cards
- Monetary donations to cover emergency veterinary expenses
The Salvation Army
530 N. 6th St. or 100 N. 9th St., 525-2196
The Salvation Army has been in Springfield since 1886. Over 90% of their funding comes from individual donations, and over half their operating budget is funded by their red kettles that run from the first weekend in November until Christmas Eve. The Salvation Army offers clothing, food and shelter, and their homeless shelter is open year round, 24 hours a day. They offer counseling; job assistance; computer training; youth programs; senior programs; free health clinic; Sunday worship services; Bible study; Christmas assistance, including food, coats and toys; and also provide alcohol and drug rehabilitation. When funds are available they offer rent and utility assistance.
- Canned food - meat, vegetables, fruit
- Office supplies - paper, pens, etc.
- Hygiene products
- Razor and shaving cream
- Cleaning supplies
- Meals for shelter residents
- Volunteer bell ringers
- Volunteers at their Christmas Castle
- Volunteers at their Corps
- Gift cards from any store, including gas stations
Springfield Area Arts Council
420 S. Sixth St., 753-3519
The Springfield Area Arts Council, founded in 1976, works to “enrich the community by promoting and supporting all art forms and providing creative opportunities to participate in and enjoy the arts.” The council serves over 20,000 adults and youths in Sangamon and Menard counties, and provides a variety of annual performing and visual arts events, such as First Night Springfield, Washington Street Jazz & Blues Festival and the ongoing Uptown Friday Night and Artist on the Plaza. The council’s arts programming includes placing performing and visual artists in the schools though its Arts-in-Education program and hosting the regional and state contests for Poetry Out Loud, a program for high school students based on the recitation of poetic works. The council also serves as a re-granting agency for funding area artists, arts organizations and social service agencies with arts programming.
- Volunteers for First Night Springfield on Dec. 31 and other activities
- Office assistance
- Experienced speakers willing to conduct free workshops for area organizations that might cover topics such as board recruitment, organizational development, fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and business skills
- Monetary donations that would assist with the Arts in Education program, Community Arts Access grant program, City Arts program or Rosie Richmond Artist Advancement Awards
The Parent Place
314 S. Grand West, 753-8730
The Parent Place works towards preventing child abuse by teaching positive parenting skills, and serves children, parents, grandparents, foster parents and non-relative caregivers in Springfield and surrounding counties. These services are provided through parenting classes, support groups, court advocacy, Relatives as Parents Network, The Diaper Pantry, Kids’ Rights and community presentations.
- Bus tokens
- Large file cabinet
- Copy paper
- Wireless all-in-one copier
- A computer technician
- Office supplies
- Gas cards
- Grocery store gift cards
- Movie gift cards
- Restaurant gift cards
Central Illinois Community Blood Center
1134 S. 7th St., 1-866-GIVE-BLD (1-866-448-3253)
The CICBC is a not-for-profit organization originally formed in 1971 by St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center to provide the blood needs of their hospitals, and now 19 hospitals in central and southwestern Illinois. This involves blood collections through the hundreds of Bloodmobile drives held throughout the area. Donor recruiters work with area organizations to schedule blood drives and to communicate with existing blood donors to meet routine blood needs through regular blood donations.
First and foremost, their wish is for good health for everyone. To reach that goal, they need help from the community. They constantly need new donors — to be prepared for emergencies that may arise and to replace their regular donors when they are ill, traveling or must be deferred for various reasons.
To assure that this area always has an adequate blood supply for friends, neighbors and family members throughout the area who may need it for a trauma, cancer treatment or other medical procedure, their wish is that more healthy donors would commit to regular blood donation. It is safe, easy and takes only about an hour every two months, and this volunteer activity saves lives of patients in area hospitals.