As we run around getting ready for the holidays with decorating, shopping, planning for family, and more, it's also a good time to think about those in need. And while a bell ringer with a kettle is never far away, there are a number of ways that we can give this holiday season and make sure that it stays right here in our community.


  • Decide What You Can Give

    Obviously, the first step is to think about what you're able to give. Whether it's money, clothes, food, or even your time, in this day and age where money is tight for a lot of people, generosity doesn't always have to be financial.

  • Find Out Which Charities Need What

    Different charities need different things. Some, like shelters and food pantries, appreciate your money, but may need goods more.

    A lot of homeless (and even pet) shelters are always in need of basics like blankets, clothes, and toiletries.

    Some may have the goods that they need, but may be in need of people to help organize or distribute what they have.

  • Find Out Where Your Donations Go

    There are a lot of great charities that do amazing work to help others every day. But there are also plenty of groups who will happily accept your money, but have suspiciously well paid executives.

    A great place to start is the Charity Navigator website, which has detailed information about many charities, including how much of their fundraising actually goes to their charitable programs.

  • Great Local Charities

    Of course, there are plenty of amazing local charities that help those in need right here where we live. Here are just a few of our favorites:

    Children's Specialized Hospital

    As our annual Making Miracles radiothon is in the rear view mirror for 2016, that doesn't mean that you can't still donate. With their location right here in Ocean County, and a partnership with Children's Miracle Network, Children's Specialized Hospital's Toms River location will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year.

    Ocean of Love

    Ocean of Love is an amazing charity that's also based right here in Toms River. With a mission of helping kids with cancer and their families, your money stays local and helps those who are dealing with one of life's most challenging hurdles.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County

    There are few things more personally satisfying in life than mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County is a great way to donate your time in a way that could literally be life changing for someone in need.

    The Food Bank Of Monmouth and Ocean Counties

    When you open your cupboard, how many cans and packages of non-perishable food do you have that you haven't even touched yet? With a 4-star rating, and a score over 97% from Charity Navigator, you know that your donations to the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties will go where they're needed the most.

    The Jersey Shore Animal Foundation

    Let's not forget about our furry friends who are in need too! Animal shelters are always in need of blankets and food. And, of course, few things could brighten up your home for the holidays more than bringing home a new member of the family!