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Holiday Guide: Sharing Your Time This Holiday

In the spirit of the season, why not donate a few hours of your time to some of these local organizations who could use some help.

While you take time out this holiday season to enjoy special moments with family and friends, don't forget to think of those less fortunate.

Organizations around Lake Forest and Lake Bluff could use some extra hands, whether it be to help serve a meal, visit with the elderly, help at the food pantry or another activity; volunteering is something where you will definately feel the spirit of the season.

Lake County Cares, formerly the Volunteer Center of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, is partnered with United Way to help match interested people with interesting volunteer opportunities. Log on to their website and you can choose where, when and what you will be doing while donating your time. Also, if you have a group of people who are able to volunteer, you can find a good matching opportunity.

Contact Lake County Cares by calling 847-234-8876 or via email at info@lakecountycares.org.

Another way to give this season is by volunteering or donating to the Sheilds Township food pantry, which covers Lake Bluff, most of Lake Forest and part of North Chicago.

The pantry services about 2,100 local residents and runs entirely on donations and passport fees. "We get zero tax dollars," said Supervisor Gale Strenger Wayne, "but it's amazing the generosity we see from these communities. The need is growing, but so are the donations."

Wayne said it's important though to keep the pantry well stocked. One of the best ways to do that is by giving a monetary donation to the pantry. Wayne said the pantry can purchase nine pounds of food for $1 from the Northern Illinois Food Bank. "The buying power is so great."

To donate to the Shields Township food pantry, or to volunteer your time there contact 847-234-0802.

For a list of other volunteer opportunities in the area, check out this website.

Do you have a need for volunteers in the community? Post it in the comment section below.

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