In the spirit of giving, the holidays remind the more fortunate to impart their blessings to others, and this year, area nonprofits are asking for extra help.

As the temperatures plummet, the homeless are looking for lodging at the Tahlequah Men's Shelter. Every year, the numbers go up in the winter, and currently, the shelter is looking for locals to donate gloves, hats, underwear, and socks. They are also accepting food donations, such as lunch meat, milk, bread, peanut butter, and jelly.

More valuable than anything else is money. Checks can be sent or dropped off at the Tahlequah Men's Shelter on 118 W. Keetoowah St. They also accept cash and will give donation receipts.

"In the winter, we fill up to full capacity," said Manager Randy Haynes. "We take overflow. It is a place to stay warm. Fourteen is our capacity."

The Men's Shelter is also looking for churches and other organizations willing to take in homeless men when they reach capacity. Call 918-708-9474.

The Tahlequah Day Center, operated by the Zoë Institute, serves meals and provides services for the needy, which include public restrooms, showers, and a warming center. Many of those who frequent the Day Center do not have homes, so as temperatures drop, they are asking for sleeping bags and backpacks.

This time of year, they are requesting underwear, especially for women. They are also asking for clothing, winter hats, gloves, and shoes. They especially need men's shoes from size 10-13, and women's shoes from size 7-9. They also welcome food and money donations. Food can be dropped off at the site at 309 Muskogee Ave. Money can be donated online at tahlequahdaycenter.com/donate.

The Tahlequah Area Habitat For Humanity will be participating in Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30. They are hoping to get 300 people to donate at least $5. Donors are encouraged to give as generously as they can. They can donate on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TAHFH.

"This money will go toward our proceeds, which will stay in Cherokee County. It will go to new home construction or owner occupied repairs for qualified residents of Cherokee County," said Karmin Schwartz.

The money will help Habitat for Humanity build its next housing project, which will take place in the spring.

"One of the things is we are building community. We want to keep your money local. People who have home ownership can give back," said Schwartz.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is also moving to a new location, and they need volunteers to help them move on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26-27. Many of the staff are elderly and/or disabled, and are unable to help with the move.

"It's a great time for students who are looking to fill out service hours. It doesn't have to be all day. You can come in for a couple of hours," she said.

People who receive housing assistance at Habitat for Humanity are low-income, but they also pay their own way. It is a program that helps individuals to become self-reliant. All proceeds from the ReStore help its mission to build houses.

"This helps to free up money so they can use it elsewhere. Maybe they wanted to get an education. Maybe they couldn't afford medical costs," said Schwartz.

My Friends and Me is an organization that advocates for disabled people. This year, they need help managing parking for the Christmas Parade. There are many in the autism community and others who experience sensory sensitivities. These challenges can make attending public events, such as parades, difficult.

Nicki Barnes of My Friends and Me is organizing a silent zone where families with members who experience sensory sensitivity can quietly enjoy the Christmas parade on Dec. 3, and she needs volunteers. The Quiet Zone is going to be held at NSU's Will's Lot at the corner of Grand Avenue and Goingsnake Street.

"The main complaint on the Quiet Zone from previous years is that there wasn't a lot of signage, so people who needed it couldn't find it. People who didn't need that zone had parked there," said Barnes.

This year, they are changing that by recruiting volunteers to hold up signs.

They will also help educate attendees who will be passing by on the floats.

"It's startling sounds that can cause flight in autism or who have sensory issues. Music is great, but no police sirens or revving," said Barnes.

To help, email Barnes at nicki@includingyall.org.

What's next

The needs of more charitable organizations will be detailed in the Wednesday, Dec. 1 digital edition of the TDP.

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