How you can give back during the Season of Giving on the Outer Banks


Every act of generosity counts during the holiday season, whether that means sponsoring Christmas presents for a child in need, purchasing food for animals at the Dare County Animal Shelter or volunteering with toy distribution through a local charitable foundation.

In the true spirit of the “Season of Giving,” various Dare County departments are coordinating efforts to connect volunteers and donors with opportunities to give back to those in the community who need support during the holiday season. The list below contains several giving opportunities that are coordinated through Dare County entities.

Banner image which reads, "Angel gift program for northern beaches"

The Northern Beaches Angel Gift Program is a joint collaboration between the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services and the Outer Banks Woman’s Club to provide gifts for children who are in need within Dare County.

Families eligible for the Northern Beaches Angel Gift Program who live north of the Oregon Inlet must be below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level; however, unique situations are considered on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, applicants must provide proof of income and a completed application.

To sponsor a child in need, simply pick up one or more “angels” (containing the child’s requests) from trees that will be on display at various locations through November 29, 2021. These trees are located at:

  • OBX Chevrolet Buick in Kitty Hawk
  • Outer Banks Family YMCA in Nags Head
  • OBX Frozen Yogurt in Southern Shores
  • Publix in Kill Devil Hills
  • Walmart in Kitty Hawk
  • Manteo Library in Manteo

Unwrapped, purchased items should be dropped off at the Thomas A. Baum Senior Center in Kill Devil Hills from November 30, 2021, through December 4, 2021.

If you are interested in sponsoring one or more children, send an email to obwcobx@aol.com. Monetary donations are also appreciated and can be sent to the Outer Banks Woman’s Club, P.O. Box 102, Kill Devil Hills, N.C. 27948. Call 252-284-4040 with any questions regarding donations. Applications for this program closed November 3, 2021. For questions regarding applications, please contact Leigh Brinkley at 252-475-5566. For more information about this program, please click here.

Banner image which reads, "Angel gift program for Hatteras Island"

The Hatteras Island Angel Gift Program is a joint collaboration between the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services and Hatteras Island United Methodist Church to provide gifts for children who are in need within Dare County.

The Dare County Department of Health & Human Services works with local organizations and businesses to provide referrals, administrative support and identify family needs, as well as to protect the privacy of the request. Participants must live on Hatteras Island, and gifts are provided only for the child or children in the custody of the applicant. Phone interviews will be required in order to verify information and assess needs once completed applications are submitted.

To sponsor a child in need, pick up one or more “angels” (containing the child’s requests) from trees that will be on display at the following locations:

  • Cockeyed Clams
  • Our Lady of the Seas Catholic Church
  • Cape Hatteras Baptist Church
  • Little Grove United Methodist Church
  • Hatteras United Methodist Church
  • Saint John United Methodist Church
  • Hatteras Island Christian Fellowship
  • Buxton United Methodist Church

Drop-off boxes are also available at each of these locations for new, unwrapped toys. Hatteras United Methodist Church will accept angel gift donations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The deadline for all toy donations to be dropped off is December 1, 2021.

If you are interested in sponsoring one or more children, please contact Linda O’Neal at 252-475-4390. Monetary donations to provide gifts for local children in need are also appreciated. Checks should be made out to Hatteras United Methodist Church Angel Gift (or “HUMC Angel Gift”) and mailed to P.O. Box 310 Hatteras, N.C. 27943. For more information about this program, please click here.

Banner image which reads, "Dare County Center Toy Drive"

The Dare County Center in Manteo is accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys or monetary donations for children ages 0-16 years old in Dare County. This toy drive benefits over 400 local youth in Dare County. Toy donations must be dropped off at Dare County Center, which is located at 950 Marshall C. Collins Drive in Manteo, by December 10, 2021.

All Dare County children ages 0-16 are eligible and must register for the event. If you would like to register your child, stop by the Dare County Center to register before November 30, 2021 and between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Registrations are accepted on a first-com, first-served basis. For more information, contact the Dare County Center at 252-475-9270 or click here to access the Dare County Center newsletter that contains more details.

Banner image which reads, "12 Days of Christmas"

The Dare County Center in Manteo is also collecting items that are needed for local elderly and disabled individuals within Dare County. A container is set up in the front lobby of the Dare County Center where individuals can drop off any of the following items to help support the elderly and disabled community during the winter and holiday season.

Requested items include shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, lotion, toothpaste, sunscreen, polident, tissues, disposable razors, chapstick, band-aids, socks, gloves, scarves, cards, puzzle books, pens, notepads and new blankets.

Donations should be dropped off at the Dare County Center by December 10, 2021. For more information, call 252-475-9270 or click here to access the Dare County Center newsletter that contains more details.

Banner image which reads: "Dare County Department of Health & Human Services- Social Services Division Elves Program"

Through the Elves Program, the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ Social Services Division pairs a donor with an elderly or disabled adult in Dare County. The donor then receives a wishlist of the individual’s basic necessities to shop for. Gifts should be wrapped and ready for drop-off by December 2, 2021.

Currently, all applicants have been assigned to donors, but those interested in donating are advised to reach out to the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services to see if there are any last-minute applicants or to make a monetary donation to supplement the gifts for these individuals. Please contact Jessica Everett at 252-475-5539 for more information.

Banner image which reads, "toys for tots of dare county"

Toys for Tots of Dare County is a joint effort between volunteers from Dare County EMS as well as local police and fire departments. The goal of the program is to ensure that no child is left out on Christmas. All funds and toys for this program are collected locally and used for local children. Over 4,000 toys are distributed annually.

This year, the Toys for Tots of Dare County will also support Currituck County in their efforts to provide toys for each child in need. Toys for Tots of Dare County is currently accepting monetary donations on their website as well as toy donations for children of up to 16 years of age by way of their drop-off boxes that are located throughout Dare and Currituck counties. Drop-off boxes are located in over 80 shops and businesses throughout Dare and Currituck counties. Visit the “Toys for Tots of Dare and Currituck Counties, NC” Facebook page for a list of drop-off locations.

On Black Friday, November 26, 2021, volunteers from Dare County EMS, as well as local police and fire departments will run a “Stuff the Ambulance” campaign at Walmart Supercenter in Kitty Hawk. Between the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., volunteers will be stationed at the front entrance of Walmart Supercenter with a Dare County EMS ambulance to solicit shoppers to purchase toys in an effort to fill the ambulance with toys for local children.

The deadline for donations via the county-wide drop-off boxes is December 7, 2021. The distribution of the collected toys will take place December 10, 2021. To volunteer with the Toys for Tots of Dare County program, click here to complete an online application.

To request a toy for your child, complete the online form on the Toys for Tots of Dare County website. All applicants must submit a request form online which is subject to verification by the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ Social Services Division. Applicants will receive an email from a volunteer when their application is under review, as well as pickup instructions if their request will be fulfilled. Please note that this process could take several weeks.

For more information about the Toys for Tots of Dare County program, please contact the coordinator, Anthony Hoggard at 252-226-0417.

Banner Image which reads, "Lights of Christmas"

The intention behind the Lights of Christmas program is to bring Christmas to less fortunate children in the Dare County community. An effort coordinated by county-wide public safety volunteers from Dare County EMS and local police and fire departments, the title, “Lights of Christmas,” represents public safety “lights,” shining a different light on the uniform.

Through this program, public safety volunteers throughout Dare County accept applications for donations through the Lights of Christmas Facebook page, which are verified by Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ Social Services Division. Last year, 74 children were accepted into the Lights of Christmas program. Volunteers assign donors to shop for each child’s Christmas wishlist. To sponsor a child in need, please submit your request by way of a message to the Lights of Christmas Facebook page. Monetary donations to aid volunteers in shopping for each child are also requested.

Wrapped or unwrapped gifts for sponsored children should be dropped off at Super Galactic Games N Comics in Kitty Hawk before December 16, 2021. The distribution of gifts will take place December 17-19, 2021, throughout Dare and Currituck counties. During that weekend, all forces of public safety (Dare County EMS, police officers, firefighters and dispatchers) assist with the delivery of toys to each home, accompanied by Santa. The public safety light show they provide serves as a distraction for the child so that volunteers may hide presents inside the home in coordination with the parent or guardian for Santa to later deliver on Christmas.

If you would like to apply for assistance for your child this holiday season, submit a message to the Lights of Christmas Facebook page before December 6, 2021. A volunteer will notify you if your request is approved and will also reach out to request a wishlist for your child.

Banner image which reads, " Outer Banks SPCA Holiday Wishlist"

The Outer Banks SPCA will host a “Giving Tuesday” campaign on their Instagram and Facebook accounts. Follow along for more information at Facebook.com/obxspca. General wishlists can also be accessed online at OBXspca.org/donate.

If you plan to do online holiday shopping, remember that Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to the Outer Banks SPCA when you shop via AmazonSmile. Please search for and select the “Outer Banks SPCA” to support the Dare County Animal Shelter as you complete your holiday shopping.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.