With the holidays quickly approaching, gifting season is well underway. North Florida suffers for no shortage of giving, and local nonprofits offer local shoppers the unique ability to give two-fold by giving charitably.
For the golf enthusiast
The Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary Club invites the community to “Chip in for Youth” with a gift for the golf lover this holiday. The club is promoting good-any-day tickets for next THE PLAYERS Championship 2017, to be held the week of May 9. Each ticket costs $50, taking as much as $15 off the value of daily admission, and 100 per cent of each ticket sale goes to children’s charities. The PGA Tour also returns $25 of each ticket sold to the Rotary Club, which will use the money to support numerous local charities including youth programs by BEAM, Deck the Chairs, youth exchange programs and more. Proceeds will also benefit Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign, with the remaining $25 of each ticket going to The First Tee. To purchase tickets, visit www.chipinforyouth.com.
For the foodie
The Sulzbacher Center offers a gift that feeds recipients and people in need. The center’s “Good Night” themed gifts feature a tin full of holiday cookies named for I.M. Sulzbacher and crafted from his favorite recipe – white chocolate chip macadamia nut. Also among the center’s gifts are cards adorned with illustrations by children living at the center. Cookies and cards can be purchased at www.sulzbachercenter.org/fundraisers/give-a-good-night. The proceeds provide housing and assistance to the homeless.
The Sulzbacher Center is Northeast Florida’s largest provider of services for homeless men, women and children. The four-star charity serves meals and provides shelter, health care and children’s programs in addition to job placement assistance and life skills. To learn about other ways to help the Suzbacher Center, visit www.sulzbachercenter.org.
For the animal lover
Look no further than First Coast No More Homeless Pets (FCNMHP). The North Florida-based nonprofit responsible for reducing the area’s euthanasia rate by more than 90 percent since 2002 credits its staff, volunteers and the help of the community for the achievement. With events such as its Mega Pet Adoption days formed in partnership with shelters and rescues from all over the region, locals can add to the 12,000 lives already saved by the program since 2012.
Community members can help FCNMHP any number of ways, from volunteering and purchasing Memory Tiles to shopping FCNMHP affiliate stores online for Christmas gifts. And just before Christmas, on Dec. 19, the organization will host another Mega Pet Adoption event where attendees will have an opportunity to give local pets the greatest gift of all – a forever home.
To learn more about ways to help FCNMHP, visit www.fcnmhp.org.
First Coast No More Homeless Pets, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.
Toys for Tots has helped bring Christmas to underprivileged kids for nearly 70 years. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was founded as an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve and an official activity for the U.S. Marine Corps, and its inception has resulted in more than 512 million toys delivered to upwards of 237 million children. With several hundred drop-off locations around the country, First Coast residents all along the river will have ample opportunity to help bring toys to less fortunate children.
The foundation asks for toys in addition to supplemental gifts for older age groups, such as bath sets, cosmetics, backpacks, electronics and wallets. Toys for Tots will not distribute realistic-looking toy weapons or food gifts. To find a local Toys for Tots drive location, visit www.toysfortots.org.
The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry is no stranger to the Jacksonville Beaches community; since its inception in 1985, the ministry has assisted community members in need of food and help with finances through specialized programs, a 6,500 square-foot garden and food pantry. In 2015 alone, more than 18,000 children and adults were helped by BEAM’s services, more than half a million pounds of food was distributed to BEAM families and 855 children received school supplies, clothing and shoes through its school supply drive.
Shop BEAM for holiday gifts that go back into the community; for the cook or organic enthusiast, BEAM’s Grace Garden Cookbook includes recipes inspired by the ministry’s own garden and categorized by growing season. For the fashionista, browse the offerings at BEAM’s Jacksonville Beach and Atlantic Beach thrift stores, or its newly opened “department store” style thrift store at 7North.
Locals looking to give this season can also help BEAM’s mission by volunteering at its Grace Garden, which supplements the ministry’s food pantry, and at its BEAM Thrift locations, including the newly opened 7North, all of which provide a stream of revenue that funds BEAM’s programs. Gently used items – such as clothing, houseware and furniture – can also be donated to the thrift stores.
To learn more about BEAM’s volunteer and donation opportunities, visit www.jaxbeam.org.