This holiday season is shaping up to be so different from others. One question facing many people around South Florida is what they can still do to give back this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
We reached out to organizations across the area that have been active in past holiday seasons. Here’s what they told us about whether or not they’re accepting donations and volunteers this year, and other ways you can help.
Miami Rescue Mission Broward Outreach Centers are hosting a toy drive with the goal of collecting 6,000 presents for boys and girls. Small amounts of toys can be dropped off at one of these centers:
- 3553 Northwest 50th Street, Miami, 33142 (contact: 305-571-2273)
- Broward Center for Men 2056 Scott Street, Hollywood, 33020 (contact: 954-926-7417)
- Broward Center for Women and Children 2038 Scott Street, Hollywood, 33020 (contact: 954-926-7417)
The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is accepting a variety of donations throughout the holiday season. You can purchase a gift card or shop on Amazon wish lists for patients, or drop off toy donations at the hospital’s “Spread Joy Drive Thru” event, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13.
There are more restrictions to adoptions this year due to the pandemic, so make sure to read the guidelines on the website and register before dropping off your presents.
The Family Resource Center, which cares for 600 foster children, is looking for sponsors. Individuals, companies and organizations are all invited to sponsor individual children, or hold a toy drive within their community. Another way to help is by ordering items from an Amazon wish list, or making donations directly to www.frcflorida.org.
Also, unwrapped gifts will be accepted between 5 and 8 p.m. on Friday, December 4, at the Foster the Love Toy Drive located on 1392 Southwest 1st Street. Hot chocolate and churros will be available, and Santa is expected to stop by.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami is still hosting its annual toy drive. Gifts should be new and unwrapped, and there are specific guidelines for the donations depending on the age group you want to give to (all toys will go to children enrolled in the program):
- Children (5-8 years): Action figures & dolls
- Older Children (8-11 years): Legos and arts & crafts
- Teenagers (12-18 years): Gift cards from iTunes, sporting goods, make-up kits, purses, wallets & jewelry
The deadline to donate is December 1. For toy drop-off, contact Hannah Oria at (786) 860-5518 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Big Brothers Big Sisters is also accepting cash donations to buy toys, or you can make purchases on their Amazon wish lists.
Hope South Florida offers various services to families and veterans living with homelessness. For the holiday season, they're asking for financial donations to help provide meals, mobile showers and housing assistance. Donations can be made online at www.hopesouthflorida.org or by mailing a check to HOPE South Florida, 1100 North Andrews Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, 33311.
If you're interested in offering assistance in-person, Feeding South Florida is always looking for volunteers, and anyone over the age of 12 can register. There's higher demand for help during the holidays, so check the organization's calendar to find a shift that works for you.
For various kinds of opportunities in Broward, HandsOn Broward keeps an updated list of upcoming volunteer roles, including toy packing, kitchen help, and tech assistance.