With Thanksgiving firmly in the holiday rear-view mirror, the focus is on the December holidays at A Wider Circle. The Silver Spring-based nonprofit is Montgomery County's coordinating service agency for the Holiday Giving Project, which matches organizations and municipalities with families by zip code.
Nonprofits, religous organizations and local governments may sponsor areas of the county by providing toys and gifts as well as assist with providing a holiday meal, said Susan Klavon, who works with the project for A Wider Circle.
"Our focus is different in December because we're thinking about toys for children and gifts for teenagers," she told Patch. "Typically, we're also trying to connect our families to some food for a holiday meal."
News outlets reported before Thanksgiving that some zip codes in East Montgomery County—Silver Spring, Wheaton and Aspen Hill—were not sponsored as the holiday neared. For Christmas, there is still a need for sponsorship in some areas in Silver Spring, Klavon said.
"We look at it in terms of coverage, so from our perspective Gaithersburg is covered, for example, but we do have areas in Silver Spring that are not covered yet," she told Patch.
"We are certainly looking for donors and sponsors to help those families."
Individuals can also adopt families, Klavon said. One-off donations of $20 gift cards to any store and any type of toy may also be dropped off at the organization's office. Gift cards are especially helpful because they can be gifted to either teenagers or senior citizens, she said.
There is no deadline to donate, however Klavon urges would-be donors to do so sooner rather than later.
"It's important to bear in mind how the families that we're helping feel," she said. "We do try to plan ahead so they don't have that angst about 'Christmas is coming and what are we going to do?'"
The center is located at 9159-C Brookville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailing address is 4808 Moorland Lane, Suite 802, Bethesda, MD 20814. Drop-off hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information on the Holiday Giving Project, contact A Wider Circle at 301-608-3504 or online at AWiderCircle.org.