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Non-Profits That Need Donations This Holiday Season

For this week's Patch Picks, we asked you to share with your neighbors where they should bring canned food, coats or other goods.

Food banks across the country are struggling every day to gather enough food to feed the poor, according to NPR, and even more so during the holidays

So for this week's Patch Picks, we asked which ones, along with soup kitchens and other non-profit organizations, need donations from the community. Here's what you told us:

Housing Families

This Malden-based non-profit, which assists families in Melrose and Greater Boston, is holding a gift drive seeking toys and gift cards for homeless and at-risk families, according to Patty Kelly, community outreach coordinator for Housing Families.

To learn more about Housing Families and how you may help with the drive, contact Kelly at 781-322-9119. Visit Housing Families website at www.housingfamilies.org.

Greater Boston Food Bank

Christina Leonard-Kristan of said that the studio is . Donation suggestions and collections bins are at the dance studio, which will be making the donation to the Greater Boston Food Bank on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in time for Thanksgiving. The Greater Boston Food Bank distributes its donations to more than 30 local shelters and kitchens in and around the Boston Area.

If you would like to donate, bring your canned goods & non-perishable items to the studio Monday through Friday between 3:30 and 7 p.m. Address and directions on our website at www.centerstagestudio.org

Devereux Therapeutic Foster Care

Maura Donahue said her agency is actively seeking community donations to support its local foster families. "We had a holiday coordinator a few years ago but no longer have any one person, or community group that helps us with donations," Donahue said. Devereux has foster children ages 3-22 years old and many are special needs children working with DCF and/or DMH.

Individual and group donations are encouraged. Gift cards, passes to museums and sporting events, restaurants and movies are good for all ages. Devereux can pick up any large, group collections. Otherwise, people can mail or drop off at Devereux TFC, 800 West Cummings Park, Suite 3700, Woburn, MA 01801.  Call with questions: (866) 334-3879 and visit the organization's website at www.devereuxma.org.

Ron Sensaid, "Lots of deserving (non-profits) but the Melrose Emergency Relief Fund (out of City Hall) has done good work." The Emergency Fund provides one-time help for families who are experiencing temporary financial hardship. Help provided ranges from supermarket vouches, to help with rent and utilities, and the fund administrator can also provide referrals to other local agencies as needed.

To make a donation, send a check to Melrose Emergency Fund, Mayor's Office, 562 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176 or bring it directly to the Mayor's Office on the second floor of City Hall. Checks should be made out to the City of Melrose, with "Melrose Emergency Fund" in the memo line. For more information about the fund, call 781-979-4440.

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