Donation Drive Changes

We are extremely grateful for the amazing generosity of Howard County residents, groups, schools, businesses, and faith congregations to help us support community families and individuals in need of personal goods. Due to ongoing safety concerns related to the coronavirus COVID-19 we are changing how we collect and distribute these donations for the foreseeable future.

Over the next several months we will continue to provide school supplies, winter accessories and December holiday gifts for those experiencing financial difficulties. However, out of an abundance of caution we are initiating changes to manage social distancing practices and limit personal contact with donated items. In addition, due to measures to accommodate quarantine practices for shelter residents we no longer have storage space for goods we have accepted before.

As a result, we will schedule times for our clients in need to pick up gift cards and other items as we have been doing since the outbreak began. Along with these practices we will not host a large December event for people to attend to choose holiday gifts as in years past.

In light of these changes we primarily recommend donations of gift cards and other recommended items for the seasonal drives listed below:

Back to School Supplies

As you know the plans for returning to school are evolving and may look different for each school. However we know students in middle and high school will need more expensive items such as geometry sets and scientific calculators.

  • We recommend gift cards in amounts of $10, $25 or $50 from Staples, Walmart and Target.

Winter Accessories Drives

  • We have an overabundance of socks and instead suggest the following:
  • New gloves for children and adults (particularly men’s in larger sizes) packed in individual clear plastic bags
  • New packaged underwear for children and adults of all ages and sizes packed in individual clear plastic bags (larger sizes for adults in particular, e.g., XL, 2XL)
  • Gift cards in amounts of $10 & $25: Walmart, Target

Holiday Giving Days – December 2020

  • We traditionally provide gifts for about 80 families each year including more than 100 children. Gift cards in $10, $20, $25 or $50 amounts from Walmart, Target and other local retailers would allow individuals to select toys, clothing and accessories for their families.
  • More details, such as dates for dropping off gift cards and when we’ll be distributing them, will be available in November. Feel free to contact us then for updated information.

Thank you for considering these alternative gifts to help us safeguard the health and well-being of our most vulnerable community members in these uncertain times. We want you to know that we record incoming and outgoing gift cards for accountability and auditing purposes. If you have any questions about donation drives please contact Monteith Mitchell, Volunteer Coordinator, at, (410) 531-6006.

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Grassroots is the 24/7 single point access for behavioral health, crisis and homeless services for individuals and families.