Cranbury Bookworm is collecting food and clothing to benefit TASK and Mercer Street Friends on Saturday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, December 8, noon to 5 p.m. Bring a minimum of five cans of non perishable food or a shopping bag full of gently used clothing to receive a voucher for a 50 percent discount on anything in the store. Passes will be given to customers who donate, but do not have time to shop or do not find what they are looking for. Passes will be good through Tuesday, December 31. Donations will be accepted even if you do not want to shop. Bring donations to 79 North Main Street, Cranbury. Call 609-655-1063 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cranbury-Bookworm/181191737810 for more information.
Mercer County invites residents, businesses, civic groups, and county employees to donate to the annual holiday toy drive. This year’s recipient is Toys for Tots. Unwrapped toys and gifts may be dropped at the following locations through Wednesday, December 18. Mercer County McDade Administration Building, 640 South Broad Street, Trenton; Mercer County Park Commission, 197 Blackwell Road, Hopewell Township; Mercer County Park Ice Skating Center, Mercer County Park Tennis Center, Mercer County Park Ranger Headquarters, Mercer County Equestrian Center, Mercer County Wildlife Center, Howell Living History Farm, and Mercer County Connection, Route 33 at Paxson Avenue, Hamilton. Call 609-303-0700 or visit www.mercercounty.org.
SnapOne is also collecting donations for Toys for Tots. Donate an unwrapped toy through Monday, December 16, from 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 3490 Route 1, Building 16, West Windsor. Call 609-720-1900 for information.
Salvation Army West Central NJ Region seeks volunteers for a day bell ringing at one of its 55 locations throughout the area. Businesses, civic clubs, individuals, and families volunteer to keep the bell ringing with five teams of two ringing the bell for two hour shifts between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Money raised from the kettles benefits more than 900 families registered to receive holiday assistance through the Christmas Distribution Program which includes more than 4,000 children. Call 609-599-9373, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.salvationarmynj.org/westcentral for information.
South Brunswick Township Department of Social Services seeks donations from individuals, community groups, schools, families, and businesses to benefit the food pantry program. Drop off or mail donations to South Brunswick Township, Box 190, Municipal Complex, Monmouth Junction 08852. Attention: LouAnne Wolf.
Checks should be payable to the South Brunswick Human Intervention Trust Fund. Gift cards to food or retail stores in the area are welcome. Call 732-329-4000, ext. 7674 to adopt a family. To volunteer time call 732-329-4000, ext. 47672.
Mercer CASH Campaign is seeking volunteers during the upcoming tax season to staff free tax preparation sites throughout Mercer County. Training programs will be held Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Training is at the New United Way Conference Room, Crossroad Corporate Center, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Suite 230, Lawrenceville. Contact Michelle at email@example.com calling 609-844-1008.
Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra has auditions for young musicians to take part in the GPYO Orchestra Festival on March 2, at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Arts in Philadelphia, and the June performance at Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University. Preparatory Strings and Winds are ensembles designed for students with as little as one year of experience. Concert Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra serve the needs of students with more advanced performance experience.
GPYO is also accepting applications to audition for the GPYO Chorale. Students in grades 8 to 12 will perform works from a large number of time periods in a multitude of styles. Register at www.gpyo.org or contact Mark Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holicong Studio offers “The Tribute to John Lennon” workshop for three Sunday afternoons beginning December 8. The studio also offers four-week workshops for musicians, writers, and music lovers focusing on creative musical recording. Call Constance at 720-936-1777 for information.
Mercer Community College presents personal emergency preparedness training beginning in February. Community Emergency Response Team training is designed to teach people how to take care of themselves and their families and assist neighbors in a large-scale disaster or emergency. The nine session course begins on the evening of February 12.
Upon completion of the training, students will receive a CERT bag with basic safety equipment. Students will also have the ability to join their municipal-based CERT program or just use the knowledge they have gained to be prepared for an emergency for themselves and their family. Tuition is provided through the Mercer County Homeland Security grant. There is a $5 fee. Visit www.mccc.edu for information.
VSA New Jersey presents a new art program focused on self-portraiture for students ages 3 to 22 with all types of disabilities. Activities will be centered on enhancing understanding of the elements and principles of the visual arts while participants explore a variety of mediums, improve communication skills, and learn to appreciate and respond to works of art. This program is offered free of charge. Workshops will be offered on Saturdays, February 8 to March 29, in New Brunswick and Morristown. Each eight-week workshop meets for one hour per week between the hours of 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
VSA New Jersey is dedicated to promoting the creative power of people with disabilities and includes arts education, professional development, award competitions, exhibits, festivals, and performances. Call 732-745-3885, E-mail email@example.com, or visit www.vsanj.org for information. Application deadline is Monday, January 20. Workshops are free.