NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Agencies in the city are asking people to feel the message of the season by making donations to help others.

Collection points have been set up around New Brunswick where people can drop-off hats, coats, gloves, scarfs, non-perishable foods and toys.

All of the donations will go to families in the city who receive assistance from local organizations, such as Elijah’s Promise, the Salvation Army New Brunswick Corps and Dina’s Dwellings.

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Among the suggested food items that people can donate are rice, macaroni, tomato sauce, canned fruit and other canned goods, cooking oil and non-perishable milk.

The organizations are asking people to give unwrapped gifts suitable for children ages 14 and under.

Items can be dropped off at the Tavern on George, 361 George St., the Salt Seafood& Oyster Bar, 103 Church St., and the New Brunswick City Market office, 109 Church St.

People in the holiday spirit can also donate items at several city holiday events, including the city's annual tree lighting on Friday at Livingston Avenue and George Street, the free photos with Santa on Dec. 15 at the United Methodist Church at New Brunswick, 323 George St. from noon to 3 p.m., and the free horse-drawn carriage rides on Friday, Dec. 14 through Sunday, Dec. 16, starting at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick on Neilson Street.

This Saturday the Rutgers University Recreation Department will hold the "Big Chill" 5K road at Buccleuch Park to raise funds for Christmas gifts for unprivileged children, as well as food banks in the city.