Local ways to get into the giving spirit this holiday season

Hunter Mill Supervisor Walter Alcorn helps a Cornerstones effort to get bags that have food and gift cards as well as other bags with toiletries to those in need. (Photo via Cornerstones/Instagram)

With giving Tuesday on the horizon, the season of charity and gift-giving has arrived.

A number of local organizations have launched year-end campaigns and donations drives. We’ve rounded up some ways to help your neighbors and local nonprofit organizations.

Santa’s Ride

Drop off new unwrapped toys, games, books, and gifts to any Fairfax County police station through Saturday, Dec. 11. The items will be donated to Fairfax Hospital, the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center and other children in the community. The Town of Herndon’s police department is also participating.

Toys for Tots

The county’s fire and rescue department is taking part in the annual campaign. Residents can drop off unwrapped and new toys at any Fairfax County fire station through Sunday, Dec. 12.

Knitting Communities Together

Donate new or gently used handmade hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and socks for adults and children. Items are distributed to local nonprofits like Cornerstones, Homestretch and ShelterHouse. Donations can be made through Jan. 5 at a number of locations, including the Herndon Senior Center in Herndon and the Pimmit Hills Senior Center in McLean.

Reston Winter Coat Closet

The Hunter Mill District Office and Cornerstones are collecting new or gently used winter coats and new hats, scarves and gloves for neighbors in need. Donations can be dropped off at the North County Governmental Center in Reston between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Dec. 11 and Jan. 8.

Reston Elf Store

The recently renamed Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate and the Reston Teen Center are collecting a wide variety of items. Suggested donations include candles, robes, nail polish, home goods, gloves, shaving kits and flashlights. Donations can be dropped off through Dec. 10 at the center in Reston.

Gift Cards

The county’s domestic and sexual violence services office is also accepting gift card donations. Mail cards by Thursday, Dec. 9, to Vanessa Cullers at the Domestic Violence Action Center or Gulira Alieva at Domestic and Sexual Violence Services.

The police department’s victim services division is also collecting gift card for child victims and witnesses of domestic and sexual violence. Residents can drop off gift cards or send them to Saly Fayez, Victim Services Section, 12099 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035.

Know of any other local opportunities to get into the giving spirit? Let us know in the comments below.

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