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MOBILE, AL (WALA) For over 25 years, FOX10 has teamed up with Volunteers of America for our “10 Caring Gifts” program. Each year, the community helps us make Christmas extra special for thousands of people on the Gulf Coast. Last year, the distribution warehouse for Volunteers of America looked like a scene from Toyland after our toy drive at Trax Tires. There are so many other ways you can give too!Amanda Gonzales, Director of Fund Development for VOA, stopped by our studio to talk about the many ways you can give back this holiday season.You can make a difference. Please join us this Christmas by choosing one of our 10 Caring Gifts.1. Toys for the Holidays: Gifts for children who are alone through no fault of their ownEach year, Volunteers of America Southeast partners with the Department of Human Resources to ensure that each child who is in foster care receives Christmas gifts. We also provide gifts to church partners who then distribute to families who are struggling to provide Christmas gifts their children.2. Pennies for Patriots: Collect change to support Veterans ServicesVolunteers of America Southeast’s fastest growing program is Veterans Services. Services for veterans include counseling, transitional housing, permanent housing, educational support, job training, and job placement. Pennies for patriots provides support for these services and more. A gym and multipurpose room is under construction at Eagle’s Landing, our transitional housing apartment complex and plans for a chapel have been made to construct on campus as well. Money also supports veterans fees associated with job training, education, transportation, food and hygiene items.3. Food for the Holidays: Feed the need with nonperishable foodWith the cost of food on the rise, many people in the community are suffering from food insufficiency, particularly our senior citizens. Because of the success of this gift last year, Volunteers of America Southeast was able to set up food pantries in two of our senior adult apartment complexes. This provides seniors with low income a sense of security. We also work with church partners to supplement their food pantries.4. Youth Enrichment Services: Art and school supplies distributed youth in needVolunteers of America Southeast has three afterschool care programs in low income areas. We provide educational, support, and family support to at risk youth. Over the summer, we host three summer bible camps for these children giving them the opportunity for spiritual growth and a chance to have a fun, safe summer with other children.5. Caring Kits: Personal care items used for veterans, the less fortunate, homeless, and in times of disasterImmediate care items such as soap, toothbrush,
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toothpaste, deodorant, etc. can truly make a difference in someone’s life. Caring kits are given to homeless veterans at Eagle’s Landing. We also assist the community in times of a disaster. When a tornado, hurricane, fire, or any form of disaster hits, we provide Caring Kits to those in need.6. Sports and Fitness: Used for recreational therapy at our Enrichment Center, Eagle’s Landing, and summer campsItems needed are jump ropes, exercise bands, sports balls, yoga mats, etc. Recreational therapy has proven to strengthen the mind and soul as well as the body. Equipment will be used at our Enrichment Center which serves people with developmental disabilities, Eagle’s Landing which serves homeless veterans, and our youth enrichment program which serves children in need thorough after school care programs and summer camps.7. Blankets: Distributed in tent cities and homeless living on the streetsBlankets are distributed to the elderly, homeless, veterans, children in need, and people with special needs. Blankets are passed out to the homeless during the Homeless coalition’s annual count.8. Coats and Jackets: Distributed to the homeless and less fortunateCoats are distributed to the people in Volunteers of America Southeast’s programs including residents at Eagle’s Landing, low income seniors, and people with developmental disabilities. We also assist the homeless coalition with warm jackets for the homeless in the community.9. Cards and Crafts for seniorsCraft projects are a favorite among school age children and child development centers. Each year, children from all over the community create special greeting cards and Christmas ornaments for individuals in our senior housing program.10. Cash Gift: Support Volunteers of America Southeast’s Greatest NeedNeeds in the community are constantly growing and changing. A cash gift allows Volunteers of America Southeast to provide for an immediate need in the community. Because of the support of business and church partners, we are able to stretch these dollars and maximize the capital investment on each donation.All content 2016, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station).Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>1 dead in Alabama I 10 crash of charter bus carrying Texas band students1 dead in Alabama I 10 crash of charter bus carrying Texas band studentsUpdated: Tuesday, March 13 2018 8:22 PM EDT2018 03 14 00:22:43 GMTA First Class Tours charter bus carrying high school band students from Channelview, Texas, lies in a ravine where it crashed off I 10 in Baldwin County,
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Alabama. (FOX10 News)