Op­por­tu­ni­ties to give back dur­ing hol­i­days

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Con­nolly

With Thanks­giv­ing falling later this year, shop­pers are al­ready get­ting a jump start on hol­i­day gifts. Mean­while, Black Friday sales have con­tin­ued to en­croach on the time Thanks­giv­ing din­ner usu­ally hap­pens.

De­spite the hus­tle and bus­tle, it’s worth re­mem­ber­ing the spirit of the Novem­ber hol­i­day, which is to pro­vide fam­i­lies and friends a chance to give thanks for the bless­ings life has of­fered.

For some peo­ple, it may be a chance to re­al­ize that not ev­ery­one has those same gifts. Ac­cord­ing to a pre­vi­ous Sen­tinel re­port, 2,010 peo­ple in Or­ange, Osce­ola and Semi­nole coun­ties are home­less. In ad­di­tion, the Or­lando metro area is the worst in the na­tion for the avail­abil­ity of ex­tremely low-in­come hous­ing.

There are some lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions ded­i­cated to giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity and wel­come as­sis­tance in their mis­sions. Here are ways to vol­un­teer with time and money dur­ing this Thanks­giv­ing sea­son.

Vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties

■ Pitch in for a Thanks­giv­ing project with Heart of Florida United Way to pack meal kits and dis­trib­ute them. Through Nov. 23, find more de­tails at hfuw.org

■ Buy a laun­dry bas­ket

and fill it with food to help fam­i­lies in need through Bas­ket Brigade Florida. Do­nate and help de­liver bas­kets dur­ing a big vol­un­teer event. 9 a.m. Nov. 23 at 3000 S. John Young Pkwy. in Or­lando; 321-281-2132; bas­ket­bri­gade­florida.org

■ Join in stuff­ing bags of

food with Joy Met­ro­pol­i­tan Com­mu­nity Church to help feed the hun­gry. 6-10 p.m. Nov. 25 at 2351 S. Fern Creek Ave. in Or­lando; 407-894-1081; face­book.com

■ Swap out ex­cess items

dur­ing a grat­i­tude and giv­ing day at the Peanut But­ter Palace, a co-op house and com­mu­nity. Bring and swap cloth­ing, tools, books, art and plants. The event will also fea­ture a ve­gan/veg­e­tar­ian potluck and song cir­cle. Do­na­tions to Com­monGoods Net­work are also be­ing ac­cepted. 4-9 p.m. Nov. 26 at 2346 Rut­ledge Ave. in Or­lando; face­book.com

■ Help de­liver Thanks­giv­ing meals to the el­derly, home­bound and dis­abled of the Or­lando com­mu­nity with First Bap­tist Or­lando and Meals on Wheels. Nov. 28 at 3000 S. John Young Pkwy. in Or­lando; 407-425-2555; firstor­lando .com

■ Pitch in to beau­tify

Mead Botan­i­cal Gar­den in

Win­ter Park dur­ing a day of clean­ing up in­va­sive plants and habi­tat restora­tion. Vol­un­teers are en­cour­aged to bring their own gar­den­ing and cut­ting tools and a pizza lunch will be pro­vided. 9 a.m.-noon at 1300 S. Den­ning Drive in Win­ter Park; 407-599-2800; eventbrite.com

■ Ex­plore on­go­ing vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties

through Hands On Or­lando, a non­profit ded­i­cated to help­ing with com­mu­nity projects through vol­un­teer ac­tion. hand­sonor­lando.com

■ Vol­un­teer to feed the

home­less dur­ing weekly op­por­tu­ni­ties with Coali­tion for the Home­less of Cen­tral Florida. Call 407-426-1250 or visit cen tralflori­da­home­less.org

Money or goods do­na­tions

■ Do­nate to the Sal­va­tion

Army in the Or­lando area, whether it’s through a mon­e­tary gift or by giv­ing goods such as cloth­ing, house­wares and small fur­ni­ture. sal­va­tion­armyflorid­a.org/ or­lando/

■ Give money to Se­cond Har­vest Food Bank to help fight hunger in Cen­tral Florida. feed­hopenow.org

■ Sup­port Har­vest Time In­ter­na­tional through mon­e­tary or goods do­na­tions at Cen­tral Florida lo­ca­tions. har­vest­time.org

■ Do­nate to Seinors First, an or­ga­ni­za­tion sup­port­ing the el­derly through Meals on Wheels, in-home care and other pro­grams. se­niors­firstinc.org

■ Help Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Greater Or­lando and Osce­ola County with a fi­nan­cial do­na­tion sup­port­ing home build­ing and com­mu­nity ser­vice. Though the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s build sites won’t be open dur­ing Thanks­giv­ing week­end, vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties are avail­able in De­cem­ber. habi­ta­tor­lan­doosce­ola.org

■ Sup­port the out­reach of Or­lando Union Res­cue

Mis­sion as they feed and help the home­less this hol­i­day sea­son. ourm.org

Food drives

■ Bomb­shell’s Tav­ern is ac­cept­ing food do­na­tions for vet­er­ans through Nov. 27 at 5405 Edge­wa­ter Drive in Or­lando.

■ Yo­gaMix Or­lando is of­fer­ing a free Thanks­giv­ing day class (Nov. 28) for those who bring non­per­ish­able food items. Reg­is­ter at yoga mixor­lando.com.

■ United Against Poverty

ac­cepts do­na­tions of non­per­ish­able foods, bot­tled wa­ter and hy­giene prod­ucts at their lo­ca­tions. The Or­lando lo­ca­tion ac­cepts do­na­tions from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at 150 W. Michi­gan St. in Or­lando. The or­ga­ni­za­tion also ac­cepts mon­e­tary do­na­tions at upor­lando.org.

Other Good Sa­mar­i­tans help­ing the com­mu­nity

■ Amer­iFac­tors, a Cen­tral Florida com­pany of­fer­ing busi­ness fi­nanc­ing, is giv­ing away 500 free frozen turkeys to fam­i­lies in need. They’ll be dis­tribut­ing the birds 6-8 a.m. (or un­til turkeys are gone) Nov. 26 at 2925 In­ter­na­tional Dr. in Kis­sim­mee. Limit one tur­key per house­hold.

■ Lo­cal busi­ness part­ners and com­mu­nity groups,

in­clud­ing Eric Holm, owner and pres­i­dent of Metro Cor­ral Part­ners, are join­ing to­gether for the 27th “Help­ings from the Heart.” This an­nual event will serve more than 20,000 Thanks­giv­ing meals to “any­one who wants a great meal and to cel­e­brate the hol­i­day in fel­low­ship with oth­ers.” 11 a.m. Nov. 28 at 440 W. Colo­nial Drive in Or­lando; fran­chis­ing.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.