Giving thanks and giving back

Posted by Tracy Glynn on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 9:37am.

It’s Thanksgiving and, in addition to prepping and planning the big feast, we’re all counting our blessings and recognizing how very fortunate we are. What better way to get in the holiday spirit than to give back right here in your own community? If you’re looking for ways to spread a little of your own holiday cheer, here are a few ways you can make a difference right here in St Johns and Jacksonville:

Send holiday mail to brighten the spirits of members of our military, vets and their families. Deliver your own card(s) to our local Red Cross, or host a card signing party and deliver a whole sleigh full! Check out the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign by clicking HERE. The Red Cross also needs volunteers to sort and distribute cards (deadline 12/4).

Serve a meal or volunteer to help Jacksonville’s homeless and hungry at the Trinity Rescue Mission http://www.trinityrescue.org/volunteer/ .

The Sulzbacher Center provides comprehensive services for homeless men, women and children in Northeast Florida including shelter, meals, healthcare, children’s programs, job placement assistance and life skills programs. A toy drive is under way to help provide Christmas gifts for the 66 children currently in the center. Other holiday engagement and year-round opportunities can be found by visiting sulzbachercenter.org .

Community Connections of Jacksonville takes a holistic approach to fighting homelessness and poverty in Jacksonville. They are conducting a virtual basket drive to help feed the homeless and break the cycle of poverty all year long. To learn about this and other volunteer opportunities visit their website by clicking HERE.

The Salvation Army is so much more than just bell ringers! Volunteers are needed to serve meals, read to a child, be a listening ear, and help fill empty empty pantries right here in Jacksonville. For more information on volunteer opportunities with the Salvation Army visit http://www.salvationarmyflorida.org/jacksonville/waystogive/volunteer-2/

The Sulzbacher Center provides comprehensive services for homeless men, women and children in Northeast Florida including shelter, meals, healthcare, children’s programs, job placement assistance and life skills programs. A toy drive is under way to help provide Christmas gifts for the 66 children currently in the center. Other holiday engagement and year-round opportunities can be found by visiting sulzbachercenter.org .

Helping Hands of St Johns County is filling stockings for the Florida School or the Deaf and Blind, children with life threatening illnesses and the elderly. Visit Helping Hands of St Johns County for drop off locations and more information. (Deadline Dec 10) Helping Hands of St Johns County is a volunteer organization that does a small project every month to help the community. The group meets monthly and new members are warmly welcomed!

Toys for Tots has a need for 10,000 toys in our area this year. Salt Rock church will be collecting toys the first 2 Saturdays in December at the DR Horton office on Race Track Road.

A few other ideas to get involved and give back to your neighbors this holiday season:

  •                 Offer to help decorate, bake or wrap gifts for an elderly, disabled or single parent neighbor
  •                 Kids all grown up? Offer your home to store gifts for those with little ones still at home.
  •                 Invite a neighbor without family in town to your holiday meal

What other ways does your family give back during the holidays, or throughout the year?

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