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Give Back This Holiday Season

Still looking for wonderful ways to help others over the next few weeks? Look no further! Patch has "wrapped up" some worthy organizations throughout San Mateo County, whether you're looking for a gift idea, to donate money, food or toys, or to volunteer.

The holiday season is in full swing, which means many of us are looking for ways to spread cheer and give back. With numerous charitable organizations in San Mateo County, there’s something for everyone. Here's a round up of opportunities to help you help others.

Second Harvest Food Bank: Organize your own holiday food drive. Register online and start planning a drive for your school, company, club or neighborhood. Food drives can last as a long as you like through Jan. 20. Food donations can also be dropped off at the San Mateo County Distribution Center at 1051 Bing St. in San Carlos Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monetary donations are also accepted online. Most needed food items include tuna, meals in a can, peanut butter, low-sugar cereal and canned fruits and vegetables.

Central County Fire Department Toy Drive:  There is still time to donate toys ~ the CCFD is hosting its annual toy drive collecting throughout Burlingame and Hillsborough. for more information and drop-off locations through Dec. 24.

Operation One Warm Coat: Join in on this holiday coat drive by donating clean, gently worn coats. To find your nearest drop-off location, click here.

Samaritan House: Samaritan House has a wide range of volunteering opportunities available, and is also seeking donations. Visit their website to find a complete list of opportunities.

:  Need a gift idea? Visit the Shelter Network website to contribute in honor of a family member or friend!

Teddy Bear Drive: The Starbucks locations in Burlingame Plaza (1865 El Camino Real) and Millbrae Square (513 Broadway) are collecting teddy bears for children in the emergency room of the Mills-Peninsula Medical Center. Teddy bears should be 12 to 20 inches and will be collected through Dec. 24.

Peninsula Humane Society: Volunteer opportunities abound at PHS. Another way to give is to donate to this local organization to help the animals. And if you're looking for a new pet or want to give one as a gift, adoption fees are 50 percent off through the end of December!

: This organization, located at 139 Primrose Road in Burlingame, gives more than 30,000 bags of food each year to members of the community. Please visit the CALL Primrose website for a list of the food items they need.

: This local organization provides shoes and clothing to homeless and low-income students in the area. Host a shoe or clothing drive, sew gift bags or volunteer in a warehouse. You can also make a monetary donation to the organization. Donations in honor of a family member of friend also make great gifts. 

PJCC: The Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City relies on volunteers as part of its community outreach and has a variety of oppportunities from administrative help, special events, coaching and more. You can also make a donation to the center.

Coastside Children's Programs: Located in Half Moon Bay, CCP serves children and families from multicultural and diverse socio-economic backgrounds and also provides quality preschool and after school experiences to low-income, disadvantaged children. Almost 90 percent of the organization's budget goes directly toward program expenses for the kids.

Suppport your county parks: If being outdoors is more your cup of tea, join San Bruno Mountain Watch volunteers who are working to eradicate invasive plants on the mountain. Participate in trail maintenance days at Huddart County Park in Woodside or San Pedro Valley County Park, or join the Edgewood Weed Warriors
to help combat invasive plants that threaten Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve.

Menlo Park Library: Become a literacy volunteer tutor and work one-on-one with adults to help them improve reading, writing, and pronunciation skills in English.

Pat Black December 23, 2011 at 04:11 PM
Thank you for posting the agencies that are making a difference.
Jamie White December 23, 2011 at 05:14 PM
No problem, Pat! These are just a few of the many wonderful ones located on the Peninsula, happy holidays : )

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