Many of us are looking for a way we can lend a hand to those less fortunate this holiday season. Giving back, donating and volunteering our time and efforts are wonderful ways to spread the Christmas cheer. Here is a list of local charities in Jacksonville along with a few other charities around the country that would appreciate our support to make their holidays a little brighter!
Local Children’s Charities
Baptist Health Foundation: The role of the Foundation is to support Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital by matching an individual’s charitable interests with the needs of the hospitals.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida: 1300 Riverplace Blvd., Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL 32207. To inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. (904) 396-4435.
Voices for Children of the First Coast Inc.: P.O. Box 10198, Jacksonville, FL 32247. Supports the Guardian Ad Litem program in its advocacy of abused, abandoned and neglected children in the area. Contributions will be used to recruit and train Guardian Ad Litem volunteers; hire special advocates; provide for the special medical, developmental and psychological needs of children in the dependency system; and assist children with AIDS. (904) 630-1200.
Cathedral Arts Project Inc.: 4063 Salisbury Road, Suite 107, Jacksonville, FL 32216. Uses the arts to teach children skills they need to succeed in school. A $10 donation will pay for one child to have one class. (904) 281-5599.
Children’s Miracle Network: Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia, 820 Prudential Drive, Suite 412, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Improves the health and welfare of children by raising funds and awareness for the pediatric programs at Shands Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. (904) 202-2900, www.cmnjax.com.
Christ Church: 6045 Greenland Road, Jacksonville, FL 32258. Christmas for Kids program provides gifts for needy children, seniors, and recent immigrants. (904) 268-2500. Not accepting anymore donations for 2016!
Safe Harbor Boys Home: 4772 Safe Harbor Way, Jacksonville, FL 32226. Educational and vocational facility serving troubled boys ages 14-17. Financial donations needed to provide financial assistance for a scholarship to attend Safe Harbor. Also need food and general living items. (904) 757-7918.
MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation: 2933 N. Myrtle Ave. Benefits at-risk children in first through eighth grades through an after-school youth development program. (904) 301-3786, www.malwashington.com.
The Sanctuary on 8th Street: 120 E. Eighth St., Jacksonville, FL 32206. School and summer camp programs for at-risk children and youth living on the Eastside. (904) 356-3588.
Junior Achievement of Florida’s First Coast: 4049 Woodcock Drive, Suite 200, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Brings business and economic education to First Coast students. Need volunteer applications for the spring semester to teach JA lessons to grades K-12 and financial contributions. (904) 398-9944, www.jajax.com.
Dreams Come True: Dreams Come True is a non-profit organization with the simple goal of making the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses become reality.
Monique Burr Foundation for Children, Inc.: The Monique Burr Foundation for Children is committed to the protection and aid of abused and neglected children in Northeast Florida. MBF primarily funds new and existing programs for disadvantaged children.
Wolfson Children’s Hospital: The mission of Wolfson Children’s Hospital is to provide optimal healthcare services for infants and children and to serve as a strong child advocate and by virtue of this commitment to maximize all efforts through the children’s hospital and the community toward the provision of patient care, education and research activities.
Children’s Charities Collecting Food, Clothing, and Necessities
Children’s Home Society: Buckner Division, 3027 San Diego Road, Jacksonville, FL. Works to restore and strengthen families through adoption, foster care, and child abuse prevention programs. Need donations of new toys, clothes and food. (904) 493-7744.
Daniel Foundation Inc.: 4203 Southpoint Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32216. For abused, abandoned and neglected children. Needs wrapped new toys for children ages 0-18, store gift cards, personal hygiene items or donations. (904) 296-1055, ext. 1007.
Youth Crisis Center – The Safe Place: 3015 Parental Home Road. Helps children ages 10-17. Needs coats, sweaters, jeans, games, watches, personal care items, stationery, journals, arts and crafts material, small stuffed animals, movie and event tickets, holiday gift wrap, bags, ribbons and more. (904) 720-0002.
Boys’ Home Association Family Services: 2354 University Blvd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32211. Provides residential group care for boys in foster care; case management; clinical services; preparation for independent living for teens in foster care; and training, licensing and support for foster homes throughout Duval County. Need stocking stuffers for youths such as shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, socks/underwear of any size, movie/event tickets, candy, stationery and gift cards. (904) 421-6020, www.jaxboyshome.org.
Holiday food drive by Dawson Pickett, 14, of Fletcher High School, in conjunction with the 21st annual USO Holiday Food Drive; Sliders Seafood Grille, 218 First St., Neptune Beach; Angie’s Subs, 1436 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach. Benefits Mayport-based naval families and the Mayport USO’s food pantry. Need grocery gift cards and monetary donations. (904) 246-0881.
Charities Collecting Toys and Christmas Decorations
John P. Hall Children Charities: P.O. Box 395, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. Need new and gently used toys for newborns to age 12, boys and girls. Accepted at all Clay Fire Departments and the Green Cove Springs Wachovia branch bank. Toy giveaway is Dec. 16. (904) 284-7398.
Otis Smith KIDS Foundation: 4000 St. Johns Ave. 26B. Serves children through education, recreational and cultural programs. Needs new wrapped toys for children ages 5-13 ranging from $5 to $12, store gift cards for holiday parties/camp, restaurant gift cards for PTA incentives/teacher recognition, sponsors for monthly enrichment programs and field trips, volunteers for events/office help. (904) 880-6847
The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts: 300 W. Water St.; FCCJ Artist Series, 501 W. State St., Jacksonville, FL 32202. Collecting unwrapped toys to benefit the children at Hubbard House, a domestic abuse center. (904) 632-3373, 354-0076, www.hubbardhouse.org.
Family Support Services of North Florida: 4057 Carmichael Ave., Building 3000, Suite 101, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Services foster children in Duval County. The Foster Holiday Wishes program needs new, unwrapped toys and gift cards for children ages 1-18. Drop off at any fire station before Dec. 24. (904) 421-5811, www.fssjax.org.
Children’s Christmas Party of Jacksonville: 225 Water St., Suite 1400, Jacksonville, FL 32202. Need funds to purchase toys for children up to 12 years of age. The Christmas Party is Dec. 16. (904) 221-1452.
The Bridge of Northeast Florida: 1824 Pearl St., promotes the development of productive, self-sufficient youths and families in Jacksonville through education, social, health and job skills programs to those in need. Adopt-A-Family Christmas program can use unwrapped gifts by Dec. 15; Adopt-a-Teen Christmas program offers gifts to teens who otherwise might be overlooked at Christmas because traditional sources for presents and toys cap at age 12. (904) 354-7799.
Gateway Community Services Impact House: 940 Bridier St., Jacksonville, FL 32206. Benefits the Juvenile Justice program. Provides a safe and stable residential setting for males in which life skills education, counseling and educational services are provided. Need hair clippers; movie, sports and event tickets; sports equipment; a fax machine; a stationary bike; games, TVs, DVD players, VCRs and game tables. Also need a Christmas tree and safe decorations. (904) 354-7545.
Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville: 824 Children’s Way, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Provides community, compassion, lodging and support to critically ill, chronically ill and seriously injured children and their families. Need holiday donations of phone, gas and grocery cards. (904) 807-4663, www.rmhjax.org.
Charities for Families
Angels for Allison: Assists with the financial needs of families who are suffering with the loss of a child. Accepts financial donations and volunteers – We welcome all individuals and groups ages 12 and over to come paint! One of our volunteers will guide you through the angel painting process. Clubs and Leadership Councils are also available for students in schools.
Catholic Charities Jacksonville: 134 E. Church St. Provides assistance to children and families to prevent homelessness. (904) 354-4846.
Dignity U Wear Foundation: 136 N. Myrtle Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32204. To restore dignity, self-esteem and self-confidence to children and families in need by providing new clothing at no cost. Need donations of new clothing, specifically underwear and children’s clothing, funding and volunteers. (904) 636-9455, www.dignityuwear.org.
Families First: 2572 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32207. Provides community services and affordable housing to low-income families. The 2007 Faces of Families First calendar is $10. (904) 353-0891, ext. 10, or www.familiesfirstfl.org.
First Coast Family Center: 1965 Beachway Road, Suite 109, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Provides free and voluntary services to families working to strengthen themselves in order to prevent child abuse and neglect. (904) 348-3251, ext. 221, www.firstcoastfamilycenter.org.
Foster Closet: 8307 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32216. Foster Closet is a resource to help foster families prepare their households with the help of financial donations along with donations of items needed. Volunteers are welcome. (904) 629-2116.
Jacksonville for Life: P.O. Box 6483, Jacksonville, FL 32236. Benefits Duval County expectant mothers and the education needs of area youths. (904) 703-6277, www.jacksonvilleforlife.org.
Project SOS (Strengthening Our Students): 6850 Belfort Oaks Place. Works with teenagers throughout Northeast Florida, teaching them life skills to avoid premarital sex, drugs, alcohol and other risk behaviors. Also works with parents to strengthen families. (904) 279-0870.
UCOM UrbanServ, Inc.: Dedicated to insure that no one in our community goes hungry, UCOM offers a food pantry, Meals on Wheels, scholarship and tutoring programs and more. UCOM relies on the tax deductible donations from generous community supporters and business partners. All food and financial donations are appreciated. There are also volunteer opportunities. Every person deserves to have his/her basic needs met. Since 1979, c has been dedicated to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.
Charities for Seniors, Caregivers and Adults with Disabilities
ElderSource: 10688 Old St. Augustine Rd. 32257. The mission of ElderSource is to empower individuals to age with independence and dignity by providing leadership, direction, advocacy and support for a comprehensive, coordinated continuum of care. 904-391-6600.
Charities that Need Volunteers
Child Guidance Center: 5776 St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Helps children in need. Volunteers needed for holiday decorating and holiday gift adoption. (904) 448-4700, ext. 225.
Community Connections of Jacksonville: 327 E. Duval St. Fulfills holiday wishes for children through age 16 years old. Accepting donations of toys and gift cards; also need volunteers for holiday parties and holiday camps. (904) 350-9949.
The Inn Ministry: 1720 Hamilton St., Jacksonville, FL 32210. Provides a sanctuary for pregnant mothers and mothers with small children. Funds are needed to help in the provisions for housing. Volunteers also needed. (904) 388-7730.
Non-Local Children’s Charities
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital: Because of you, we have the freedom to focus on what matters most — saving kids regardless of their financial situation. Donate online or at (800) 785-5071 to make a difference.
Holiday Heroes Foundation: Holiday Heroes Foundation partners with hospitals, businesses, celebrities and others to give children who are hospitalized due to a critical or chronic illness, a well needed and deserved dose of fun with a themed party or celebration. Every dollar raised by Holiday Heroes is converted into a smile at these parties. Your support makes an immediate impact at every event that we host.
Charities to Support Military/Veterans and Their Families
Holiday Mail for Heroes: The 2015 Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign continues to be conducted in local communities across the U.S. There is no longer a national Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box to which cards are sent. Local Red Cross offices will collect, sort, and distribute the holiday cards using an event-based approach in their local communities.
Hope for the Warriors: All Hope For The Warriors® programs serve post-9/11 active duty, National Guard, and reserve service members and veterans from all branches of the military. Programs also support the entire military family, families of the fallen, and military caregivers.
USO: As a nonprofit, non-government agency, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals like you to support field operations, programs and services designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our brave troops and their families, no matter the branch, whether it’s the Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, or Marines.
Homes For Our Troops: To build mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured Veterans Post-9/11, to enable them to rebuild their lives.
Puppies Behind Bars: (PBB) trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.
ThanksUSA: Join us in our mission of providing college, technical and vocational school need-based scholarships for the children and spouses of U.S. military personnel.
Wounded Warriors Family Support: Our mission is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. The families of our casualties suffer in many ways: some financially, some psychologically.