2020 has been a year to reflect, practice gratitude, and give back. Last year, we interviewed Michelle Legaspi Sanchez, Chester County Fund for Women and Girls’ Executive Director, and she taught us that it is never too early to start teach kids about giving back.
“One thing we did with our girls is, even from their very first Christmas, we started a scrapbook for them for each of them, where we would pick a nonprofit or a cause when they were really little to make a donation in their name,” explained Michelle. “That was documented every year with a Christmas picture, and then a letter from us to them about why we picked that. As they get older, they’re now able to pick the nonprofit of their choice.”
A year later, we are still thinking about the idea! We chatted with local organizations about how they help Chester County families and what they need most during this time of year.
Medical Support for Families
Birthright of West Chester offers nonjudgmental, compassionate support to encourage women to continue their pregnancies.
- Volunteer Opportunities
- In-Kind Donations: Support new moms by donating diapers (newborn and size 3), baby wipes, baby bath products, baby bottles, winter baby clothes (new or gently worn from newborn to 12M), or winter maternity clothes (new or gently worn sizes L and XL). Please call for an arrangement.
- 112 S. High Street, West Chester, PA 19382 I 610-436-0773
Community Volunteers in Medicine provides free healthcare, hope, and healing to uninsured, low-income families, and individuals in the Chester County region, helping them live healthy, productive lives.
- Volunteer Opportunities for medical professionals and office support.
- In-Kind Donations: Gift cards (Giant or Walmart, prefer $25 cards), Over-the-counter medications (Multivitamins, Ibuprofen 200 mg (similar to Advil), Calcium 600 mg + D3), Thermometers, and Dental products (toothbrushes with soft bristles – children & adults, mouthwash without alcohol, toothpaste with fluoride, and floss).
- 300 Lawrence Dr, West Chester, PA 19380 | 610-836-5990 Ext. 122 (English) or Ext.148 (Español)
Kisses for Kyle helps families battling pediatric cancer in the Delaware Valley. Help comes in many forms such as providing grocery gift cards, alleviating financial pressures, providing emergency lodging services for patients traveling into the area for treatment, disbursing hospital meal and parking vouchers, hosting a holiday toy drive, in addition to providing several special opportunities for families to come together (virtually these days).
- Donation Requests: Donate restaurant, food delivery, or grocery gift cards.
- In-kind donations: New toys, masks, school supplies, sports and event tickets, services, etc,). Everything must be new in the box, due to compromised immune systems with pediatric cancer. No stuffed animals.
- Sponsor a Christmas Tree for a local family facing childhood cancer.
- Contact: Dana Godfrey | 610-633-6437 | email@example.com
La Comunidad Hispana is a diverse, dynamic care team that is dedicated to helping adults, teens, and children to be healthy and stay healthy.
- Volunteer Opportunities: in their Health Center, Social Assistance, and Education and Jobs services
- In-Kind Donations: Gift cards to local stores, new fitness equipment, new children’s books, and new children’s coats. They do not accept medical supplies or equipment donations.
Maternal and Child Health Consortium of Chester County empowers families to build a healthier and brighter future for their children by overcoming the social and environmental barriers that lead to poor health conditions in our communities.
- In-Kind Donations: diapers, baby wipes, baby wash, baby shampoo, baby lotion, baby washcloths, new receiving blankets, new newborn onesies, new newborn outfits, new books, new rattles, teethers, and other developmental toys (age 0 to 2), and personal care items for women.
- MCHC is not able to accept used car seats, cribs, and walkers.
Support Chester County Women
Chester County Fund for Women and Girls leads and unites the community through philanthropy and advocacy to ensure that women and girls have the resources and opportunities to thrive.
- Volunteer on one of their committees: grants policy, grants allocation, girls’ programming, development, making a Difference Luncheon, education, finance, investment, and governance.
- 113 E Evans St Suite A, West Chester, PA 19380 | 484-356-0940
Home of the Sparrow partners with women facing homelessness to secure housing, achieve long-term stability, and chart new paths for their futures.
Wings for Success empowers women in need to pursue employment and economic security through apparel, advice, and advocacy.
- How to Help: Make a financial donation, donate gift cards, donate business casual Fall and Winter clothing, or volunteer as personal clothing stylist, clothing and closet maintenance, office support, client driver, clothing intake, or fundraising and special events committee.
- Frazer Office: 490 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, PA 19355 | Kennett Square Office: 345 Scarlet Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348 | 610-644-6323 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- In-Kind Donations: New/gently used baby clothing (up to size 4T), diapers, and baby equipment (pack & plays, bouncy seats, etc.) in good condition. If you have questions or to arrange drop-off, please contact email@example.com.
- Donate an item off their Christmas wishlist. Their young moms earn “bucks” throughout the year as they accomplish goals and attend workshops. They use those “bucks” to purchase toys and books for their children for Christmas.
- 111 Marshall Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Chester County Kids
Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play for free.
- Most Needed Items: Clothing (size infant – adult M: shirts, pants, shorts, sweaters, hoodies, dresses), everyday shoes or sneakers, pajamas, NEW socks and underwear, NEW baby hygiene items and diapers, books (from board books to chapter books), NEW school supplies and activity books, and lightweight jackets and winter coats.
- Local drop-off sites in Malvern and Wayne
The Mission of the historic Charles A Melton Arts and Education Center is to contribute to the quality of life for all people of the greater West Chester community by continuing its long commitment to providing educational, recreational, cultural and civic services.
- Volunteer Opportunities
- 501 E Miner St, West Chester, PA 19382 | 610-692-9290 |
Coatesville Youth Initiative is an independent non-profit organization committed to youth-led, transformational community change. They train youth leaders, enhance family relationships, encourage prevention education, and build community collaboration.
- Volunteer: Contact email@example.com for opportunities.
- 545 East Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, PA 19320 | 610-380-0200
Support Families In Need
Bridge of Hope brings together professional staff and trained church-based mentoring groups to empower homeless and at-risk single mothers to attain: permanent housing, financial stability through employment, life-changing friendships, and increased self-esteem and growth in areas of holistic living.
Domestic Violence Center of Chester County provides intervention, education, outreach, advocacy, and programs to prevent, reduce, and remedy domestic violence in Chester County.
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Adopt a Family: There are a few ways to help with their adopt-a-family program: shop a wish list, give generic, age-specific gifts and gift cards, do last minute shopping, or help with the collection and distribution of gifts. Please contact Sara Crowell, Adopt a Family Coordinator, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Service of Chester County promotes the well being of families and individuals and to advocate for change.
- In-Kind Donations: Diapers, wipes, formula, and gift cards of any amount to local shopping. They are not able to accept used clothes or toys at this time.
- 310 N. Matlack St., West Chester, PA 19380 | email@example.com | 610-696-4900 ext. 123
- Find the volunteer application here.
- In-Kind Donations are accepted at their office on Wednesdays 8:00am – 5:00pm. If no one answers the door, please leave your in-kind gifts on the back porch.
- Accepted items: Paper products, feminine hygiene products, baby diapers and wipes, cleaning supplies, kitchen utensils and cookware, brand new bedding and pillows (twin and full size sheets and comforters), toddler bedding sets, and brand new towels and washcloths.
- They do NOT accept clothing, furniture, or cribs, car seats and children’s toys.
- 113 West Chestnut Street | West Chester, PA 19380 | 610-431-3598
Good Samaritan Services provides a full continuum of care to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across Lancaster and Chester Counties.
- In-Kind Donations: Men and women’s personal hygiene items, baby needs (wipes, diapers of all sizes, baby body wash, baby shampoo, baby laundry detergent, diaper cream, sunscreen, bottles, toys and pacifiers), cleaning products, and small household items.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Mentorship program (training provided) and also various activities and events (a little different this year due to Covid) where people can bless those who are participating in the program here at Good Samaritan Services.
- 1516 Olive Street, Coatesville, PA 19320 | 610-380-1360 ext. 4001 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kennett Area Community Service (KACS): Their mission is to strengthen the community in Southern Chester County through food, housing and crisis services.
KACS has temporarily suspended their Food Drive for the month of December, but we will be reopening on January 5th at a new location (details coming to their website soon).
You can still collect high demand items until then: rice, canned vegetables (low sodium), soup, dried beans, canned tuna, cereal, canned fruit, peanut butter, jelly (strawberry and grape), flour/maseca, cooking oil, small shaped pasta (elbow and bow), plain tomato sauce, Nescafe and Mayo/ketchup/mustard/ valentine.
Mom’s House provides a unique family support system, including free state-licensed childcare, for low income, single parents while they are pursuing their full-time education and becoming independent members of society.
- In-Kind Donations: Gift Cards (Acme, Giant, Dollar Tree, Staples, Target, Wawa, BJ’s), Clorox Wipes, paper towels, small paper bathroom cups, canned fruits (pears, mandarin oranges, fruit cup), or canned veggies (green beans, carrots, mixed).
- Due to storage constraints, they do NOT accept any used toys or clothing, nor can they accept used baby equipment (car seats, strollers, etc).
- 145 South Main St., Phoenixville, PA 19460 | 610-935-7711 | email@example.com
Oxford Area Neighborhood Services Center (NSC) empowers people experiencing a crisis or sudden hardship by providing direct assistance and/or connecting them to available resources.
Most-Needed Items: New toys (for children ages 12 and under), new baby clothing, unopened baby formula and baby food, diapers, wipes, and baby lotions, body washes, etc.
Holiday Toy Collection: They are currently collecting toys for our Christmas Room program, where parents can “shop” for their children at no cost to them, from a selection of toys that have been donated. Toys can be dropped off at our office, 35 N 3rd St. Oxford, PA, or shipped to the same address until December 14th.
Kennia Urrutia firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-932-8557, ext. 201
Phoenixville Area Community Services’ mission is to aspire to be the lead resource for food insecurity in the community.
A list of “hot” items include peanut butter, canned pasta, mac and cheese, jelly/jam, cooking oil, canned meat, pasta sauce, juice and juice mixes, condiments, syrup, butter/margarine, pancake mix, snack foods, baking mixes (w/ icing), rice, and spices/seasonings.
The following non-food items are needed and cannot be purchased with SNAP: deodorant, feminine products, pet food (cats & dogs), dish soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, baby diapers (sizes 4,5,6), laundry detergent, shampoo/conditioner, paper towels, baby wipes, and cleaning supplies.
- 101 Buchanan Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460 | 610-933-1105
Where to Donate Books
- How to Help: Host a book drive. They accept new and gently used children’s books: ages infant through young adult, fiction and nonfiction (please, no encyclopedias), and children’s books that you would be proud to give to a child.
Where to Donate Household Items
- Community Warehouse Project of Chester County depends on people from the local community to volunteer, provide donations, including furniture, household goods and funds. Free furniture is then provided to families and individuals who are financially unable to afford their own new or used furniture.
- Warehouse is located in West Chester, Hours By Appointment Only. Click here to donate. 484-473-4360
North Star of Chester County guides Chester County’s single working parents with dependent children, who are at risk of homelessness, toward stability and financial independence.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Contact 610-696-5675 to see about upcoming opportunities.
- In-Kind Donations: Many of their families are in need of beds, a sofa, a kitchen table, so the kids have a place to do their homework and the family can have a meal. They accept donations of gently-used home furnishings.
- 330 W. Market Street, West Chester, PA 19382 | 610-696-5675| email@example.com