The need for help is never greater than during the holiday season.
Thankfully, there’s no easier time to give back, either, as local businesses and organizations go out of their way in their efforts to encourage donations of everything from money, to clothing, food and toys. Stop by any one of several Red Bank businesses this holiday season and you’ll find a chance to help out, whether by dropping a few coins in a tin, or taking it upon yourself to adopt a family.
There’s often even more of an incentive to give this time of year, too. Take for instance the Red Bank Public Library, which is generously cutting off a dollar off your overdue book fine for every non-perishable food item you drop off in its food collection box.
The library is certainly not alone. Check out the following ways to help in the Red Bank and Shrewsbury area:
The Red Bank Police Benevolent Association Local #39 is hosting a toy drive through Dec. 19. Donors are asked to bring unwrapped toys to the Red Bank Police Department in the municipal complex on Monmouth Street, which will be donated to families in need in Red Bank. For more information about the toy drive, contact Mike Frazee or Bob Campanella at (732) 530-2705.
Neighboring Shrewsbury Borough PBA is also hosting a toy drive, now through Dec. 20. Just as in Red Bank, donors are asked to bring unwrapped toys to the police department, which is located in the borough’s municipal center. The toys will be donated to needy families in Shrewsbury and surrounding towns. Contact Ptlm. James Ramsey for more information at (732) 741-2500 ext. 209 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funk and Standard variety store has teamed up with the Caring Canvas to collect new and gently used children’s clothing. Those who make donations will receive a $5 gift card toward their next purchase of $25. Donations receipts will also be handed out by the Broad Street store.
According to a release, Caring Canvas is a free traveling art program specifically for at-risk children and mental health consumers. Its mission is to mentor, inspire, and give hope through art expression. Clothing donations at Funk and Standard are being accepted until Dec. 12.
Quince is giving patrons a chance to win a $50 gift certificate for toy donations made at the salon. Every one who donates a toy will have their name entered into a holiday gift certificate drawing. The toys are being donated to Lunch Break.
Holiday Express is making a return to the Count Basie Theatre on Dec. 15 for its annual rock n’ soul holiday benefit concert, featuring more than 30 professional musicians and singers blending together a unique mixture of traditional, gospel, blues, and rock music into a single showcase.
Tickets are on sale now for $125, $59, $35 and $25 and may be purchased at the Count Basie box office, by phone at 732-842-9000 or on-line at www.countbasietheatre.org.
Each holiday, Holiday Express visits more than 15,000 people, performing shows throughout the area and lending goodwill at homeless shelters, psychiatric hospitals, developmental centers, children’s hospitals, and other locations, according to a release, where residents are often forgotten. The non-profit organization delivers music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship.
All proceeds will be used to support the efforts of Holiday Express. More information about Holiday Express is available at www.holidayexpress.org.
Be sure to check out Red Bank’s Gingerbread Walk, more than two-dozen local businesses, schools, and organizations participated by building or hosting gingerbread houses. Money raised from the event benefits Holiday Express. There’s also a chance to win a gift certificate furnished by Red Bank RiverCenter.
Monmouth Street’s own Cupcake Magician is donating 25 percent of its Oreo Cupcake sales through Dec. 31 to Holiday Express. If you’re looking over their large display of custom cupcakes, think about going Oreo if you’re undecided.
Not too far away, Sugarush is donating a portion of its sales of its signature Sugarush cupcake to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS throughout the month, as well.
Back to retail, Ten Thousand Villages Red Bank is donating 10 percent of its sales this Thursday, Dec. 8 to Fair Trade Red Bank, an organization that seeks to educate the public and business owners on the need to shop and buy fair trade.
At Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals, donations are being accepted throughout the season to benefit Rescue Ridge, a “last-chance” shelter located in Spring Lake, as well as other animal rescue organizations. The stuffed animal store is accepting donations of cat and dog food, pet blankets, and pet toys. The store is also accepting donations for the hot chocolate and homemade chocolate chip cookies available at its Monmouth Street location, which will also be donated.
If you are a business owner or know of a business that is giving back this holiday season, drop us a line in the comment section below or in an email and we’ll be sure to add you to the list.