November 26 2019

Round-Up: Known and Trusted Local Charities You Can Donate to this Holiday Season

By: Rich Hosford

The holiday season is a time of charity and good will but sometimes it can be hard to know where and how to spread the joy with all the competing organizations, fund drives and appeals for help. 


We have put together a list of charity drives that are vetted and known to actually support people locally and in good faith. These organizations have demonstrated over the years that they put your money and other donations to good use so you can feel confident when supporting them. 


Here is where you can make a donation and know that it will go to a good, local, cause: 


People Helping People 


Burlington’s premier charity organization operates the Burlington Food Pantry, the Holiday Program & Wish Tree and the Covenant for Basic Needs. These three non-profit and volunteer-supported organizations are striving to meet the basic necessities of Burlington residents who have fallen on hard times.


Currently People Helping People’s Wish Tree is operating at the Burlington Mall. Each year the tree provides over 2,000 gifts to children in need in Burlington. You can find the Wish Tree on the second floor of the mall and choose a gift to purchase to help make the holidays brighter for everyone. 


People Helping People is also selling raffle tickets to win a $1,000 meal for six at the Capital Grille. This fundraiser supports all of the organization’s work including the Food Pantry which serves between 120 to 130 Burlington families per month and also provides meals during the holidays. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by visiting PHP’s website or in person at A Whole Bunch of Flowers, 326 Cambridge Street and Spencer Cleaners, 271 Cambridge Street.




HELPIS (Help Me Help Someone) Inc. is a social network that promotes and encourages kind and charitable deeds. It’s founder, Joyce Deliyiannis started by giving free haircuts to the homeless and the organization has grown with local support to fill a variety of needs including direct donations of clothing and supplies, food drives and more. 


HELPIS operates all year, not just around the holidays. Donations to the organization can be made at their website


Burlington Fire Department Toy Drive 


The Burlington Fire Department holds an annual Holiday Happiness Toy Drive drive to benefit children patients at Children's Hospital of Boston. Donate new, unused, unwrapped toys for newborns through children of the age of 18. All toy and gift donations go directly to inpatient children Boston Children's Hospital.


The toys are given to patients for the holidays but also for other special events throughout the year. 


“Boston Children’s Hospital needs toys year round for their brave young patients. Toys are given to child patients for holidays, birthdays, surgeries, milestone treatments, etc.,” the Fire Department says. “We are hoping, through your generosity, to make a delivery before Christmas to stock up for the holidays, and one after to reload it for the rest of the year!”


Donate new, unused, unwrapped toys for newborns through children of the age of 18. All toy and gift donations go directly to inpatient children Boston Children's Hospital.


This years toy drop off locations include:

- Burlington Fire Department HQ - 21 Center Street

- Burlington Town Hall - 31 Center Street

- Burlington Public Library - 22 Sears Street

- Used Book Superstore - 256 Cambridge Street

- Burlington Veteran's Services Office - 61 Center Street-Rm. 203

- Olde Towne Liquors - 286 Cambridge Street

- Tuscan Kitchen - 2400 District Ave

- 3rd Ave Burlington - Third Ave


Armstrong Ambulance Food and Clothes Drive 


Armstrong Ambulance holds an annual drive to collect food and clothing for homeless people in the area. 


“From now until Dec. 31, Armstrong will be collecting new and gently used clothing items to help the homeless stay warm this winter,” the organization says. “The items that are needed most include coats and jackets, boots, gloves, hats, scarves, socks, sweatpants and jeans.”


Donations of non-perishable food are also be collected. Ideal items for donation include canned protein like tuna, chicken, salmon, beans and low-sodium soups, canned vegetables, pasta sauce, canned fruit, fried applesauce, whole grains like crackers, oatmeal, high fiber cereal and rice, or dairy items like evaporated milk.


In Burlington donations can be dropped off at the Armstrong Ambulance location at 217 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington (entrance in the rear). 


Toys for Tots 


Toys for Tots is a toy drive run by the  U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in cooperation with other organizations like the Massachusetts State Police to provide toys to children whose families cannot afford to buy them. 


“The Toys for Tots program wishes to play an active role in the development of one of our nation's most valuable natural resources - our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future,” the organization’s website states. 


In Burlington donations to Toys for Tots can be made at: 

- Accurate Automotive, 15 Bedford Street.

- Burlington Veterinary Hospital, 64 Middlesex Turnpike.

- East Boston Saving Bank, 50 Summit Drive.


Are we missing a charitable organization you think is perfect for the holiday season? Send us an email at with the details and we will check it out and possibly add it to the list.


Burlington MA Womenade


Womenade is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families in need.  The idea came from a group of friends in Washington DC who wanted to organize a way to raise funds for families facing adversity without any overhead. Since this first group was created in 2001, many other Womenade groups have been sprouting throughout the United States. 


Burlington, MA Womenade was started in 2011. Inspired by a Bedford Womenade event, the Burlington “chapter” was created as a way for women in the Burlington community to work together in order to support local families in crisis as well as to network and socialize with each other.


The group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that donates money and gift cards to local families going through difficult times. 


You can find more information about the group and donate to their cause on their website.



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