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Maximize the “Happy” for the Holidays

By: Andie Markijohn on December 3rd, 2014

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Maximize the “Happy” for the Holidays

In the Community

This time of year is wonderful for many reasons, including presents (woot!), time spent with family, and lots of cookies! But another reason this time of year is special is the variety of opportunities we have to reach out to others and show that we care. Even better, many of these opportunities provide chances to involve the entire family in giving to others—whether it is the gift of an item or simply time.

We have found some ways to make a difference in the holidays of others and are glad to share them with you. Of course, these aren’t the only opportunities out there; we encourage you to check in your area for local programs or search the internet for larger initiatives that interest you. Make sure you share any you find in the comments below!


Local Opportunities


Western Region


The Pittsburgh Mills Mall, where our West Office is located, is sponsoring a program called “Be a Santa to a Senior.” The program provides gifts to seniors who are least likely to receive a present during the holiday season. If you live in the Mills area and would like to participate:

  1. Visit the tree near the Customer Service Desk or Victoria’s Secret to select a senior’s gift tag
  2. Purchase one (or more) of the gifts listed on the tag, then place it under the tree (or give to Customer Service). Donations of new teddy bears are also being accepted.

The final day for collecting gifts is December 16. If you have questions about this program, please visit the Mall’s Customer Service Desk.

Learn more about Holiday Volunteer Opportunities in the Greater Pittsburgh Area, courtesy of About.com’s travel section.


Central Region


The Holiday Giving Guide for Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties, courtesy of the United Way of Lancaster County.


Northeastern Region


Maternal and Family Health Services’s “Holiday Party” allows you to donate a toy or money for a local child.


Southeastern Region


A listing of Top Spots To Make Holiday Gift Donations In Philadelphia, courtesy of CBS Philly.


National Opportunity


The Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes Program


Each year, the American Red Cross sponsors its Holiday Mail for Heroes (HMFH) program, which gives people the opportunity to send a card of thanks and support to members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. To learn about card-making events in your area or about how to make cards at home and use them in the program, contact your local Red Cross Office.


PA Virtual will be helping in this effort by having card-making supplies at our West Office in the Pittsburgh Mills Mall.  We will send all of the cards made to the Red Cross on your behalf, so be sure to stop by today! The last day to make cards is December 10.


Learn More