Ten CASA Giving Trees are in area businesses this holiday season, including this one at the Sedalia Democrat, 700 S. Massachusetts Ave. Tags include the person’s gender, age and requested gift, which should be returned to the tree unwrapped by Dec. 19.

As the holiday season gets underway, there are plenty of ways to volunteer, donate, and help out the community. To have your organization’s information added to this list, email ncooke@sedaliademocrat.com.


Giving Trees are already at several area businesses including the Sedalia Democrat, Kehde’s Barbeque, east and west Woods Supermarkets, Fringe Salon Company, Salon Ego, Inter-State Studio, Total Fitness Gym, Brian’s Gym and Cork n Bottle. The tags include the person’s gender, age and requested gift, which should be returned to the tree unwrapped with the tag attached by Dec. 19.  

For those looking to give a little more, CASA also has an adopt-a-family program. Most of the families are residing at CASA’s shelter after they had to leave their homes due to domestic or sexual violence. If enough interest is generated, CASA clients that don’t reside at the shelter could also be included.

“We want them to have as much of a normal Christmas as possible,” CASA Director Lori Haney said.

Volunteers will also be needed in mid-December for a big gift wrapping event once all the gifts have been received.

Monetary donations are always welcome and donations of $100 or more qualifies the donor for a domestic violence shelter tax credit. Other needs include toilet paper, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, and paper products. Haney said CASA can buy those items as needed, but that uses up funds that could be used for other specific client needs.

For more information, contact Gabby White at 660-827-5559.

Cancer Perks

Cancer Perks is once again hosting its 12 Needs of Christmas on its Facebook page. Donations and sponsorships are needed for the bags the nonprofit provides to cancer patients at Bothwell Regional Health Center and Fitzgibbon Hospital. Items include the bags themselves, fleece blankets, gas gift cards and lemon drops along with sponsors for individual bags. Find all 12 days of needs at facebook.com/CancerPerks.

Open Door

Open Door has a number of year-round volunteer needs:

• Service Center: Stocking and cleaning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays, choice pantry and warehouse help from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 

• Kitchen: volunteers needed from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays to assist cooks with cutting produce, plating desserts, wrapping tableware in napkins, making coffee, and wiping down tables. Volunteers needed from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays to monitor activity and set up tables. Volunteers are needed for the St. Patrick’s kitchen from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers must be 18 or accompanied by an adult. To sign up for a time slot or for more information, call Jennifer Taylor at 660-827-1613.

• Thrift Store: Volunteers needed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday to help receive donations, tag clothes, operate the register, price inventory and hang linens. 

Donations are also needed, including canned goods, cereal, pasta, broth, peanut butter, beans, rice, and paper goods.

On Wednesday, Dec. 4, 10% of sales at Kehde’s Barbeque, 1915 S. Limit Ave., will benefit Open Door. Woods Supermarket, 701 E. Broadway Blvd., is hosting a food drive from Dec. 1-7 for Open Door.

Community Santa

Donations are still being accepted for Community Santa. Citizens will see red-capped jars at many local businesses to collect monetary donations for Community Santa while other businesses will have large boxes to drop off toys. Donations can also be mailed to Community Santa, PO 43, Sedalia, Mo., 65301. All types of toy donations are accepted, but there are usually lots of requests for building such as Legos and blocks, and other hands-on toys and activities along with the traditional requests for dolls, bats, balls and cars. Family board games are also needed.

Families wanting to apply for Christmas assistance must submit their application by Friday, Dec. 6. Santa’s Workshop is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday in the State Fair Shopping Center on South Limit Avenue. 

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is in the middle of its annual bell ringing campaign at various Sedalia businesses. Volunteers are still needed now through Dec. 24. The goal is to raise $20,000 this year and those funds will stay in Pettis County to assist clients in 2020 with emergency financial help.

With the community’s help, The Salvation Army in Sedalia will provide Christmas assistance for around 300 area families including a meal to make at home, gift card to Woods, and toys for children. Applications are due Friday, Dec. 6. There are several options to help:

• Adopt-a-Family: Citizens can be paired up with a family in need of assistance to buy gifts and food for them. Items will be distributed the week of Dec. 16.

• Angel Tree Tags: Angel Trees are set up at Walmart and Menards. Grab a tag off the tree and leave the donation in the box by Dec. 18. All gifts will be given out through the Salvation Army’s Toy Town.

• Host a Food Drive: Organizations, churches, businesses or families can collect non-perishables to fill Christmas Baskets. Drop off donations by Dec. 18.

• Drop off a gift to the Service Center, 1200 E. Broadway Blvd., for a male or female age infant to 17 by Dec. 18. All gifts will be distributed through Toy Town. 

• Host a Counter Kettle: Businesses are encouraged to host a counter kettle, a small bucket that sits on the counter for customers to drop donations in. Funds raised stay in Pettis County.

For more information, call 660-826-1525 and talk to Magen or Lucille.

St. Vincent de Paul

At Sacred Heart School, every class is working on a service project for the holidays. The local Catholic parish has a number of programs to help the community during the Christmas season:

• Advent Giving Trees: At St. Patrick’s, 18 families have been adopted and tags will be available on the tree this weekend. Purchased gifts should be returned to the tree with the tag taped on. There will also be envelopes in the pews to give a monetary donation to help with purchasing food baskets. 

At Sacred Heart, several children are “adopted” whose parent is incarcerated and several residents from Rest Haven Nursing Home. Tags will be available on the tree this weekend. Gifts should be returned to the tree by the date specified on the tag.

At St. John’s, several individuals from the Pettis County Public Administrator’s office have been adopted. Gifts should be returned to the church by Dec. 14.

• Father Joe and Father Dave have challenged the five deacons to each find three volunteers to add to the St Vincent de Paul Warming Shelter Team. See Father Joe or any deacon to sign up. The warming shelter is also in need of donations: lightweight blankets, sheets, pillowcases, travel size pillows, travel size toiletries/hygiene items, quick no-cook food items like cereal, crackers, granola bars and fruit, coffee, creamer, sugar, hot chocolate, and paper supplies like cups, bowls, napkins and utensils.

• The Sacred Heart National Honor Society will again feed the elderly, unemployed and homeless of Pettis County on Christmas Eve. Volunteers are needed to help serve and deliver meals from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24. Last year it is estimated hey served more than 700 people. Monetary donations are also needed and can be mailed to Sacred Heart NHS, 416 W. Third St., Sedalia, Mo., 65301. To volunteer, contact Timara Kennon by Dec. 19 at tkennon@gogremlins.com or 660-827-3800. If you know of someone in need of a meal, leave a message at 660-827-3800 with their name, address and number of meals.


The Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri welcomes donations of all types as well as volunteer support from community members.

Volunteers are needed at the afterschool sites to help with a variety of activities. The Club wants to invite community members to share career information, hobbies, or cultural experiences with our club members. 

The Club needs donations of Legos for STEAM programming. Financial donations of any size are always appreciated and will be used to fund the Club’s afterschool and summer programs.

Volunteer applications are accepted all year and are available at the administrative office, 3100 Aaron Ave. in Sedalia. Donations may be brought to the office as well. For more information, call Cherie Beltran, Director of Development, at 660-826-8331.

Child Safe

The local child advocacy center hosted its annual Dessert Auction in Sedalia last week just before Thanksgiving, but a new Christmas event will be hosted at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at First United Methodist Church on Gay St. Warrensburg. Desserts are needed for the auction and the cash-and-carry table as well as volunteers. For more information, contact Julie Hoffert, Development Director, at 660-829-3434 or Jhoffert@childsafehouse.org.


Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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