December 8, 2009

Charitable Donations

It's that time of year...
Now we all know we can make charitable donations any time for any reason. And if you regularly schlep your gently worn but clean clothes to a local thrift store (I like the Friends of the Family one on University that benefits our women's shelter) or are a supporting member of KERA, more power to you.
If you're like many of us and you do your giving all at once, and right around this time, let me please run down just a few of the excellent non-profits who are helping our community.
In no particular order:

Our Daily Bread
A true community organization that gets its support from individuals, church partners, business and community groups. They provide a daily meal in a safe environment for all who are hungry, as well as physical and emotional support for the needy people of Denton County, including transients and especially the homeless.

And they would love your help.
You can make donations of food or new, warm clothing (sweatshirts, hats, scarves, gloves) at their location 300 West Oak Street. (That’s the basement kitchen of St Andrew Presbyterian, y’all.) M-F 9:00a- 1:00p. Ask for Liz, Rick or James.

You can also donate online.

Get your donation to this non-profit in before Dec 31 and you get to claim it on your income tax. You get to help the truly needy and maybe get a kick back from Uncle Sam. Everybody wins.

Denton Humane Society
Oh lord do I wish all our local charities were big enough/organized enough to accept online donations.
But they don’t. Yet.
On the other hand, that in no way diminishes the work they do. And the folks at our local branch of the Humane society operate on a shoe string. A frayed shoe string, which is a crying shame, considering all the good they do for our stray feline and canine residents. They also help residents of the homo sapiens variety make life-long love connections. I got two amazing kittens from them, who grew up to be the cats of destiny. Turned my S.O. into the cat man he was always meant to be, and gave up shots of pure love on a regular basis.
If you’re ready for a pet, contact them. If you just want to help some innocent animals who – let’s be honest – can’t help themselves, contact them.
And check it out, if you just set up your Kroger card , you can help them every time you shop. Come on, that’s the least we can do.

Want to do more and mail a check or money order?
P.O. Box 1972
Denton, TX 76202-1972

Call 940.382.7387 with any questions.

UNT Feral Cat Rescue Group
Did you know that people come to Denton, go to school, adopt adorable kittens and then abandon them when they leave?
Shocking, right?
It makes me sick, but it’s true. Those people couldn't suck more.

But, the good folks at the UNT Feral Cat Rescue Group have taken an active, almost guerrilla approach to this problem. Practicing the Trap, Neuter and Return method, they will trap local feral strays, have them spayed or neutered and return them to their neighborhood haunts. In addition, they have feeders set up around the UNT campus to feed some of these poor animals. Their goal is simply to stop the cycle of strays begetting more strays, but their site also provides resources and referrals to other area rescue groups.

Again, all donations tax-deductible.
Mail to:
UNT Feral Cat Rescue Group
PO Box 310475
Denton, TX 76203

Call Dallas Newell - 940.390.0555 with any questions.

You can also use GoodSearch or shop with iGive to benefit this excellent organization.

Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home
Do you know there is a residential facility for neglected and abused children right here in Denton?

“CPCH is a licensed General Residential Operation through the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services that protects children and teens ages 5-17 who, for various reasons, cannot live with their families.”

Pretty grim statement, right? Only imagine how grim the lives of these children were before they came to CPCH.
I guess you can figure that they need your help. Happily, you can even donate on line! A first!
Never forget you can donate your time here too. Some volunteer gigs don’t even require a long-term commitment. There are a bunch of children you could help out, right here in town. Want to learn more? Go to the Web site or call 940.382.5112

The Local Kiwanis
Want to know why? Read this blog post from July.
If you already know why, the Kiwanis assure me they accept donations all year long at:

Denton Area Kiwanis
1001 N. Elm St.
Denton, Texas 76201

December 6, 2009

Atomic Christmas

This month, and I hope in time for the holidays, I bring you some more artsy crafters. I don't know anything about them - other than they keep their lawn retiree-neat year round, and for the last 11 years - at least - they've offered up these awesome holiday light configurations.
And I say "holiday" consciously. I don't care if you don't put up a tree and Christmas isn't your thing; it's my opinion that everyone can enjoy decorating their houses with greens and lights. That harkens back to a muuuch older tradition.

Stepping off of her soap box, your friendly neighborhood Dentonista asks, "You recognize these lights, right?" They aren't just holiday lights - these are pieces of classic Americana.
Made in the traditional fashion, from roughly a squajillion Solo cups, you need to see them to fully appreciate the clever craftsmanship - my crummy pictures certainly don't do them justice. (I hate this camera.)
And you can see them, at the corner of Panhandle and Fulton streets.

You know what else I like about them? Their fresh, contemporary appeal.
As you know, mid-century modern style is all the rage right now (here, here, here), and I can think of nothing more atomic-chic than these Sputnik-y lights.
And you know what? You can take one (or several) home!
That's right. For just $20 you can own your very own bit of hand-crafted holiday kitsch.
Even if you're not lucky enough to live in an atomic ranch, (and I know they're tough, though not impossible, to come by in Denton), these lights are so classic, they'll go with everything. If you live in one of the gazillion post-war 'grannies' (check out the Panhandle, Egan, Congress streets area, right around this house), these lights are even architecturally appropriate.
So drive by and check them out, or call 940.387.1480 to grab some of these awesome lights. I have the feeling that when they're gone, they're gone for the year.

Oh, and have a very happy holiday season and a safe and lovely New Year, my dears.