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Relieving the Stress of the Holidays with a Season of Giving

Phyllis Wheatley Community Center volunteers after a successful Santa's Breakfast
Local volunteers celebrating another successful Santa's Breakfast and Gift Giveaway.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or so they say.

The holiday season is almost upon us once again, but despite the twinkling lights and the festive decorations, an underlying scrooge is lurking in even the jolliest of us: Holiday season stress. No matter who you are, the holidays can prove to be the most stressful time of the year. Expectations are high but reality often has us feeling like we are crashing down face first into the icy snow.

In the nonprofit world, this season is no different. For most nonprofit organizations, this season means committing large amounts of time and resources to make sure end-of-year fundraising efforts bring in enough gifts to support operations year-round. Phyllis Wheatley Community Center is no stranger to the stress of this season. Afterall, it’s thanks to our generous donors that we have been able to serve the North Minneapolis community for nearly 100 years!

While it is important to ensure that the organization will remain standing all year long, here at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, we recognize that our first responsibility is to our community and those who live in it. Amid twinkling lights and holiday cheer, we understand the struggles that many families face, especially during this time of year. The financial strain of this season can cast a shadow on what should be a time of celebration. That’s why, this season, we are spending our time, efforts, and resources providing our community with the essentials, and a few extras, to make the holidays a happy time even when money is tight, and families are feeling the pressures of the season.

How is Phyllis Wheatley Community Center doing this?

This year we are featuring three holiday initiatives to relieve the stress of the holidays for the members of our community:

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Giveaway

A volunteer putting together a box for the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Giveaway.
Dedicated volunteers putting together boxes for the Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Giveaway.

On November 18th, through the generous gifts and volunteer hours of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Kappas, we are handing out Thanksgiving Turkey Dinners to families who have registered to receive these packages. These meal packages contain all the basics for a family to enjoy a meal together on Thanksgiving and relieve the financial burden of what can be a VERY expensive dinner.

Santa’s Breakfast and Gift Giveaway

Phyllis Wheatley Community Center- St. Paul-Minneapolis Kappas volunteers - Santa's Breakfast
St. Paul-Minneapolis Kappa volunteers gather for another Santa's Breakfast and Gift Giveaway.

In December, we'll gather again, with the help of the Twin Cities Black Journalists and others, for our annual Santa Breakfast and Gift Giveaway to provide all the fixings for a Christmas morning feast, along with hundreds of gifts, toys, and other delights for Northside children. Words cannot express the joy in seeing the delight of the families and children we serve as they receive these gifts and can breath a sigh of relief that their holidays will be full of delicious food and wrapped presents!

Warm Hands, Warm Hearts

Phyllis Wheatley Community Center's Warm Hands, Warm Hearts fundraiser campaign image
Help us reach our goal of $5,000 to purchase winter clothing for the children of North Minneapolis!

As the temperatures dip and the days get shorter, we know that another long Minnesota winter is approaching. With regular sub-zero temperatures and annual snowfalls of nearly 50 inches, staying warm is critical to the safety and well-being of families in our communities. However for many families with children, winter often means purchasing new winter clothing and for some this means braving the cold without.

This Give to the Max Day, we invite you to join us in spreading the spirit of generosity. To make a donation to our campaign that will provide kids with warm hands and hearts through our coats, hats, and mittens drive, head to our GiveMN page: To donate any of these items, stop by our offices at 1301 N. 10th Avenue in Minneapolis. If you want to get involved by donating your time, please reach out to us at And, if your family needs a little help making the holidays a bit brighter, please send us an email or head to our events page at


These events are reminders that, despite its challenges, our community stands united, ready to uplift and support one another. Neighbors come to volunteer, packing and handing out dozens of boxes filled with food, toys, and treats, turning moments of hardship into opportunities for hope, and scarcity into an abundance of shared joy. These initiatives go beyond material gifts; they are about fostering a sense of community, compassion, and shared joy — all things Phyllis Wheatley has committed itself to fostering since the organization's founding 99 years ago.

In the spirit of unity, compassion, and community, we extend our heartfelt thanks to our donors, volunteers, clients, and community partners. Your commitment fuels the engine of positive change, and together, we're warming hands, hearts, and holidays and building a stronger, more resilient Northside community.

Wishing you a warm and joyous season of giving!


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