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'Tis the season to give back to charities

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Rebecca Noble and Rebecca Noble and Rebecca Noble | The Daily Wildcat Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat Taylor Wagner (left), a senior in nutrition, Francisco Rodriguez (center), a sophomore in behavioral sciences, and Jacquelyn Hinek (right), a sophomore in psychology, volunteer at Ben's Bells in Geronimo Plaza on Tuesday, May 6th.

For many, the holidays is usually the time of year where Netflix has no borders, and lounging around the house is the only activity one can take part in. But for those staying in Tucson over the holidays, there are opportunities to invest time in charities close to the UA.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona will host their annual toy drive held for families who have to stay in the hospital for the holidays. The house is located at 3838 N. Campbell Ave., near the UA Cancer Center.

Scott Matlick, development manager of the Ronald McDonald House, said there is a holiday wish list posted on its website as a guide for things to donate.

“We have a holiday wish list that is right up on our website that has everything we need this time of year,” Matlick said, “so that we can provide the families with the holiday experience they might be missing since they are away from home.”

The charity, established in 1974, provides support for families by giving them the “home away from home” feel, Matlick said, and is operated locally with financial support give by the Southern Arizona community.

Toys can be brought by the public, with all donated items in new condition. Information about the event is posted on the Ronald McDonald House Charities website.

The charity is currently accepting donations throughout the month of December and is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ben’s Bells, located at 816 E. University Blvd., will be open and available to the public throughout the holidays and will maintain its regular business hours. The shop will be closed to the public on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Krista Hansin, studio assistant at Ben’s Bells, said a lot of people in Tucson come in to make bells for gifts and even do Christmas shopping at the location.

The organization, founded by Jeannette Maré, focuses on acts of kindness.

The UA Campus Pantry, a nonprofit organization of student volunteers who focus on reducing food insecurity in the community, had their last fall distribution on Dec. 5.

The food distributions are held at El Portal, which is located near Highland Commons and the dorms on Highland Avenue.

The organization began offering food to those less fortunate in 2012 and is continually accepting donations while keeping an open door to new volunteers.

According to the UA Campus Pantry website, there are several products in demand that can be donated to the organization. These include: peanut butter, cereal, canned tomato products, canned meat, canned soups and canned vegetables.

The nonprofit also provides nutrition and internship programs for students willing to participate in the organization.

Holidays are the time to help the less fortunate that do not have the same privileges as many do on campus.

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Follow Crystal Bedoya on Twitter.


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