The Doing Good blog follows area charities and social service agencies.

About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Holiday Helping

Happy Black Friday! Thanksgiving is now over, and the holiday season is in full gear. And for many area residents, this isn’t such a jolly time. Want to help those who are struggling this season? From now through the holiday season, stop by the Doing Good blog for ways to reach out to area residents.

First up: Helping kids in Head Start.

The University of Mary Washington’s Community Outreach and Resources Office fills shoe boxes for area Head Start students every year. And the group needs your help.

COAR needs: empty shoe boxes; gloves, hats and scarves for preschoolers; toothbrushes and toothpaste; toys for preschoolers (the toys need to be small enough to fit in a shoe box).

Here are some ideas for little gifts to go inside the boxes: Coloring books, crayons, stuffed animals, small cars, books, fun socks, hair accessories.

Drop donations off by Dec. 5 to the COAR office in Seacobeck Hall at UMW. For details, call 540/654-1061 or email

Looking for more ways to help? Click here.