Asking for gifts is not easy.

Yet asking is what these nonprofits do every working day and night, whether helping distribute food for the homeless or buying clothes and toys for children.

The hardest thing to ask for is something for themselves. The third annual TimeOut Wish List is a way for the helpers to dream about gifts that would assist them to do their jobs even better, and a way for you to play Santa.

Because there are so many helpers out there, we’ve run a longer wish list on our Web site,, so please, don’t stop here.

Happy holidays, and may your gift giving be bright.

Adding warmth

By providing transitional housing and psychiatric therapy, the Bonita House wants to let people suffering from severe mental illness and substance abuse to know that someone cares about them. Marisa Angeles, gift drive coordinator, 6333 Telegraph Ave., Suite 102, Oakland, CA 94609, 510-923-0180.

Extra warm clothing

Money for client funds

Services like acupuncture, massage and herbal medicine can help lessen pain, increase appetite and energy and improve sleep for those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. The Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic gives low-income women access to this health care, even driving them to and from the clinic. Poor central heating and feeble heaters don’t do much to warm the treatment rooms. Connie Herrick, executive director, 5691 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609, 510-601-7660.

12 flannel twin sheet sets, matching blankets, mattress pads, goose down pillows

18 cotton twin sheet sets

Six large wicker baskets (16 inches by 30 inches)

Four small room heaters

Cold metal seats get even colder in the winter months. For 25 years, members of St. Callistus Senior Center have gathered in a circle of friendship. While the friendly group welcomes all, it would be so nice to be able to offer at least a warm seat in the house, as well. 3580 San Pablo Dam Road, El Sobrante, CA 94803, 510-223-9931.

“Warmer” (padded) folding chairs

Odds and ends

The ALIVE (Actively Living and Involved in a Variety of Endeavors) program, part of Futures Explored, Inc. in Lafayette, provides assistance to adults with disabilities who want to work and access services and businesses in the community. About 30 program participants meet at the Concord site during the weekdays for training. Purvi Patel, program coordinator, 2151 Salvio St., Suite V, Concord, CA 94520, 925-825-0263.

Bottled-water service

Art supplies; big crayons, paper

Video rewinder

Two pairs of computer stereo speakers

Give Always to Others & Company works to make learning fun by hosting multicultural educational events. Carmen Aguilar-Ochoa, executive director, PO Box 8202, Pittsburg, CA 94565, 925-757-7401.

Cultural items composed of literature, art work, videos and other artifacts reflective of the diversity of Contra Costa County, for a traveling cultural exhibit

Audio and video equipment for established community-access programs

Some of the players at the Martinez Senior Citizens Bingo Club are more than 90 years old. After paying a small charge, much of which goes to the pot, many come out a winner. What the volunteers would like is to give the players a better game. Wanda Trost, 818 Green St., Martinez, CA 94553, 925-370-8770.

New blower bingo machine or donations

A school budget often cannot accommodate the extra equipment or special projects for developmentally disabled students. Lucille Glass Mauzy Foundation raises funds for teachers to buy supplies for the students enrolled in 19 Central Contra Costa County special education classes. 2964 Miranda Ave., Alamo, CA 94507, 925-837-6007.

A real 10-15 foot fire-retardant Christmas tree. The students would like to decorate the tree by making their own decorations

Funding for specialized software for MAC computers, notably from Edmark, RJ Cooper and other elementary school-age software

Mt. Diablo Center for Adult Day Health Care, provides services for low-income, frail, elderly, disabled adults and persons with Alzheimer’s disease, allowing them to live independently. Bette Wilgus, 490 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, 925-682-6330.

Stereo system with record player

New Directions feels everyone, especially low-income and homeless youth, should have a place to turn to for emotional health. The organization provides counseling for minimal fees on a sliding scale based on need, in a welcoming environment. Judy Thompson, executive director, 996 Oak Grove Road, Concord, CA 94518, 925-798-7500.

New carpeting and linoleum

New professional furniture

Two locking, tall file cabinets and one two-drawer locking filing cabinet

Designed for frail adults 55 and older, Rainbow Learning Program meets every Monday morning to maintain, if not improve, their physical well-being and mental alertness and to provide respite for caregivers. Maryellen Reinthaler, 1266 San Carlos St., Concord, CA 94521, 925-937-1530, Ext. 3916.

Round-trip Link transportation tickets for limited-income clients ($5 per ticket, $230 year pass)

Bingo prizes (e.g., colognes, costume jewelry, slippers, after-shave)

A room of one’s own

Assistance League of Amador Valley, a chapter of the National Assistance League, is about reaching out and touching the lives of children and adults through community-wide volunteer projects. In 1999-2000, the lives of at least 4000 local citizens had been touched. Maureen Darst, president, P.O. Box 11843 Pleasanton, CA 94588, 925-461-6401.

Regular meeting place for the group’s 80 members (third Thursday of the month)

Chapter house for meetings, storage and office

For the past 14 years, Christmas Adopt-a-Family has provided a Christmas dinner, a gift for each child in the family and a Christmas tree. Donors select the family from a database and the organization does the shopping. This year, it does not have a space. Maggie Dee, executive director, Share-a-Helping Hand, Inc., 925-427-1219.

Distribution site, seven days a week: a donated store front in East Contra Costa County with four large rooms and an accessible rest room

Angel Program needs gift certificates from retail stores, grocery chain stores, movie passes, public transit bus passes/Tri-Delta Transit and prepared Christmas dinners

Barely scratching the surface, Community Concern for Cats finds homes for unwanted and homeless cats and kittens. Gemma Osendorf, president, P.O. Box 3795 Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 925-938-2287.

Cat food and litter

Funds for humane traps and recovery cages

Plot of land or building which can be given or leased at below-market value

Helping more than 5,000 children experiencing serious illness, bereavement or other traumatic losses, the East Bay Agency for Children (EBAC) provides support groups, crisis intervention services and home-based family support services for children and their families. Susan Corlett, director of development, 303 Van Buren Ave., Oakland, CA 94610, 510-268-3770, Ext. 110.

A small house on a quiet, tree-lined street for our PediatriCare Grief Support Center, which would provide a room filled with teddy bears where a group of children talk about losing their moms and dads; a room where a small circle of teens share how having a parent with HIV/AIDS has changed their lives; a garden where a group of bereaved adults talk about loss with a PediatriCare counselor;and alibrary filled with books, pamphlets, videos and materials to help children and families through difficult times

Knowing that dance is often an elitist art form, Moving Arts Dance Collective wants to ensure that everyone can participate, whether as a spectator or student. Working out of a board member’s home, the dance company runs its Art Access program, which brings workshops to schools and offers free tickets, all while trying to put on a show. Anandha Ray, director, 653 Rock Oak Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 925-938-3300 or

Office space, ideally in the Walnut Creek/Concord area

10-by-20-foot storage space, with easy access for a moving truck

Filemaker Pro or similar database application for the MAC

Adobe Photoshop (MAC) and perhaps bonus tutoring

Ron Nunn Elementary School, selected as a California Distinguished School, boasts a clean campus, an exuberant cheerleading squad of teachers and parents and a top school board. What it lacks is a comfortable teacher’s room, which so far resists all efforts to enliven it. Bev Quesada or Dr. Alan Enomoto, 1755 Central Ave., Brentwood, CA 94513, 925-516-0131.

A Santa to visit and spruce up the teacher and staff room

In the past year, 9,582 individuals and 4,417 families were able to remain in their housing with the aid of SHELTER, Inc. Dianna Aguilar, director of development, 1070 Concord Ave., Suite 200, Concord, CA 94520, 925-827-3598 Ext. 107 or

Three printers


Digital camera

Four-plex or larger housing facility

Household items for our families


When women and their families are undergoing a crisis pregnancy, the Pregnancy Center is there to offer everything from free pregnancy tests to baby furniture to a six-woman maternity home called Elizabeth’s House. Brenda Wentworth, 4991 Clayton Road, Concord, CA 94521, 925-827-0100.

Patio furniture with an umbrella, if possible

Sisters of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary work with hospice, shut-ins, elderly, adults with special needs. It also hosts faith formation programs for children and adults. Sister Angela Burke, 310 San Carlos Ave., El Cerrito, CA 94530, 510-525-6554.


Washing machine and dryer


Other household items

Unity Center of Walnut Creek is a nondenominational church. Charlene Balderston, maintenance director, 1871 Geary Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-937-2191.

Two refrigerators

Accordion room dividers on wheels


Two small floor heaters

Having a seat

Doing what comes naturally often turns out to be the healthiest, yet most elusive, solution. Contra Costa County Health Services Department provides food and nutrition education to limited-income pregnant and postpartum women with infants and children age 5 and under. Its major goal is to increase the number of women who choose to breastfeed their baby. Mary Jane Kiefer, senior public health nutritionist, 550 School St., Pittsburg, CA 94565, 925-427-8263 or 925-427-8054.

comfortable chair in which moms canbreastfeed

Outdoor life

A U.S. Marine Master Gunnery sergeant wanted a forest of memorials to deceased veterans that friends, family and strangers can visit. Now volunteers want Camp Hamilton, near Bakersfield, to become a true gathering place. Mike Enos, 3901 Eagle Ridge Drive, Antioch, CA 94509, 925-754-0869.


PVC pipes, fittings

Cement blocks ( 3/4 inch to one inch)

Sprinkler heads (full circle)

Nonoperational military surplus vehicles for display (tanks, artillery pieces, etc.)

Cooking equipment, paper plates, eating utensils

Quonset huts or other buildings to house homeless veterans

Chairs and tables

The Castle Rock Field Restoration Project an informal partnership of the Walnut Creek Little League, Walnut Creek Soccer club and Northgate Bronco Boosters is dedicated to fixing the baseball, softball and soccer fields on a 6.25 acre site adjacent to the former Castle Rock Elementary School in Walnut Creek. The cost of these fields is $1.4 million, and to date, contributions in excess of $600,000 have been received. Bill Bergvall, CRFRP, P.O. Box 3310, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 925-274-1212.

Donations of money

Construction materials

Construction services

Children with diabetes don’t have to be limited in what they do, and the Diabetic Youth Foundation is out to prove that with its Bearskin Meadow Camp in the Sequoia National Forest. The camp provides diabetes education, peer support and teaches outdoor skills. The DYF will subsidize the camp fees for any child whose family can’t pay the costs. Judy Nelson, office manager, Diabetic Youth Foundation, 1954 Mt. Diablo Blvd., #A, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-937-3393.


Generators to keep camp up and running

Office space

Cargo van, to transport goods up and down the mountain, as well as within camp and outlying areas

One-ton flat bed truck

Las Trampas, Inc. supports adults with developmental disabilities so they may lead full lives as active members of the community, make their own choices and enjoy dignity and respect in their daily lives. It does so through licensed group homes, supported-living services, vocational and developmental programs and physical and mental health services. Liz Eckstein, development manager, 3460 Lana Lane, Lafayette, CA 94549, 925-284-1462, Ext. 239.

Paint and wood to replace outdoor benches

Flowers and plants

Contractor offering pro bono work

Used vans or wagons in good condition

Exercising to live

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes illnesses such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and it can whittle away at one’s energy and strength. The Mt. Diablo Medical Center’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program puts COPD sufferers, mainly seniors, through a six-week educational course with health professionals and thereafter a thrice-weekly exercise schedule which shapes their bodies and allows them to do activities they had given up on. Lana Hilling, coordinator, 2720 Grant St., Suite 3, Concord, CA 94520, 925-674-2351.

Van with a power-lift

Treadmills, stationary bicycles, rowing machines, stair climbers and the like

Pulse oximeter

Computer literacy

At all stages drug and alcohol prevention, crisis counseling and intervention Discovery Counseling Center tries to be there for the San Ramon Valley community and staffs the schools to help kindergartners to 12th graders. Nancy Morgan, Discovery Counseling Center, 115A Town & Country Drive, Danville, CA 94526, 925-837-0505 or gax 925-837-0568.

Microsoft Office 2000 (three copies)

Fund-raising software Giftmaker Pro

Microsoft Access (three copies)

Photo scanner

3 Pentium III computers

3 printers

NEC LT 140 projector and overhead screen

DELL Insprion A433LT laptop computer

Friends of Ygnacio Valley Library (2661 Oak Grove Road, Walnut Creek) raises funds through donations, book sales and membership dues, to purchase books and so forth for the library collection, fund programs, refurbish library furnishings and upgrade the library facilities. Nolan L. Pike, 2710 Filbert Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, 925-939-5587.

Laser color printer

Color scanner

Living with HIV/AIDS is a traumatic experience. The Genard AIDS Foundation provides services, support and education to help give people suffering from HIV/AIDS and their families the capacity to face death with dignity and peace. 1630 N. Main St., No. 102, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-735-2437.

17-inch computer monitor

Hope Hospice, which has made the greater Tri-Valley area its home for 20 years, helps its neighbors, regardless of income, feel comfortable and supported when facing a life-threatening illness. It also offers families up to 18 months of grief support and travels to schools and community groups to explain how children and teens grieve. Teresa Drake, executive director, 6500 Dublin Blvd., Suite 100, Dublin, CA 94568, 925-829-8770 or

Portable laptop projector for Power Point presentations

Four or more Pentium II or later model PCs

10 or more upgrades to 17-inch color monitors

Two HP Series 5 Laserjet printers or later models

Youth Homes provides community level, residential treatment to severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, most of whom have been sexually or physically abused. Stuart McCullough, executive director, 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Suite 101, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-933-2627.

Five computers with 500 MHz processor or better, 64 MB RAM, 128 preferred, CD ROM drive, 16 MB video card, sound blaster 16, stereo speakers with subwoofer

17-inch monitor

Color printer

Keyboard and mouse

Office supplies and more

Contra Costa County’s abused, neglected and abandoned children need to be represented. Court Appointed Special Advocates, established in 1981, trains volunteers from the Contra Costa County community to serve as advocates for children, helping to find them safe and permanent homes. Christina Hill Coillot, 2020 North Broadway, Suite 204, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-256-7284.

Two computer towers

PC Zip drive (100 MB)

DSL or cable Internet

Six ergonomic office chairs

Typewriter with correction tape

Four telephone head sets


Working with prison inmates and their families, Friends Outside is a crime prevention and crisis intervention agency. Mary Ann Van Bruen, executive director, 1127 Escobar St., Martinez, CA 94553, 925-228-0644.

n New Canon or Ricoh copy machine

The Lions Center for the Blind of Oakland has been providing services to people who are blind and visually impaired in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties. Services include training programs in independent living skills, computer/access technology and employment. 3834 Opal St., Oakland, CA 94609, 510-450-1580.

Ergonomic chairs

Large-screen television

Digital camera

Camcorder and VCR

Individual donations (greatest need this year)

Volunteer to write grants and fund raising development

Since 1988, the Nurture Company has served pregnant mothers and new parents of infants and toddlers with home visiting services. These relieve the stresses of caring for an infant by enhancing skills and building confidence. The company has trained volunteer home visitors for Newborn Connections and full-time Family Support Specialists for Early Head Start and Welcome Home Baby. Denece Dodson, P.O. Box 5017, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-934-4010 or fax 925-934-8824.

New office computer chair with variable height adjustments for the accountant who suffers from a painful injury.