While many of us have begun planning our holiday meals, outings, gifts and décor, many others are wondering how they are going to manage to get through the winter – let alone the holidays.

Opportunities exist in our community to help those who need a hand, or food or shelter, or help providing a nice holiday for their children.

Here are some opportunities we know about:

  • Collins Group Realty will collect new, unwrapped toys for all ages during the Bluffton Christmas parade Dec. 2. The Collins Group’s newly refurbished Community Vehicle will be driven through the parade route and staff members will accept toys from spectators.

Additionally, donation boxes will be placed along the route on parade day.

Toys can also be dropped off at Collins Group Realty locations and the Bluffton Police Department, 101 Progressive St.

All toys collected will be donated to Bluffton Self Help. Those who wish to be included on that organization’s list to receive toys may email holiday@ blufftonselfhelp.org or call Gwen at 843-757-8000, ext. 5.

For more information, call Ashley Smith at 843-837-6700 or email ashley@collinsgrouprealty.com.

  • Covert Aire has three programs in place to assist residents in need. Operation Warm Up offers free repairs and replacement of heating systems for residents who can’t afford the service. Individuals, non-profits or other service groups may submit a story expressing needs of residents to owner Mike Covert at www.covertaire.com, by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab. Submissions will be accepted through Dec. 2.

Covert’s Fourth Quarter Drive to End Hunger continues through the end ofo the year. Non-perishable food items, such as peanut butter, jelly, pasta, pasta sauce, canned fruit, rice and juice, may be dropped off at Covert Aire, 39 Persimmon St., #602 in Bluffton during business hours. Food will be donated to Help of Beaufort.

Also, Covert Aire will serve as an official drop off site for Toys for Tots. New, unwrapped toys will accepted throughout the month at the office on Persimmon Street.