Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Year of Giving

In 2013, giving back to the community was a theme. In the past, we have donated clothes to charities for resale and participated in food drives during the holidays. This year, we did our best to give year round. Here are the organizations we have supported and the reasons why we did.

The Second Harvest Food Bank provides food to numerous community agencies in the North Florida area. These community agencies then distribute to individuals who are struggling to provide food for themselves and their family. In March, we attended the Great Chefs Competition, which was a fundraiser for Second Harvest. 100% of the ticket sales went to Second Harvest. It was a fun event for a wonderful cause.

I also led the food drive for my work this year. It was a rewarding experience to deliver 351 pounds of food to their main warehouse!

Why did we choose Second Harvest? Bottom line? Food is really important in our home. We show love through food. And I am super cranky when I don't eat. Seriously though, the thought of families not being able to eat breaks our heart. For so many kids, their main meal comes from their school. We love being able to contribute in some way to reduce the number of hungry people in our community.

BEAM stands for Beaches Emergency Assistance Mission. Their mission is to help keep families in their homes as well as help them become self-sufficient. Among their many services include job/interview assistance, a local food pantry (including gardening boxes for people to grow their own veggies), and assistance with utility bills.  They also organize a Holiday Gift Program to help play Santa for hundred of local Beaches children.

Why BEAM? Their focus is helping people in our local Beaches community. They help folks who could be my neighbor or someone I see in the grocery store. You never know. I'm hoping to spend time in 2014 assisting people with their resumes and interviewing skills.

The Church of Eleven22 is my home church. They organize numerous mission trips each year. This year, we were able to support friends who were embarking on their first Mission trip as a married couple. They are a Godly couple who live their faith out loud.

Why support? Because the work they will be doing is important!!

Wolfson Children's Hospital is our local Children's hospital. Rather than each community hospital having in-patient facilities, our local hospitals refer all the pediatric patients to Wolfson. We've had good friends whose children have been admitted in the past. The staff is nothing short of amazing. Being a non-profit, they depend on development relationships for a lot of their funding. 

Why Wolfson? First and foremost, supporting them is a way to thank them for all the great care they have provided to First Coast children for many years. Since becoming parents, it is even more important that we do what we can to help their mission.

I learned about Friends of Jacksonville Animals (a.k.a FOJA) from my friend LL. She is very active in advancing their mission of raising funds to benefit the lives of shelter animals. They are heavily involved in adoption events around the city. The dedicated volunteers of FOJA give a voice to our animal friends.

So why FOJA? Our dog Truffle is a rescue. We adopted him from another family who no longer could care for him. They adopted him from a shelter. He had been found abandoned with his brothers and sisters in Central Florida. I could not imagine our lives without Truffle. He's not the most polite dog, but he is ours. Period.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. These organizations are all doing something important for our community!


  1. Love all of this! This year, we've made donations to the March of Dimes, our church, the American Cancer Society, the SPCA, Second Harvester's Food Bank of Louisiana, CASA, and on Saturday I'm going to the Ronald McDonald House to drop off a donation and make cookies with the residents there! I am also considering going to Walmart or Kmart and paying off someone's layaway who may need it. :)

  2. I love this post! (Just a heads up: I may steal this idea in the next couple of weeks) I love hearing how others are involved in their community and learning about new charities and causes. And I just adore Andie's Walmart idea! Brilliant!