Throw-back photo but still plenty of opportunities to give.

Tis the season to give back – to help you get in that holiday space I have rounded up some easy giving opportunities for you.

Food Drives 

For those looking to clear out the pantry – Mike Ciunci and team are holding a food drive with all donations going to the West Chester Food Cupboard. They have set an ambitious goal for themselves of 1,700 pounds of food. Help them get there and there could be a prize in it for you. Donations are due by Nov. 17. Drop them off at CrossFit West Chester at 917 Old Fern Hill Road. Learn more here.  

For those heading to the store this weekend – Rustin students are on a mission this holiday season. Their goal? Provide at least ten local families with a full Thanksgiving meal. For this, they are going to need all the fixin’s from herbs to apple pie. You can find a list of needed items here. Or you can keep it simple and pick up a Giant or ShopRite gift card. Donations are needed by Nov. 21 and can be dropped at the school’s main lobby. 

For those who believe it’s the thought that counts – Friends Association is holding its annual Grocery Store Gift Card drive. All you need to do is pick up a gift card at Aldi, Walmart, or Giant, and bring it to the Friends Association HQ on West Chestnut Street. (It’s the one with the new mural.) Gift cards are requested in $50 increments and are needed by Nov. 15. 

For those that giving should be rewarded. Kildare’s Irish Pub is once again hosting its Dec. 26, Boxing Day Soccer Matches and Food Drive. For every two non-perishable food items or one new toy, you will get a free pint on the bar. Donations are being accepted between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Toy Drives

The West Chester Public Library is a Toys for Tots donation site.

For those already jumping ahead to ChristmasToys for Tots drives have begun. New, unwrapped gifts can be dropped at collection boxes in the West Chester Police Department lobby on E. Gay St. or at the West Chester Public Library on N. Church St. Donations are being accepted through Dec. 5. Want to score a donation and a deal at the same time? Monkey Fish Toys in the Bradford Plaza is offering 10 percent off all Toys for Tots purchases.

For those looking for Thanksgiving plansLevante Brewing is hosting a Cheers-Giving event tomorrow from 12 – 10 p.m. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Tots for Tots, and receive a free draft pour of your choice. There will also be live music, food trucks, and specialty small-batch draft releases including Infinite Obsidian (Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.)

For those who can shop till they dropBobbles & Lace on High Street is currently hosting a toy drive. Bring in a new, unwrapped toy anytime between now and December 15 and receive $10 in Bobble Bucks. I’m guessing that’s a fancy name for in-store credit. I am thinking I may take them up on this offer and put my Bobble Bucks toward a new pair of jeans!

For those who appreciate a good list – The YMCA is returning this year with its annual Angel Tree project. Select a name from the tree and receive a list of requested items from one of the areas deserving youngsters. Names are available now. If the tree is not up, just ask at the front desk. You have until Dec. 4 to shop.

For those whom good deeds work up an appetiteLimoncello is combining giving and dinner. Bring five new and unwrapped toys to the restaurant between 12 and 4 p.m. on Dec. 10 and get a voucher for a free family-style dinner. Then on Dec. 15 your new, unwrapped toy will score you a free breakfast when you drop it off at St. Agnes’ Thomas Patrick Hall as part of the WSFS Bank toy drive. Just note, registration is required. 

For those with a car full of kids – On Dec. 3, the Goodwill Fire Company is hosting its 3rd annual Toys for Tots collection event. Drive your car around through the decorated fire engine bay, and deliver your new, unwrapped toy into the hands of the North Pole’s favorite elves. Toys accepted from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.


For those who are always multi-tasking – Head to Iron Hill any Wednesday in December, enjoy a nice meal and have 20 percent of the total donated to the West Chester Food Co-op. All you have to do is show this flyer. More of a social drinker than an eater? Safe Harbor is partnering with Locust Lane Brewery in Malvern for a Happy Hour and Partner Appreciation Event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 13. Proceeds and cash tips will go to support Chester County’s largest homeless shelter.

For those with a tricky gift list – Score some truly unique gift ideas at the West Chester Green Team‘s one-of-a-kind auction. In the past, I have used it to secure some truly amazing vacation opportunities. Marbella, Spain, anyone? This year there are houses in Puerto Rico and Anna Maria Island, Florida, plus, desserts by local chefs, home garden consultations, and more. Proceeds go to support the work of the West Chester Green Team.


For those who are a sucker for traditions – After moving to Rustin High School last year, the West Chester race Brian’s Run is back where it should be – in the borough. This year the race is being run on Dec. 3 and will start at the corner of Church and Market Streets. Also, back? The 5-mile option! Now you can choose between a 5K, 2-mile walk and for the dedicated, the full 5 miles. Once named one of the country’s “100 great races,” it’s good to see it back in its glory. Proceeds benefit the West Chester Food Cupboard.

For those who believe the best cure for a hangover, is to get moving. The 16th annual Stanley’s Dream 5K will take place on New Year’s Day at the corner of Church and Market St. Race begins at a very doable noon. Registration is $25. Funds raised support the Stanley’s Dream scholarship program, providing college scholarships to graduating seniors, and childhood brain cancer research grants.

If you are hosting a food-, gift card-, coat-, sock-, or other holiday drive, let me know and I will add it to the list.


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