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Getting into the holiday spirit by helping others


Getting into the holiday spirit by helping others

Nov 28, 2023 | 5:55 am ET
By Leann Ray
Getting into the holiday spirit by helping others
Christmas trees decorated by local businesses line Lee Way in Charleston, W.Va. (Leann Ray | West Virginia Watch)

Charleston has been going hard on the holiday spirit this year with Holly Jolly Brawley and Light the Night at GoMart Ballpark. And don’t forget the Holly Jolly Brawley Trolley, which provides free rides between all of the festive locations.

While some feel it’s the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can be a really difficult time for others. 

The holidays should be about bringing cheer to others. There are several ways you can help out others in your community: 

Coat drives

Both the Covenant House and Education Alliance/AmeriCorps in Charleston and Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center in Wheeling are holding coat drives. 

Also in Wheeling, Nail City Records is holding a winter coat drive through Dec. 16. The record store has a goal of collecting 100 coats. 

Toy donations

The Salvation Army Angel Tree program allows you to buy Christmas gifts for a child in need. If you’re unable to find a local store with angels to shop for, you can look to see if your local Walmart has an option to purchase toys online.

You can donate to Toys for Tots online to help get toys to children in 12 West Virginia counties. On Dec. 9, the drive will end with the Lighted Boat Parade in Charleston. A donation box will be at the Haddad Riverfront Park stage. 

The 10th Annual Toy Ride for CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital is accepting donations up until Dec. 14. Drop box locations are posted on its Facebook page.

Scott’s Run Settlement House in Osage is looking for gift sponsors for its Christmas program.

The Institute Fire Department is holding a toy drive until Dec. 15. 

Holiday meals

The Harmony House in Huntington needs donations for its holiday meal in December. 


Faith in Action of the Greater Kanawha Valley hosts Senior Christmas, where you can adopt a senior and purchase their wish list, buy stocking stuffers, volunteer to wrap or deliver gifts. You can also donate money. 

Food pantries

The Covenant House in Charleston can always use donations for its food pantry.


Charleston’s December Mutual Aid Fair will be held Wednesday, Dec. 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Kanawha United Presbyterian Church. They’re looking for volunteers for the event, as well as cold weather gear and clothing donations. 

This is only a small listing of places that are looking for volunteers and donations this holiday season. Check with your local food pantries and shelters to see if they have any specific needs. 

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