31 Days of KOLOCares spotlights 31 charities

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - KOLOCares spotlighted a different local charity each day during the month of December.

Check kolocares.com for more information about these and other local charities.

December 31: One in five kids in Nevada is food insecure. Food Bank of Northern Nevada aims to eliminate hunger, and provides food to people who would otherwise go without. Its goal heading into the new year is to continue to help families in need. The bank's most popular item is fresh produce. Last year, they distributed 7,000,000 pounds of it. But it's expensive. That's why they need the community's help. in addition to monetary donations, they need more volunteers to help sort the food.

December 30: STEP2 offers long-term treatment for women struggling to overcome substance abuse. The non-profit started 31 years ago, and offers several services, including treatment, child care and job placement assistance. Annually, it serves about 250 women who stay with their children, in one of 25 cottages on campus. 100 percent of the money donated goes toward the women and children in need in our community. Also needed are clothing donations.

December 29: RISE stands for Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality. The organization has been helping people living in poverty since 2012, providing emergency shelter and meals to families in need. The goal is to offer solutions to people who have fallen through the cracks -- and get them on the track to a more stable life. Through its housing voucher program, people are given temporary housing, and once they secure employment, they assume the rental payments themselves. The best way to help the non-profit? Donate your time. The website also has a list of items needed throughout the year.

December 28: Nevada Youth Empowerment Project has been around ten years, and provides housing and skills for 17- to 24-year-old females. The shelter just raised its age from 21 to match the "HUD" definition and meet the growing need in Reno. It also conducts the annual homeless youth count each January, determining the number of homeless teens and young adults in our community. NYEP's programs focus on bringing women out of poverty. For instance, the Community Living Program teaches how to budget and grocery shop. NYEP is 100-percent community funded, and relies on community donations. Aside from financial, NYEP needs tampons and toiletries. It's also hoping for a vehicle large enough to transport 15 people.

December 27: Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation was started just five years ago with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for Truckee Meadows residents by ensuring sustainability and improvement of our parks. The current Reno and Washoe budgets for parks are half of what they were before last decade's recession, and haven't recovered. The foundation hopes to bridge that gap with private fundraising for infrastructure, advocating for budgets to increase, and providing education for children using the parks, so kids can appreciate them. There are many ways you can help Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation with its goals. You can sign up for the Truckee Meadows Trails Challenge, you can donate financially, or volunteer.

December 26: Northern Nevada RAVE Family Foundation offers respite options for family members caring for young children and adult family members with special needs. It also trains high school volunteers to help care for people who need help.
"RAVE" stands for respite and volunteer experiences. In addition to monetary donations, RAVE accepts supplies such as construction paper, puzzles, and board games.

December 25: The Reno Bike Project's goal is to create a cycling-friendly community, making bikes more accessible through recycling. It accepts donations of old bikes, new bikes... even bike parts. There is plenty of room for volunteers, and the project has mechanic educators on hand to assist you with any bike projects you may have. The non profit's big seasonal kickoff is happening in May during bike month, when it holds its annual pancake feed.

December 24: The mission of the Nevada Humane Society animal shelter is to find homes and provide care for homeless pets in Washoe County and Carson City. Since the organization opened 10 years ago, it's saved more than 90,000 animals. The shelter needs volunteers and accepts monetary donations, as well as supplies such as pet toys, food, cat litter, leashes, towels, and cleaning supplies.

December 23: Sierra Nevada Journeys gets students excited about science with field trips and classroom activities. Since it started ten years ago, it's served 100,000 kids in Nevada and Northern California. In fact, its programs are so in demand, there's a waiting list. The non-profit is always looking for community support to help deliver the programs to students. The supplies it uses are not cheap, and monetary donations are appreciated.

December 22: Northern Nevada HOPES' clinic started 20 years ago, initially as an outpatient health center for people living with HIV/AIDS. Now, HOPES is a federally-qualified health center that provides health care and chronic disease management for anyone in our region, regardless of ability to pay. Each month, hopes gets about 400 new patients. HOPES is always looking for donations and volunteers.

December 21: Girls on the Run Sierras is a program for elementary and middle school girls in Northern Nevada, including Lake Tahoe. It's an after-school program designed to inspire girls to be "joyful, healthy and confident" while creatively integrating physical activity, in the end, teaching more than 500 girls how to run a 5k. Girls on the Run is also unveiling a new fundraiser in April. Volunteers are needed to help with the inaugural "Limitless Potential Breakfast."

December 20: United Blood Services and KOLO 8 News Now are teaming up again for “A Christmas to Remember”. The blood drive is December 20 at United Blood Services Reno at 1125 Terminal Way from 10AM-6PM. There will be:
• Raffle Prizes
• Pictures with Santa
• Food
• Free Gift Wrapping
• Coat Drive
Book your blood donation appointment by clicking here or by calling 775-324-6454

December 19: The Veterans Guest House provides temporary housing to our military veterans and their families when they're undergoing medical treatment in Northern Nevada. This year alone, it's provided more than 5600 guest nights, and it's hoping to expand its reach with a new 12-thousand-square-foot building with 21 more beds. The new building is expected to open in June 2018. In addition to monetary donations, the house appreciates gift cards.

December 18: Safe Embrace offers services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, whether that violence is current or from the past. Its walk-in shelter is at 780 E. Lincoln Way in Sparks, and provides emergency services including meals, clothing and therapy. Safe Embrace is grateful for volunteers, who, with advocates, staff its 24-hour crisis line. Someone is always there to answer the call for help. The number is 775-322-3466.

December 17: The Circle of Life Foundation helps provide assistance to seniors and their families. It provides community education, care-giving support, complimentary therapies and eventually a hospice house. Through donations, this nonprofit is also able to provide funding for families to help them prepare for losing loved ones.

December 16: Volunteers of America provides local human service programs to help families, seniors, former foster youth and the homeless get back on their feet.
The non-profit is looking for donations of blankets, clothes, toothbrushes and feminine products to provide to people staying in its shelter. Items can be dropped off at the shelter on Record Street, off 4th Street in Reno.

December 15: Through education and prevention, Awaken aims to end sex trafficking. Last year it opened its drop-in center at 4th and Spokane Streets, a known sex trafficking area, to help victims of sexual abuse get on the path to recovery. There are several opportunities available to volunteer. The center needs help with daily tasks such as laundry, and whatever your background is, there is a need. To apply to become a volunteer, or to make a monetary donation, click here.

December 14: The goal of Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary is to help at-risk dogs that have been abused or neglected, and find them their forever homes. It costs about $25 a day per dog to stay in the facility, which at any given time has anywhere from 40 to 50 dogs. Monetary donations help buy needed supplies to care for these dogs. You can also donate your time. The center is always looking for volunteers to walk dogs and help out at community events.

December 13: For years, Evelyn Mount Community Outreach has been organizing community food drives to help provide meals to people in need. Mount relies on the generosity of strangers to contribute to her pantry. Some of the most-needed items include meats like turkeys, chicken and ham, as well as non-perishable items. You can drop off donations at her home at 2530 Cannan Street in Reno. She will begin handing out community food bags December 17 and continue through December 23. Families in need can pick up bags from 10:30 to 3 every day.

December 12: The Ronald McDonald House Charities® Northern Nevada has been in existence 30 years, and provides lodging for families whose children are receiving treatment at local hospitals. In that time, more than 7800 families have stayed at the "home away from home." The house only charges a family $10 per night's stay.

December 11: The Reno Rodeo Foundation's 11th annual Denim Drive for 2017 is underway through Dec. 31, collecting money and new clothing donations across 14 Northern Nevada counties for abused and neglected infants, children and teens who have been rescued from unsafe homes. More than 100 locations will host donation bins to collect new jeans, new socks, new shirts and new underwear. An interactive map with all donation locations can be accessed here.

December 10: Project HELP Nevada strives to empower at-risk women and young adults. Through its "Wings Project,".it helps 16- to 24-year-olds who are transitioning out of foster care or who may be homeless. Specifically, it works with them to strengthen their life skills to help them land jobs, including resume training and mock interviews.

December 9: CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada provides medical resources at no cost, from equipment and supplies to prescriptions. Volunteers help refurbish equipment and do clerical work. If you have gently-used medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds, Care Chest would love to have them. And the organization always needs financial assistance.

December 8: You may have seen Salvation Army volunteers ringing bells outside local businesses. It's just one way the organization helps raise money for people in need this holiday. The Salvation Army needs more kettle bell ringers and volunteers at its food pantry on Sutro Street.

December 7: The goal of the Children's Cabinet is to assist Nevada families that need help. The non-profit offers more than 30 programs and services including food and shelter, parenting classes, job training, even crisis intervention.

December 6: The Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows has more than twenty locations throughout the area, and helps more than 13,000 kids each year. There are 130 programs and events for area children. The annual membership fee is just twenty dollars, even though the club spends more than $25 on each child per year.

December 5: The Eddy House is a drop-in center for homeless youth. So far this year, the organization has seen 700 individual homeless kids. When the house opens, these teens can get something to eat, use the shower, use the restroom and get clothing.

December 4: The JUSTin HOPE Foundation provides services and support for local families touched by autism and other neurological disorders. The foundation holds training for police, fire and medical personnel so they are better equipped to deal with those special needs.

December 3: Bristlecone Family Resources has a simple goal: help people recover from addiction, whether alcohol, other drugs or gambling. Getting people on the right track is what they do. Sometimes clients go to Bristlecone off the street; sometimes it's straight from jail, so they don't have any belongings. That's why the non-profit can use new or gently-used clothing.

December 2: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada pairs mentors with children living in poverty. The biggest need is always for more adults willing to spend one hour a week with a child. If you can't make the time commitment, there are other ways to give. The organization this time of year always needs new coats, and if you have a business or organization, holding a coat drive for BBBSNN can be a big help. Cash donations are always welcome. It takes $1,000 for each child in the program. That goes toward training, matching and providing case management to each big-little pair.

December 1: Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada is asking community members to donate pre-filled Christmas stockings for children ranging in age from infants to 17 years old. The goal is to distribute stockings to more than 800 children in need in Washoe County and across northern Nevada. For more information on how to get involved, click here.