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Jo & Friends
Holiday warmth: The Jo & Friends group, founded in 2000, recently collected 40 homemade blankets they and others donated to Project Linus in December. The blankets will be distributed to children in local hospitals, shelters and social service agencies. Coordinator Jo Minchew of south Charlotte estimates that, since its inception, Jo & Friends has donated blankets to more than 300 sick or traumatized children.
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Casino night success: More than 220 people joined Jacob's Ladder at Founders Hall to celebrate the organization's 13th anniversary and to raise $17,000 to support its programs and services. The money will be used to help unemployed and under-employed people find and keep living-wage jobs. For details, visit www.jacobsladdercharlotte.org.
Bicycles for Christmas: Carolinas Medical Center-Union employees donated 139 bicycles and helmets to the Union County Christmas Bureau on Dec. 12. The donation was the culmination of CMC-Union's second annual Bicycle Drive, a month-long event organized by the hospital's Employee Retention Committee. The donation serves as a way to reinforce its stance on safety and wellness. The helmets were donated by the Safe Kids Program at CMC-Union.
Donate a Coat: In honor of the holiday season, Discovery Place invites the public to "Wrap a Child in Warmth" by participating in the Salvation Army's Coats for Kids collection. Now through Dec. 23, bring a new or gently used coat or sweatshirt to Discovery Place and receive free admission to Mummies of the World, the largest exhibition of real human and animal mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. Details: mummies.discoveryplace.org.
New Leaf Foundation
Adopt a Family: Every Christmas season, the New Leaf Foundation provides meals, presents and a Christmas Party for underprivileged children in inner-city Charlotte. This year, the organization is asking the community to help with a new initiative: Adopt a Family. Adopt a Family is $150 per family, and funds will go for heating bills, food and other basic needs. All proceeds will go to the children and families. The deadline for sponsoring a family is Dec. 21. Visit www.newleaffound.org to fill out a donation form or call 704-544-2774 for more information.
Toys for Tots
Ayrsley Toy Drive: Ayrsley's annual Toys for Tots drive kicked off recently. Last year, 917 toys were donated to needy children in the community; this year, they hope to raise more than 1,000. Drop-off locations include: Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation, Fintastic, Hilton Garden Inn Pi Kappa Phi, Regus-Ayrsley, and Wild Wing Café. Locations outside of Ayrsley include Mac's Speed Shop off Steel Creek and South Boulevard; Scott Jaguar off Tyvola; The Dorchester an Independent Retirement Community in Pineville; and Carmel Place Independent Retirement Community off Carmel. Email Chris@ayrsleyrehab.com.
Puppies for patients: Donors who give blood through Dec. 31 can sign a tag that will be attached to a stuffed puppy and delivered to children in area hospitals. Details: Kim Jones at 704-972-4727. CBCC donor centers are located at 4447 S. Blvd in Charlotte; 363 Church Street N. Suite 170 in Concord; 2524 E. Franklin Blvd. Suite E in Gastonia; or 600 Hospital Drive in Monroe.