Share the Holidays with HAWC

Last year, two of my best friends and I organized a holiday donation drive for the Houston Area Women’s Center. Just by emailing a request to our friends, colleagues, and coworkers and volunteering to pick up their donations at their convenience, we were able to collect thousands of dollars worth of donations. The three of us sorted and assembled these items over brunch and a pitcher of mimosas, and delivered them to the Women’s Center the next day.

This year, circumstances have prevented me from engineering a similar event–so I’m putting the call for donations here on the Internet in the hopes that you generous guys and gals out there can organize similar donation drives on your own.

The Houston Area Women’s Center assists battered women and children in the Houston area by providing shelter, counseling, and job training. Every holiday season, they need donations of NEW, UNWRAPPED gift items for their Holiday Store. (Used items can be donated to the Second to None Thrift Store at 1435 Westheimer; all proceeds support the Houston Area Women’s Center.) The Holiday Store allows women and children at the shelter to choose gifts for each other, helping clients who are in dire financial straits and away from their homes during the holidays to celebrate the season. Donations to the holiday store make a big difference in helping women and children during what is a very difficult time in their lives.

What to donate? Almost anything that you, your kids, and/or your loved ones would appreciate will be appreciated here, too. Here’s a condensed version of the Holiday Store Wish List:

-clothing & blankets
-toys, especially educational/developmental ones
-picture books

-clothing, especially winter items & coats
-non-violent toys of all kinds and for all ages
-dolls of all different ethnicities
-board games
-scooters, skates, bikes
-play sets and dress-up clothes

-CD players/boom boxes/radios
-costume jewelry, funky accessories
-pajamas and gowns (Joe Boxer style)
-makeup, boys’ & girls’ cologne, bath sets
-clothing, especially trendy, goth, and punk styles
-posters, journals, fancy pens, photo frames
-funky room decor, lava lamps, neon lamps, etc.

-fine & costume jewelry
-underwear (esp. bra sizes 38C+, panty size 7+)
-makeup, perfume, bath sets
-pajamas & gowns
-curling irons for all types of hair
-manicure/pedicure sets
-clothing (esp. larger sizes)

The Houston Area Women’s Center Holiday Store can also use gift certificates to: Target, Wal-Mart, Sam Goody, Kroger, Toys R Us, any area mall, Claire’s, 5-7-9, Spencer’s, and Hot Topic.

Holiday store donations must be brought to the Houston Area Women’s Center at 1010 Waugh before December 12th. Again, ALL DONATIONS MUST BE NEW AND UNWRAPPED.

Want to volunteer for the Holiday Store? Volunteers are needed in three-hour shifts for set-up on December 12th, to assist with the holiday store on December 15th-21st, and for clean-up on December 22nd, 28th, and 29th. Contact Christina Rodriguez at 713-528-6798, ext. 2298, or by email at to volunteer.

The Women’s Center also accepts donations of items from their Wish List year-round.

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