Spreading Cheer: Ways to Give Back During the Holiday Season

The holidays are often a time for people to slow down and be thankful for what they have, as well as prioritize giving back to those who are less fortunate. There are many opportunities in Westfield and Union County to participate in charitable giving. Here are a select few picked out by Hi’s Eye:

Westfield Toy Drive: Allstate Insurance at 502 East Broad St. and Kinderprep at 80 South Ave. West are hosting the 2021 Westfield Toy Drive. The two companies have partnered with the Springfield charity, Furniture Assist, to receive and deliver toy donations. Unwrapped new or gently used toys can be donated to their offices, during business hours until the end of the year.

Annual Jersey Coat Drive: The 26th annual Jersey Cares Coat Drive is running through Sunday, Jan. 9. Last year, over 20,000 coats were delivered to men, women and children in need throughout New Jersey. People can drop off new, or gently used, coats to a nearby public collection site. Collection sites can be found on their website; for more information go to The Jersey Cares Coat Drive.

Union County Homeless Persons Memorial Vigil: The Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council will be hosting a memorial vigil for homeless individuals who have died on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. The event will be held at Temple Emanu-El, 756 East Broad St., and will include music, prayer and talks from service providers about the challenges of homelessness. People are encouraged to bring new socks, hats, gloves, scarves or other winter accessories to donate.

St. Joseph’s Giving Tree: The St. Joseph’s Giving Tree provides assistance to over 400 households during the holiday season. People can donate gift cards, preferably Visa, American Express, Walmart, Shoprite or Stop and Shop, or donate directly to St Joseph’s via PayPal. The public can drop off items at St Joseph’s Monday – Friday 9:00-3:00 or Saturday from 9:00-1:00, or purchase items off of their Amazon Wish List. For more information go to https://www.sjeliz.org/special-events.html