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Consider local nonprofits this Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global movement started in 2012. The goal is to promote generosity and support nonprofits, big and small. It occurs the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on Nov. 29.

This holiday season — and throughout the year — consider furthering your community, whether that be making a monetary donation to a charity, volunteering for a community group or just helping out your neighbor.

Homeward Bound WV’s Angel Tree at the Suncrest Pet Works.

Homeward Bound WV

Homeward Bound WV is a nonprofit cat rescue serving north-central West Virginia. The mission is to rescue cats in need, provide spay and neuter vouchers, and educate the community on responsible pet ownership. Since its start in 2006, it’s done just that.

In the past three years, the organization has found forever homes for nearly 600 cats and kittens — that’s one cat with a new home, every two days.

Natural Balance cat and kitten food, cat litter, cat toys and KMR kitten formula are a few items the rescue needs, said Homeward Bound WV President Jennifer Robbins. Gift cards to Chewy, Petco, Pet Works or Amazon are also appreciated.

Monetary donations allow Homeward Bound WV to pay the often-hefty vet bills acquired through routine visits and emergency cases. 

“We average anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 a month just in vet care,” said Robbins. “Every dollar we generate does truly go to the care of our animals.”

Corporate sponsorships from local businesses create a mutually beneficial partnership. Interested businesses can contact Homeward Bound WV to discuss this program.

They understand that budgets are tight this year due to rising costs, said Robbins. Every little bit helps.

There are other, cost-free ways to support Homeward Bound WV, like Amazon Smile. The group also offers various volunteer opportunities throughout the year, at scheduled events and daily care for animals staying in their partner stores.

Holiday events include an Angel Tree now located at the Suncrest Pet Works, a Giving Tuesday fundraiser and a holiday-themed adoption event at the University Town Centre Petco on Dec. 10.

“I feel strongly that it is my responsibility to advocate for those who are unable to advocate for themselves. In my case, I’ve chosen animals. I am their voice,” said Robbins. “We make sure that our fosters land in their forever homes. For every cat we do that for, we’re creating space for the next animal in need.”

Visit the website at Donate at

Friends of Deckers Creek

Friends of Deckers Creek (FODC) is a nonprofit striving to improve the 64-square-mile Deckers Creek watershed through remediation projects, trash clean-ups and community outreach. The group was started in 1995 by local kayakers, rock climbers and others passionate about making a change.

“We’re invested in the community and we’re making a difference,” said Executive Director Brian Hurley. “You can ask anyone around Morgantown in the last 20-30 years and they’ll be able to tell you the difference they’ve seen in Deckers Creek.”

And in the coming years, a new treatment plant will leave Deckers Creek through Downtown Morgantown similarly transformed.

To be a part of this mission, consider taking part in scheduled events, donating or volunteering.

FODC is currently hosting a Christmas tree fundraiser in partnership with Mulkeen Landscaping. With a minimum donation of $35, 10 donors will receive a certificate to cut down a Christmas tree at Mulkeen Landscaping.

A Paint & Sip fundraiser will be held Nov. 30 at the Wow Factory in Star City. A $35 donation covers the supplies needed to paint a cheerful beaver. Register online in advance.

With seven treatment sites and regular sampling throughout the watershed, the group hopes to purchase a company vehicle to boost efficiency.

FODC has volunteer opportunities for everyone, regardless of background. The Citizen Scientist Program allows volunteers to assist in water-quality monitoring, litter cleanups that are hosted throughout the year, and the Sabraton Outdoor Learning Park needs volunteers to plant, weed, mulch and overall maintain the space.

Supporting FODC will leave the community with a closer connection to the environment and one another.

“The impact of Friends of Deckers Creek is right there in the community,” said Hurley. “We’re making our water better than the way we found it.”

Visit the website at Donate at

Christian Help’s 2018 Holiday food and toy drive.

Christian Help

Since 1975, Christian Help has aimed to provide judgment-free assistance to those in need. 

“Everybody at some point needs help and Christian Help is here to do just that,” said Public Relations Coordinator Erica Mayle. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’re going through, we’re going to treat every person the same.”

Christian Help has five major programs: the free store, food pantry, emergency financial assistance, career closets and life skills courses. Visitors can receive a variety of necessary items, including non-perishable food, fresh produce and bread, clothes needed for work or interviews, and household items. They can also receive assistance with rent and transportation needs, as well as receive job-readiness training, mock interviews, financial advice and more.

Throughout the year, Christian Help also hosts community events.

Christian Help’s largest event of the year, its 41st annual toy drive, is currently ongoing. Distribution will be Dec. 15, and donations can be dropped off during open hours until Dec. 2. If donations are brought past this date, the items will be saved for next year’s drive.

The group is also seeking donations of non-skid shoes, small or medium men’s clothing, winter gear and black slacks for the career closets. Non-perishable, shelf-stable foods are needed for the food pantry.

“Even a small gift can make a big difference,” said Mayle.

Beyond monetary and item donations, Christian Help’s efforts are driven by volunteers. For the toy drive, around 100 volunteers will be needed during distribution.

“Christian Help supports a network of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Mayle.

Visit the website at Donate at

the shack volunteers
The Shack’s 2021 Thanksgiving meals

The Shack Neighborhood House

The Shack Neighborhood House has played a vital role in the community for over 90 years, acting as a place of education, recreation and outreach.

The Shack offers afterschool programs to provide snacks, help with homework, clubs, a mentorship program to provide children with a supportive figure, a summer camp and various community events throughout the year.

This holiday season, the organization will be holding a Breakfast with Santa, a Candy Cane Hunt, a Holiday Paint & Sip on Dec. 4, and a $1 Fill a Bag on Dec. 9. More event information is on the Facebook page at

The Shack is currently seeking donations for the $1 Fill a Bag event, including clothes, jackets, winter gear, blankets, shoes, toys, books and more. Drop donations off at The Shack by Dec. 7. A holiday mentorship event will provide children with gifts and dinner. Donations of toys are appreciated. The group also has an Amazon wishlist.

When you support The Shack, you give directly to children in need.

“We really do put every dollar to use for the community,” said Programs Director Dawn Lipscomb. “The money goes toward helping kids get advantages they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

Outside of items or monetary donations, The Shack runs on volunteers. 

Currently, the Shack is in need of mentors for their mentorship program. Other volunteers can assist with afterschool programs, summer camp or scheduled events.

The Shack has created a safe environment for decades and will continue to do so with the community’s involvement and support.

“It’s made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives,” said Lipscomb. “It’s really, really awesome to be a part of that legacy.”

Visit the website at Donate and volunteer at

Preston County Caring Council and Family Resource Network

The Preston County Caring Council and Family Resource Network (FRN) is a nonprofit dedicated to providing health and social services, educational resources, mental health assistance and substance abuse prevention resources to the community.

The Parents as Teachers program provides in-home educational activities, information on child development and parenting skills and shares any community resources needed by families.

The Healthy Grandfamilies Program provides resources to grandparents raising their grandchildren. 

The Family Support Center hosts playgroups, offers food and baby pantries, and works to provide the unhoused with clothing, shoes and food.

The food pantry is in need of non-perishable foods, and the baby pantry is in need of baby formula.

The FRN is currently hosting a toy drive in conjunction with Arthurdale Heritage. Donations can be dropped off at the Preston County Family Support Center or the Arthurdale Heritage Gift Shop.

Donating to the FRN provides the community with needed resources and services.

“All of the donations go to children and families in Preston County, and we try to serve as many as we can,” said interim director Barbara Thorn. “It’s a time of giving, and there’s a lot of children and families that need that right now.”

The Family Support Center office is at 105 W. High St., Kingwood. Call 304-329-1968 for information. 

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