Looking for ways to give back this holiday season? Here are some ideas and ways to help:
Ruth Eckerd Hall Foundation, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road. This foundation provides services for more than 100,000 children a year with scholarships and tuition assistance to experience the arts. Donations also fund other programs, such as Passport, which partners with schools to support art education that is often the first program to be eliminated in hard economic times. Monetary donations are always greatly appreciated. Education supplies are also accepted. Call (727) 712-2720.
Emergency Housing Program, 1125 Holt Ave. Provides emergency shelter for families with children. Needed items include canned goods, meats, soups and fruit, personal hygiene products for adults, health care products for children and infants, household cleaning products, paper products, pots and pans, linens, children's strollers, toys for children (ages infant to 16 years old), high chairs, cribs, shoes and cash. Call (727) 446-5964.
Homeless Emergency Project, 1120 N Betty Lane. This agency provides food baskets, shelter, transportation and dinners for the poor. It needs canned foods, children's shoes and clothes, diapers, grocery store gift certificates, furniture, linens, kitchen supplies, mobile homes, bicycles, bus passes, personal hygiene items and money. Call (727) 442-9041.
Religious Community Services, 700 Druid Road E. This agency provides emergency food for those in need. Canned goods, especially canned meats and vegetables, peanut butter, baby foods and formula, boxes of spaghetti and macaroni, instant potatoes and money are needed. They are also in need of volunteers. No turkeys, please. To donate food, call (727) 443-4031 or call 584-3528, ext. 403 to donate money.
St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen, 1345 Park St. Anyone who needs a meal will be fed here. One meal a day is served from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Always needed are canned goods, fresh vegetables and cash donations. Also, volunteers are needed. Call (727) 441-3790.
Salvation Army, 1521 E Druid Road. The Salvation Army provides material assistance, including food, funds for rent and utilities, as well as services like information referral and counseling. Money, turkeys, canned hams, canned food, paper products, soaps and toiletries are needed. Call (727) 446-4177.
Seminole Assembly Church of God, 10600 113th St. Organization provides bags of groceries to any needy individuals or families. Needs include staples, nonperishable food items and baby food, things that will make complete meals, such as noodles and sauce, macaroni and cheese. Call (727) 391-9788.
Good Samaritan Church, 6085 Park Blvd. Feeding families in need, the agency can always use canned or packaged nonperishable food items (soup, macaroni and cheese), canned meats, rice, pastas, cereals, baby foods, formula and cash donations. Call (727) 544-8558.
Operation Attack, Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 1310 22nd Ave. S. Children and needy families can find help here. The agency provides children's clothing and groceries and takes referrals from 60 agencies. They need money, children's clothing, especially teen clothing, underwear, socks, personal hygiene items, soap, toilet tissue, blankets, canned foods and volunteers. Call (727) 822-1187.
St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen, 401 15th St. N. All are welcome. The soup kitchen serves a hot meal three times a day. Breakfast is from 7 to 8 a.m., lunch is 11 a.m. to noon and dinner is 7 to 8 p.m. Donations of food items, particularly canned goods and meat, toiletries and clothes are always greatly appreciated. Call (727) 821-3446.
Salvation Army, 1400 Fourth St. S. Organization serves anyone needing a meal. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; dinner is served daily from 4:30 to 6 p.m. or until the food runs out. Needed items include canned foods, cash donations and toys for kids in need this holiday season. Call (727) 822-4954 or (727) 323-2222.
Daystar, 226 Sixth St. S. Daystar's mission is to provide the basic necessities of life to our neighbors. The agency is in need of food, clothing, personal hygiene items and money for rent, utilities and transportation, which come primarily from direct donation by individuals in the community. Grants supply other funding. Call (727) 825-0442.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, 3071 118th Ave. N. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. Currently, a concrete drive is in motion; Habitat is asking for monetary donations that will buy concrete to help build homes. Two bags of concrete are $20. Habitat also runs ReStore, a home improvement outlet that accepts donations of new and used home appliances, furniture, lumber, tile and paint to sell back to the community. All profits from the store go toward building homes. Volunteers are needed. Call (727) 536-4755 or visit phfh.org.