Giving Thanks on the Emerald Coast

Do you spend a few moments every Thanksgiving counting your blessings? Is this the year you decided to “give back” in recognition of all the good things you have? Some worthy organizations are looking for gifts of time, money, food, and toys to help make the holidays brighter for local families in need. Volunteers are needed to sort and bag more than 50,000 pounds of food for distribution to area food banks, soup kitchens, and churches at the annual Crop Drop on November 23rd. Set up begins at 5:30 a.m., and volunteers are needed to work throughout the day. During the event, organizers will also be collecting cash donations, toiletries and supplies, including diapers, and non-perishable food items. Join Harbor Docks and Habitat For Humanity from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day as they serve a complimentary Thanksgiving Dinner. While this Destin tradition isn’t in need of volunteers, 100% of the donations collected during the meal are given to charity, so you can feel good about enjoying a fantastic meal. Plus, you avoid doing the dishes. Local food banks are reporting shortage of non-perishable goods this holiday and are requesting canned and dry goods, as well as monetary donations, to supplement their regular giving. Harvest House, Destin Harvest, and Sharing and Caring are all accepting donations of food and cash. Harvest House is specifically soliciting families, groups, or individuals to sponsor a family for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. A $50.00 donation will provide a needy family with a traditional holiday dinner, including a turkey. Toys for Tots, in association with the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors,  is again looking to make the holidays cheery and bright for families in need. There are a number of toy drop-off sites in Destin, Fort Walton, and South Walton. Most area churches also have opportunities to sponsor needy families for Christmas through programs like Operation Shoe Box and Angel Tree. Check in at any local church for more details.

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