Ways to give back for the holidays

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How do you plan to show your gratitude this holiday season? Will you give gifts? Volunteer? Visit far away family and friends?

There are tons of ways to give back not only to your friends and family, but also to your community. The holiday season is a time of giving, and it’s the perfect time to go out of your way for a stranger or someone needing a little joy or helping hand.

dog-christmas-xmas-bulldog

We’re putting this guide together focused on the Lee & Collier County area, as that’s where we are based. We hope you take a chance to look this over and plan to give back a little something to someone in need during the holidays.

Salvation Army

We all know about the bell ringers (which you can volunteer for) but did you know they also need assistance sorting and packaging toys and food boxes for holiday distribution? Click here to find out more.

St. Matthew’s House

St. Matthew’s House is known for helping fight hunger, homelessness, and addition in Collier County. They are always accepting donations for:

  • Cars
  • Stock
  • Cash
  • Material donations (free pickup of large items)

You can apply to volunteer online.

  • Staff support
  • Help retail staff & stock merchandise at thrift store locations
  • Kitchen assistance
  • Serve holiday meals
  • Serve meals at Justin’s Place Feeding Ministry
  • Hold a fundraiser
  • Admin support
  • Pack groceries and organize in food pantry

Stockings 4 Kids

Stockings 4 Kids gives less fortunate kids in the SWFL area a filled stocking for Christmas. They’re always accepting donations and each stocking costs $15.

Brook’s Legacy Animal Rescue

Give a dog or cat a loving home this holiday season, or volunteer to be a foster parent. Volunteers are always needed, especially for adoption events.

Collier County Hunger and Homeless Coalition

This group is dedicated to preventing and ending hunger and homelessness in Collier County. Donations are welcome any time of year.

Cancer Alliance of Naples

The Cancer Alliance of Naples formed 13 years ago to help those touched by cancer. Donations are always welcome and there are plenty of volunteer opportunities.

  • Volunteer in the office
  • Speakers on cancer-related topics (nutrition, beauty, stress reduction, etc)
  • Sponsorships

Habitat for Humanity

Help build homes for the less fortunate. Volunteers 16 years of age and older are welcome on the job site. Those younger can help by setting up refreshments for volunteers. You can also volunteer in the office, fold newsletters, and help in the Habitat Store.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank

The Harry Chapin Food Bank has been helping to fight hunger in Collier, Charlotte, Lee, Glades, and Hendry counties. Volunteer to hold a food drive, become a partner, or a general volunteer. Donations of money go a long way, every $1 donated helps distribute $8 worth of food.

Meals of Hope

This Naples organization has packaged over 36 million meals to date. Join a food packing event or host one yourself. There are also volunteer opportunities and an online donation section.

Youth Haven

Youth Haven’s Holiday Angels runs from November 23-January 5. Each donation amount provides something to a child in need such as supplies, one week enrichment summer camp, animal assisted therapies, and more.

Besides donating they also have various volunteer programs:

  • Open Windows art program
  • Healthy Starts pantry program
  • Helping Hands program
  • Admin support
  • Special events
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