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Patty Regan, left, Connie Godejohn, center, and Gina Viallas, of Aid Inc., stock the free pantry outside the downtown Mandan thrift store. "We stock the pantry daily, six days a week and it's empty every single night," said Regan, executive director of Aid Inc.

With the aim of brightening Christmas for the less fortunate, the Bismarck Tribune features the needs of the nonprofit organizations of the Bismarck and Mandan communities. The Abused Adult Resource Center, the Bismarck Early Childhood Education Program, Community Action, Charles Hall Youth Services, AID Inc. and the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House are all taking donations during the holiday season.

Abused Adult Resource Center

The Abused Adult Resource Center has been assisting domestic violence and sexual assault victims for more than 20 years. The organization has two houses — Pam’s House and Diane Zainhofsky Hope House — for providing temporary shelter, food, clothing and counseling for those in need. Each year a Hope for the Holidays event, in which people donate items and gifts to those in need, is held.  For more information, call 701-222-8370 or visit www.abusedadultresourcecenter.com.

Suggested items to donate include gift cards to purchase gas and groceries, “pay as you go” phone cards, movie theater tickets, haircut vouchers and indoor trampoline park passes. Money also is accepted.

BECEP

The Bismarck Early Childhood Education Program, run by the Bismarck Public School District, aims to prep preschoolers entering kindergarten. Its mission is to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with families in order for them to reach their potential. Six programs are offered, including Early Head Start, Right Track, Head Start, Early Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education and Community Friends.

The agency is in need of many items, such as size 4-6 snowpants, 4-6 elastic-waist pants and 11-13 winter boots. Donations can be dropped off at BECEP, 720 N. 14 St., in Bismarck. For more information, call 701-323-4400 or visit www.becep.bismarckschools.org.

Community Action

Since 2006, Community Action has been providing support through its programs and resources to low-income and homeless families. One of its most widely known programs is Backpacks for Kids. This program distributes food every two weeks and serves about 1,300 people every other week. Food items that are individually wrapped, including macaroni and cheese, pop tarts, fruit and pudding cups and granola bars, are needed to fill backpacks.

“This program was created address the need for food on the weekends,” said Andrea Werner, a staff member, said.

Community Action also is accepting other donations such as diapers, blankets, gift cards and sweatshirts infants and teenagers. There is an option to sponsor a family in need. For more information, call 701-258-2240 or visit the “Community Action Backpack Program for Kids” page on Facebook.

Charles Hall Youth Services

Charles Youth Services in Bismarck, serving the North Dakota community for more than 50 years, has been involved in the foster care system with the goal of helping kids and their families. Many of the youth suffer from post-traumatic stress, mental illnesses, attention deficit disorder and thoughts of suicide. The staff and kids at CHYS throw a dinner and Christmas party every year with gifts from donors in the community. For more information on donating, call 701-255-3773, visit www.charleshallyouthservices.com or go to 513 E. Bismarck Expressway.

Suggested items for donation include movie theater tickets, tickets to SkyZone, household items, clothing and school supplies.

AID Inc.

AID Inc. was established in 1983 to provide emergency and temporary relief for people with needs, such as rent, utilities and transportation. People in the community may drop off gently used items at the organization's thrift store, 314 W. Main Ave., in Mandan. For more information, call 701-663-2122 or visit www.aidincnd.com.

 “I think people are realizing the value of helping others through going to the thrift store,” said Patti Regan, executive director of the organization. “I love being part of the mission. I don’t consider it work or a job. I truly believe in the mission of AID Inc.” 

The organization is in need of turkey and ham to give to families for the holidays and money for gift cards.

Ruth Meiers Hospitality House

Established in 1987, The Ruth Meiers Hospitality House has been providing programs for the homeless in order to help get them back on their feet. The organization offers short-term housing, job training, child care and transportation and case management.

The agency is in need of food, including canned vegetables and pasta and other every day items. To donate, volunteer or get more information, call 701-222-2108 or visit www.ruthmeiers.org.

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