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‘Tis the Season: Get kids involved in Charity Drives 2013

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In our mad dash to get ready for the holidays, we can often get caught up in our own little worlds. We rush to decorate our homes, order holiday pictures/cards, prepare holiday meals, buy perfect gifts for relatives and friends – but aren’t we overlooking something drastically important? The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community, and to teach our children that service to others is the most precious gift of all.

Sometimes we need this little reminder to reconnect with true holiday spirit, selfless giving to those in need, for that’s the holiday essence that sometimes gets forgotten. The season can be hard on children/families who do not have the means to buy presents (or even basic items like food & clothing) for one another. Families who do have the means to buy not only for their own families, but for others, should consider making wishes come true for those who cannot afford any extras on their own.

Many of us are in a position to give in some capacity. So, why not make this season a charitable one and participate in one of the below events? Make it a family outing -- teach kids that giving back feels so much better than getting.

Gainesville Charitable Events 2013:

Food:

Thanksgiving Basket Drive - Nov 18 - 21 - provide Thanksgiving dinner for needy families

Food 4 Kids Backpack program - help feed hungry children

Toys:

"Miracle on Main Street" Toy & Bicycle Drive - Nov 11- Dec 2-- donate new or gently used toys & bikes, or sponsor a bike donation.

Toys for Tots - sign up to be a toy drop location by Nov 22, or view current Alachua County drop sites

"Wish Upon a Star" Toy Drive - Dec 2 - 6 - make a foster child's wish come true

Coats & More:

SantaFe Coat Drive - donate gently used coats for the needy, by Dec 13 - adults & childrens' sizes needed

Give the Gift of a Great Future, Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County - donate this holiday season

Giving to others will make you and your family feel wonderful. And teaching children to recognize the real need in their community is an invaluable lesson, one they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. There is no greater characteristic to pass on to our children than a sense of caring responsibility for fellow human beings.

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