Want to do good during the holidays?
It's the time of year when many are looking to help others who are less fortunate. And with the unemployment rate at 11.7 percent in the Tampa Bay area, there are plenty of families seeking extra help this year.
Here are a few ways that you can connect with Tampa Bay organizations. We invite you to share any other helpful sites or groups that aren't mentioned here in the comments below, and we'll continue to update this post throughout the holiday season.
Help the homeless: A new Web site tampabayhomeless.wikia.com pools together bay area organizations and resources helping the homeless. The site was founded by BrandTampa.com founder Julia Gorzka and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Homeless pets: The dire economy is affecting pet owners, particularly owners of pit bulls. A local organization, Pit Positive is trying to place three pit bulls that recently lost their homes. One owner was on the brink of losing a lease on his apartment after the owner discovered his dog. E-mail Art Fyvolent if you are interested in adopting a pit bull. You can see the dogs' pictures and get more info on other adoptable pets at pets.tampabay.com.
Suggestions from readers:
Marcos (in comments): Please also consider The Literacy Council of Saint Petersburg, 727-521-1117. This worthwhile organization needs volunteers to teach basic reading and writing skills to adults here in Pinellas County.
Suzin Buzas Carr (on Facebook): The Pajama Program provides new pajamas to children in need, many who are waiting to be adopted. Contact: Faith@pajamaprogram.org.
The Joshua House, is a safe haven for abused, abandoned, and neglected children in Tampa. The residential program provides a nurturing, family-like environment for children 6-17.Contact: 813-263-3469.
Bonine Escobar: Clear Channel Radio will be taking donations of food for dogs/cats and treats from Nov. 30 through Dec. 17 to benefit The American Humane Society (Tampa) and Ragaz Rescue (Largo). If they get enough, some will go to PitStop Bullys in Tampa.