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Orlando Gives Back This Holiday Season

Today is the first day of winter, and while we don’t often feel a prolonged cold snap here in Central Florida, it’s important to remember the people that have no roof or warmth throughout the nation. Fittingly, as the first day of winter coincides with the final weeks of the holiday season, it’s also National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day today. It’s important to remember the homeless, those less fortunate in our society, and other important causes during this time. If you’re looking to give back in the final weeks of 2016, there’s plenty of ways to do so.

1. Coalition For The Homeless of Central Florida

This organization helps serve around 600 needy Central Floridians through food, shelter, support, education, and more.

2. Orlando Union Rescue Mission

As this mission is not a part of the United Way, or another, larger organization, they are not subject to government funding. This means anything you give stays within the community.

3. Homeless Shelter Directory

Temperatures do reach dangerous levels a few times during the Orlando winter, and that’s when shelters spring into action. This directory can help to send homeless people to places where they will be warm, well-fed, and safe during the cold spell. Many of these shelters also offer volunteering opportunities.

4. Give Kids the World

In the shadow of the Orlando attractions, this charity provides a 79-acre storybook resort for children with life-threatening injuries. The kids and their families will be treated to week-long vacations at no cost. Donations and volunteering are welcome.

5. Toys for Tots

Although Christmas is right around the corner, it’s not too late to give to Toys for Tots. With collection bins all around Central Florida, it’s extremely easy to help to give underprivileged children a Merry Christmas.

6. Orlando Food Pantries

Many families have way more food than they need at their holiday celebrations. This holiday season, consider those that have very little during every meal throughout the year. This website lets you know where to find your closest food pantry.

7. Elder Companionship

Central Florida is home to many seniors that have relocated here from other parts of the country, leaving behind family and friends who can’t make it here for every holiday. You can provide senior companionship in The Villages community, and beyond.

8. Stand With Standing Rock

Many have been moved to action by attempting to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline directly in the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. If you’d like to help, several Orlando area organizations are collecting money to donate to the cause.

9. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

For over 50 years, this facility has been on the cutting-edge of research to find causes and treatments for childhood diseases.

10. Pulse Victims Funds

The scars of the community will likely never heal after the Pulse shooting just over six months ago. Several funds are still gathering donations, including the Equality Fund Institute, Inc. They’re currently a little over $2 million from their $10 million goal.