10 ways to give back locally this holiday season


a compilation of local charity opportunities

by Carrie Steinweg

We’re in the midst of the season of giving. That doesn’t just mean giving wrapped gifts to our family members, but it often is paired with making financial contributions and donations to worthy charities. If you’re in the giving spirit and wondering where to make a donation locally that will benefit those in your own communities, here’s a list of 10 causes/projects to consider:

  1. Family Giving Fund
    When you donate to the family giving fund, you help make Christmas brighter for less fortunate kids in the village. Proceeds from the Breakfast with Santa this Saturday (December 9) at TF South will go toward the Family Giving Fund, so you can enjoy a good breakfast while doing good. You can also make contributions to the fund through the Chamber of Commerce, which administers the program. Call 708 474-4170 or email [email protected] for more information.
  2. Parent-Teacher Associations
    Each Lansing school has an organization of parents and teachers who work together to raise funds for additional programs, projects, and supplies that are not within the school budget. Sometimes funds help pay for field trips, classroom supplies, guest speakers, or rewards such as pizza parties for reaching academic or reading goals. Contact your local school to make a donation.
  3. Lansing Community Food Pantry
    Lansing is fortunate in having a food pantry that is supported by its own community. The Lansing Community Food Pantry, located in the Lansing Assembly of God Church at 2990 Ridge Road, has been going strong for 34 years, providing food assistance to families in need within Lansing. To make a donation of non-perishable items or a monetary donation, call (708) 895-3807.

  4. Meals on Wheels
    This is another longtime program in Lansing that is run and funded by volunteers. Operated out of First United Methodist Church, nutritious meals are cooked on-site and then delivered twice weekly to elderly and disabled individuals in Lansing who are unable to cook for themselves. To donate, contact Meals On Wheels at First United Methodist Church, 18420 Burnham Avenue or phone (708) 474-1144.
  5. Visible Music College Scholarship Fund
    Visible Music College opened four years ago, providing four-year degree programs to those working toward careers in music business, modern music and music production. Since opening they have offered free public concerts and open mic nights for the community. To donate to their scholarship fund, call (708) 455-1414 or inquire through the website (708) visible.edu.
  6. American Legion
    Support those who have served by making a donation to the American Legion Post 697, 18255 Grant Street to be used in programs to help veterans. Call (708) 474-5906 for more information on how to donate.

  7. Lansing Library Hat/Glove Tree
    Stop by the Lansing Public Library and add some hats, gloves or scarves to the tree to help keep those in need warm this season. Items can be handmade or store-bought.
  8. Angel Trees
    Several of the churches in town have “angel trees” where you can select a tag that will specify the age and sex of the recipient in need and sometimes give a few items on their wish list. You can then purchase and wrap items and return them to the church to be transferred to the recipient. Call your local church to see if they have an “angel tree” to sponsor someone.
  9. High School Athletics and Activities
    Sports and clubs at TF South High School and Illiana Christian High School could always use additional funds for uniforms, equipment and supplies. Contact the schools to see where there is a need and how you can help.
  10. LARC
    Make a donation to support this Lansing organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities through occupational opportunities, programs, and housing arrangements. LARC dates back to 1956. To donate, call (708) 474-1540 or mail your donation to 19043 Wentworth Avenue.