The gift of helping others: Area nonprofits share their holiday wish lists

Drew Butler

Later this week, Americans across the nation will take a day to recognize and celebrate the things in life for which they are thankful. This national day of thanksgiving is, of course, immediately followed by the beginning of the holiday shopping season. While out buying gifts for friends and family, some might want to consider further spreading the Christmas cheer by purchasing a few items for the area nonprofits that help those who are less fortunate.

The Community Children’s Shelter and Family Service Center, the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma, the Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma, Sara’s Project, and the Ardmore Animal Shelter have all provided a list of a few of the items they need in order to serve others.

The Community Children’s Shelter and Family Service Center is a 24-hour temporary residence for as many as 10 children. The children can range in age from infants up to 18 that  are in need of a safe place to live due to neglect, abandonment or abuse. They also provide outpatient mental health services and some assistance to children who do not live there.

Basic toiletries such as razors, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, hair styling products and ethnic hair-care products are always a much-needed commodity. They are also in need of any sort of “cozy” items such as slippers, robes, thick socks, or blankets that will help the children feel safe. The shelter also has a public food pantry that is available for anyone in need, and any sort of nonperishable food item can help fill its shelves.

The Children’s Shelter is also collecting donations for their annual Christmas party to provide gifts and clothing for their residents as well as other children in the area who use their services and need a little extra help. Donations can be made online at or by calling 580-226-1838.

The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma provides a temporary residence for victims of domestic violence and also provides services to help those in need rebuild their life. They are currently in need of cleaning supplies such as Lysol and other disinfectants in order to help keep their facility COVID free. They also need toiletries such as tampons and deodorant, and household items such as 30-gallon trash bags.

Because many of their residents come with little more than the clothes on their backs, they are always in need of clothing items. Pajamas of all sizes, sports bras of all sizes, leggings of all sizes and slippers can always be put to good use. They are also in need of storage totes such as plastic tubs that can be used by their residents for storage as they accumulate more clothing.

The Family Shelter also has an online wish list with Walmart’s Registry for Good program. Many of the items on this list are for the new facility they are gearing up to move into. This can be found at and searching for Ardmore.

Sara’s Project provides education, collaboration, and victim advocacy to help children and adults experiencing crisis from trauma, abuse or loss. They are currently putting together Christmas care packages for foster children and children in the area. Items needed are jackets, pajamas, underwear and duffle bags.

They are also collecting Christmas gifts for several area children and families in need, and anyone interested in “adopting a family” by purchasing Christmas gifts can contact Sara’s Project at 580-226-7283 to get that set up.

The Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma has a mission to prevent homelessness and increase self-sufficiency for everyone. They provide education and resource assistance to those in need. They are currently in need of clothing such as men and women’s underwear, socks, hats, scarves, and hand and feet warmers. They also need toiletries such as travel-sized toothpaste and shampoo, deodorant, brushes and combs, and feminine hygiene products.

Our four-legged friends are also in need of some extra assistance. The Ardmore Animal Shelter takes in thousands of dogs and cats every year in order to provide them with a safe living space — and, ideally, a forever home.

Because so many dogs and cats are always coming in, the shelter is in constant need of dog food, cat food, and cat litter. They are also in need of any sort of cleaning product such as bleach, Lysol and other disinfectants.

Another way of helping the shelter is by donating items from around the house that you no longer need. Old blankets, sheets, and towels can always be put to use, and old newspapers can be used to line cages.

Sara's Project is currently collecting Christmas gifts for area children in need. They are located at 814 16th Ave NW.
The Community Children’s Shelter and Family Service Center is in need of items for the children living at their facility. Donations can be dropped off at 15 Monroe Ave NE.
The Ardmore Animal Shelter is in need of pet food and cat litter. They can also use old blankets, sheets and towels.
The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma is need of toiletries and clothing for their residents as well as supplies that will be used in their new facility.