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First State Blog

Give Back this Holiday Season

Written on: November 25th, 2019 in Blog Posts

Looking for a way to give back? Here are just a few of the many opportunities to support our friends, neighbors, and those who are in need this holiday season. This page will be updated throughout the month of December 2019.

Toys for Tots

DNREC Natural Resources Police units from Delaware State Parks, the Division of Fish & Wildlife, and the Environmental Crimes Unit have teamed up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to provide toys for children in local communities for the holidays. 

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys suitable for boys and girls of all ages, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in communities nationwide.

For more information, or for the dates and locations of upcoming events where toys can be donated, please contact Delaware State Parks Cpl. Andy Manning at or 302-855-2113, Sgt. Brooke Mitchell at or 302-739-9913, or PFC Rebecca Schuman, at, or 302-739-9401.

Winter Clothing Drive

Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families Parents Empowering Parents Team is sponsoring a clothing drive to collect gently used and new winter coats, jacket, hats, glove, mittens, and scarves.  


For the holidays, Delawareans can donate gifts or money as a way to “adopt” residents in need at DHSS’ two public nursing homes, Governor Bacon Health Center in Delaware City and Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna. To learn about participating in Adopt-A-Resident before the Dec. 2 deadline, email or call 302-223-1431. Please leave your name and the best way to contact you.

For more details on Adopt-A-Resident:

Stockings for Soldiers

DHSS’ Division of State Service Centers is partnering with Stockings for Soldiers again this year to collect such items as travel-sized toiletries, small candies, gum, DVDs, small cans of tuna or other non-perishables, ramen noodles, lip balms, socks and more for the stockings that are shipped overseas for members of the military in time for the holidays.

Holiday Poinsettia Sale

Bright Spot Farms, which operates the greenhouse on DHSS’ Herman Holloway Sr. Campus near New Castle (1901 N. DuPont Highway), will host its annual poinsettia sale from Dec. 2-21. Prices range from $4.50 for a tabletop size and $9.50 for a 6.5-inch pot, to $30-$35 for larger pots. In addition to red, white and pink, the 6.5-inch poinsettias are available in several specialty colors including sparking punch, white glitter and ruby frost.  The greenhouse is open from noon-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. All purchases support Bright Spot Farms’ youth job training program. To order online, go to For more information, call 302-255-2993.

Adopt-A-Family Holiday

The Department of Health and Social Services’ Adopt-A-Family Holiday program is seeking donors to help make this holiday season a happier one for thousands of children, adults, people with disabilities and seniors in need across Delaware. The Adopt-A-Family Holiday program anonymously matches donors to seniors, individuals with disabilities or families with children. In 2018, the Holiday Adopt-A-Family program, through the leadership of the Human Services Council, Inc., helped 2,548 Delawareans.

The deadline to “adopt” families with children is Dec. 6, and all gift cards must be delivered to the Adopt-A-Family office by Dec. 13. The deadline to deliver gifts for seniors and persons with disabilities to the Adopt-A-Family office is Dec. 6.

Adopt-A-Family provides donors with the age and gender of each child in the family and a brief description of the circumstances that led to their need for assistance. The sponsor then provides gift cards for the head-of-household to use to purchase holiday gifts. The recommended minimum gift is $100 per child, with a gift card for the parent/guardian optional but thoughtful.

Those interested in adopting seniors or persons with disabilities will be matched to an individual who is living in a nursing home or someone who is living alone and receiving in-home care services. A wish list of items that the individual enjoys, needs, or would appreciate, as well as clothing preferences and sizes, will be provided.

View more information about Adopt-A-Family.

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