Local charitable organizations have your gift-giving needs covered

By: Tiffany Esshaki, Elizabeth Scussel | C&G Newspapers | Published December 10, 2014

 Wigs4Kids in St. Clair Shores is selling cuddly fleece teddy bears for the holidays, handcrafted by professional seamstresses.

Wigs4Kids in St. Clair Shores is selling cuddly fleece teddy bears for the holidays, handcrafted by professional seamstresses.

METRO DETROIT — Sometimes when you give a little, you can even get a little in return.

This holiday season, lots of nonprofit organizations around town are selling gift items — from cozy wool socks to teddy bears, stationery and more — with proceeds going to benefit the work they do throughout the year to make our communities a better place.

That was the idea that the team at Wigs4Kids in St. Clair Shores had when they began selling holiday items. Shoppers can choose from 10-packs of Christmas cards, with two designs per pack, or a cuddly and colorful fleece teddy bear. Either way, 100 percent of the proceeds go to benefit the group’s mission to provide no-cost wigs and support services to Michigan children facing hair loss from medical disorders and treatment.

“(The gifts) are selling well, but we can always use more support from the community. We’re a local nonprofit, right here in your hometown, and we have a lot of great services under one roof, and these families never have to pay,” said Jennifer Fisher, executive team development director at Wigs4Kids.

Fisher called it a win-win, as it helps the organization raise money and also helps shoppers scratch a few items off holiday lists. But, really, she argued, there could be a third win thrown in there — the families benefit from the services Wigs4Kids offers all year.

“When someone buys the cards or the bears, they get something in return, in addition to knowing they helped a child, and we get the funds to help us continue the work we do. Also, though, when they send that card out to a family member, (...) maybe that family member might need our services or knows someone who needs our services. Not only does it raise awareness and support, but it also enables us to help more people,” she explained.

To learn more about Wigs 4Kids or to make a purchase or donation, head to www.Wigs4Kids.org.

But people aren’t the only ones in need of help this Christmas. Earlier this year, some good-looking cats and dogs got ready for their closeups with the camera for the annual Michigan Humane Society Pet Calendar.

For $15, you can give a gift that will keep on giving all year ’round, with 13 months of colorful photos of hundreds of pets from MHS supporters.

As a special treat, this year’s calendar will feature a horse for the first time. Vader, who graces the cover, is a member of the Detroit Police Mounted Division.

You can snag a calendar in time for 2015 by heading to www.shopmichiganhumane.org or by calling (800) 866-9189. As always, proceeds go to benefit the state’s oldest and largest animal welfare organization.

“The MHS pet calendar is a great gift for the pet lover in your life. Not only do you get a cool calendar featuring over 300 local pets, you also help tens of thousands of animals that MHS cares for every year,” said MHS Public Relations Coordinator Ryan McTigue.

Charles L. Bowers Farm in Bloomfield Hills has just the thing to keep your tootsies toasty this winter.

The Friends of the Farm are currently selling natural wool socks, and the proceeds enhance the education programs at Bowers Farm. The wool for the socks comes directly from the sheep that call Bowers Farm home.

“This is our second year selling the socks, and it is truly a labor of love. Our sheep have worked really hard this year,” farm manager Holly Glomski said, explaining that the project is worked on year round, as the sheeps’ wool can only be removed once a year.

The wool is removed, or shorn, from the sheep by high school students in Glomski’s agriscience class. Once the wool is harvested, the Friends of the Farm clean it by and send it to a Michigan mill to be further cleaned, made into yarn and prepared into socks.

Socks that, as Glomski describes, are the perfect gift for everyone on your gift list this season.

“I have probably bought 15 pairs of these socks and given them as gifts. I guarantee these socks will be loved and cherished by anyone,” said Glomski, who sports the socks herself. “I wear these things on a daily basis throughout the winter, and they still look brand new.”

The socks range in size from 6 1/2 to 15 and are on sale for $15 a pair. To order socks, call (248) 649-6479 or email coordinator@friendsofbowersfarm.org. Charles L. Bowers Farm is located at 1219 E. Square Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills.