Alternative Christmas Fair Charities
Below you can learn more about each of the participating charities. We will be open to receive donations between December 3 and December 16. In the meantime, start working on your donation/gift list for 2023!
Centre County PAWS is committed to finding forever homes for cats and dogs, educating citizens on responsible pet ownership, providing spay/neuter assistance, and ending pet overpopulation. PAWS is a non-euthanasia, member-supported, volunteer-enabled organization dedicated to the promotion of animal welfare and safety.
Centre Helps navigates the local safety net for those in need, whether in crisis or struggling to make ends meet, through their 24/7 hotline, text, chat, and community collaboration. Everyone knows people who are suffering in silence. The well-trained, compassionate team at Centre Helps transitions those friends and neighbors from crisis to viability.
CentrePeace CentrePeace was established in 1994 to provide a wholesome working environment for Centre County inmates. CentrePeace teaches inmates how to repair and restore electronics and furniture, they participate in classes to improve their life skills, and learn to handle conflict. CentrePeace operates the largest used furniture recycling project in the county. In 2022 they kept over 138 tons of usable furniture and household items out of the landfill. Sales from the store fund eight programs for returning citizens.
Centre Safe's mission is to empower survivors of sexual violence, dating and domestic violence, and stalking, and to work toward the elimination of such violence. Their services include a 24-hour hotline, a sexual assault emergency response team, an emergency shelter, counseling and advocacy, support groups, and transitional housing.
Centre Volunteers in Medicine is a free clinic providing medical and dental care, case management, and medication assistance to low-income individuals living or working in Centre County. They have been especially active in organizing large-scale vaccination clinics as an essential part of the effort to vaccinate our community against COVID-19.
Centre Wildlife Care is located on 15 acres of wooded land in Port Matilda, PA. Since opening in 1995, they have rehabilitated thousands of injured, sick, and orphaned wild animals until they can be released back into the wild. They care for all native species of wildlife including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Church World Service has worked for seven decades with one goal: building a world where there is enough for all. They affirm the power of individuals and communities to take ownership of their own futures. CWS meets them where they are, helping to create solutions local communities can maintain and build on.
The Dyslexia Reading Center provides high-quality evidence-based, multisensory reading and writing instruction to individuals with dyslexia and/or learning differences. They also train tutors in the Orton-Gillingham method and educate the public about dyslexia and the need for more effective instruction of students with dyslexia in public education.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County is one of 1,500 independent affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). To date, HFHGCC has served nearly 70 families by building/renovating homes for first-time homebuyers in the Centre Region. Currently they are constructing a home in Centre Hall.
The mission of Heifer International is to end hunger and poverty in 21 countries, beginning with a seed investment of livestock or agriculture, followed by mentorship to help project participants build a business and ultimately to gain access to supply chains and markets. By supporting and training the world’s farmers, ranchers, and female business owners, Heifer International enables them to earn a living income and continuously lift up their communities as they train the next generation of leaders.
Hope International Services has provided integrated health care, education, environmental, and outreach services to needy children and families in the U.S. and the disadvantaged population in EL Salvador for 27 years. Their services include medical clinics, food and clothing donations, nutritional health education to pregnant and breastfeeding moms, and water filters to impoverished villages, orphanages, and prisons.
Housing Transitions has been providing shelter and guidance to individuals and families experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity in Centre County since 1984. Services include the Centre House Homeless Shelter, open 24/7; Permanent Supportive Housing for those who have experienced chronic homelessness; and Rapid Rehousing to provide a period of rental assistance and case management following homelessness.
11% of Centre County adults read below a third-grade level. The Mid-State Literacy Council’s programs equip people with the skills needed to connect and communicate with others. With the help of 200 trained volunteers, the Literacy Council provides essential instruction in reading, writing, computer skills, English, math, and health literacy.
Out of the Cold is a low barrier homeless shelter at 318 South Atherton Street, State College. Our day shelter is open from 8 am to 8 pm to anyone experiencing housing insecurities and our night shelter is open from 8 pm to 8 am for guests who need shelter. While at the shelter guests are provided with warm meals, clothing, shelter and supportive services from our case managers.
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light is a network of individuals and faith communities responding to climate change in a variety of ways, practical and prayerful. Their work includes a Sustained Advocacy initiative that supports individuals engaging with lawmakers and civic leaders, and Creation Care work to remove invasive species and plant resilient, eco-system-appropriate trees and plants .
For more than 230 years, the PA Prison Society, Centre County Chapter has advocated for humane prisons and a rational approach to criminal justice. The Centre County Chapter has been active since the 1970s and serves over 4,800 inmates and their families in Centre County. Volunteers provide one-on-one visits, special programs, and re-entry services that bring hope to people during their incarceration and support upon release.
The Park Forest Preschool is a state-licensed, nonprofit, tuition-free school for two, three and four-year-old children from low-income families living in the Centre County, Pa region. Their comprehensive program includes education, social skills and developmental motor skills taught by qualified teachers in a friendly, nurturing and safe environment. A nutritious breakfast and lunch are served daily. A wide variety of parent programs are offered to support the families.
RISE is a 5-year effort to ensure that Centre County elementary schools have access to high-quality children’s books that portray individual differences and encourage respect and understanding of those differences. RISE donates children’s books to Centre County elementary school libraries and preschools. A student reward program encourages students to read books in diversity categories, and grants are available to elementary educators for diversity curriculum resources.
Ridgelines Language Arts teaches in-depth language arts programs to marginalized people in Centre County including survivors of domestic violence, low-income older adults, at-risk youth, rural LGBTQA+ teens, residents of our region’s youth detention center, and incarcerated women. Our goal is to create a more empathetic, inclusive central PA in which language arts serve as essential tools for emotional literacy and mental health, and where everyone’s stories can be appreciated and heard.
The State College Food Bank has provided services to clients since 1982. Their mission is to provide food security, directly or indirectly, to everyone at risk in Centre County. Our primary focus is to ensure access to healthy and nutritious food for anyone who is in need of our support and assistance.
State College Area Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to people who are elderly or disabled and homebound and who are living in the State College Area School District. During COVID their services evolved to include delivery of groceries and fresh local produce as well as meals from local caterers and restaurants. Their services help our neighbors to live healthy lives in their own homes.
The mission of Ten Thousand Villages is to create opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships. The State College store is part of the larger Ten Thousand Villages organization, which operates more than fifty stores across the county and builds and maintains fair-trade business relationships with the international artisans they serve.
The Tides program offers no-cost support for families coping with the death of someone special to them. Children and teens from pre-school to age 18 and their adult family members come together to share their grief in a supportive setting. The mission of Tides is to provide safe and nurturing peer support programming for children, teens, and their families who have experienced the death of a loved one.
The Youth Services Bureau was created in 1968 to ensure that children, youth, and families have opportunities to realize and fulfill their potential. Although YSB’s basic mission has remained the same for over five decades, their services have evolved and grown as they continually assess needs among local youth and look for creative, evidence-based ways of meeting those needs.