Out of ideas? Unique ways to ‘give’ this season

(Dec. 28, 2012) A home at its basic level offers a place to hang our hat, relax after a hard day’s work and rejuvenate with a good night’s sleep. But at a deeper level, our home offers us stability, peace and dignity.

For those of us blessed to have a home we can afford, the holiday time of year is an opportunity to help your neighbors or community members who are less fortunate in this respect. Help doesn’t always have to come in the form of a monetary donation, although money does help our local charities stay afloat and accomplish important goals. Yet, simple offerings can make a difference in providing our community with decent and affordable housing.

Here are a few ideas for helping fellow community members live better:


Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity of Worcester County. HFH is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that builds simple, decent and affordable homes in partnership with those in need. Families purchase the houses through interest-free loans provided by the local affiliate. For information, e-mail inquire@habitatworcester.org or call 410-208-4440.

  • Become a Carpenter’s Club member for $25. Then, every time Habitat builds a home in Worcester County (approximately once or twice a year), you pledge to give $35 at the bronze level. Higher levels available for individuals or corporations.
  • Volunteer your talents on a build. Carpenters, HVAC, plumbers, electricians and overall handymen/women are welcome. At various stages throughout the build, unskilled labor is also needed for landscaping, clean-up, painting, etc. — so all are encouraged to donate their time.
  • Donate your belongings to Habitat for its bi-weekly Warehouse Sale in Snow Hill. Habitat does weekly pick-ups of donated items, including furniture, TVs, appliances and some building materials. This is the major way the local Habitat raises money, and all proceeds from the Warehouse Sale support Habitat’s mission. Habitat is always in need of volunteers to work this sale as well.



Diakonia, Inc. has been helping individuals and families in Worcester County by providing shelter, food, clothing and the resources to rebuild their lives. The shelter, located in West Ocean City, is the only comprehensive provider of emergency and transitional housing for men, women and families on the Lower Shore.

For information, e-mail info@diakoniaoc.org or call 410-213-0923.

  • Monetary contributions: Even small contributions will help; $25 will provide shelter, three meals, counseling and support to a homeless person for one day; $50 will pay the electricity bill for a day.
  • Diakonia also welcomes in-kind contributions. Items not used in its operations are sold in its thrift shop to support its budget. Items of particular need are adult bicycles, business attire, canned goods, cleaning products, clothing, coffee, condiments, detergent, diapers, food, mattress covers, napkins/paper towels, jackets, pasta and rice, pillows, produce, shower shoes, socks, sweaters, T-shirts, toilet paper, trash bags, undergarments and Ziploc bags.
  • Volunteer: Among the many services volunteers provide at Diakonia are answering the telephone, operating and working in the thrift shop, sorting and storing donations, grant writing, cleaning, distributing food from the food pantry, transporting residents to appointments, entering data into our donor management database, repairs and maintenance to our facilities, resume writing, Web site maintenance, newsletter writing, and helping organize fundraising events.


— Lauren Bunting is a member of the Coastal Association of Realtors and a licensed REALTOR® with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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