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The giving season

Looking for ways to give back this Christmas? Check out these local toy drives

MIAMI | Christmas is the season of giving, not only to those we know and love but also to the stranger and the poor. You can get into the spirit of giving — and perhaps make these weeks of Advent a bit more meaningful — by checking out these toy drives hosted by archdiocesan churches.

This is not a complete list, just those we know about, in alphabetical order. If you want to add your church or school drive to this list, email [email protected].

CHURCHES

Our Lady of Lourdes, Miami

Members of the church’s St. Vincent de Paul Society visit applicant families in their homes, assess their needs for assistance, and offer solidarity, prayer, encouragement and guidance. There are several ways to help:

  • Green Angels: donate a wrapped gift or toy to fulfill a wish made by a member of one of the families helped during the past year.
  • Pink Angels: donate a gift card from a grocery store or retailer to help provide food or clothing for one of the families needing help during the coming year.
  • White Archangels: donate via check or money order to help families in need with rent, utilities, medications, transportation, and other necessities. Make checks payable to “Society of St. Vincent de Paul, OLOL conference.”

Select your angel from the tree located at the entrance of the church, 11291 S.W. 142 Ave., Miami, and return it along with your donation during the weekend Masses, no later than Dec. 17. A member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society will be at the tree to collect the donations. More information at 305-386-4121.


Our Lady of the Lakes, Miami Lakes

Now through Friday, Dec. 20, the Women’s Club is organizing the church’s annual toy drive. Pick an ornament from the tree in the church foyer, 15801 N.W. 67 Ave., Miami Lakes, and purchase a gift for the indicated age group and gender. Toys can be dropped off in the church lobby on Saturdays and Sundays and at the gift shop on weekdays. More information at 305-558-2202.

St. Joseph, Miami Beach

Box of Joy drive provides a Christmas gift to children from a missionary country. Pick up a box at the parish office, 8670 Byron Ave., Miami Beach, and return it with a small toy that fits in a shoe box plus $9 to cover the shipping and provide other needs for the family. More information at 305-866-6567.


St. Patrick, Miami Beach

Christmas toy drive: Collecting unwrapped, non-violent toys and $25 gift cards now through Monday, Dec. 16. The drop-off location is the parish office in the bell tower, 3716 Garden Ave., Miami Beach. Drop-off hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. More information at 305-531-1124.


St. Pius X, Fort Lauderdale

Toy drive for migrant families: The goal is to provide a toy for the nearly 500 children of migrant farmworkers belonging to San Isidro Church in Pompano Beach.

Bring new, unwrapped toys or sweaters (for children up to age 12) and place them in the food baskets at the church entrances, 2511 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. No battery-driven toys please. If shopping is a problem, a check designated for the "Toy Project" made payable to the church may be placed in the collection basket or dropped off at the rectory. More information at 954-564-1763.


SCHOOLS

Columbus High School, Miami

The Warm Ears, Warm Hearts drive is collecting any type of winter clothing — new or gently used — such as scarves, mittens, jackets, etc., to help over 400 homeless families this winter. Donation boxes are at the front of the school, 3000 S.W. 87 Ave., Miami. More information at 305-223-5650, ext. 2614, or [email protected].


ORGANIZATIONS

Cross Catholic Outreach-Box of Joy

Volunteers are needed every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 15 to process the Boxes of Joy at TLA Logistics, 2100 N.W. 129 Ave., Suite 104, Miami. This is an opportunity for those who are 13 years old and above to earn community service hours. Volunteer shifts are from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 1:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon-5 p.m. on Sundays. The boxes, filled with small gifts, will be delivered to children in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. To register or for more information, go to www.crosscatholic.org/boxofjoy.


St. Vincent de Paul Society

The Radio Paz Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is collecting toys for underprivileged children, to be given away at Juan Pablo Duarte Park, 1776 N.W. 28 St., Miami, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. Donations of new toys can be dropped off at Radio Paz’s offices, 1779 N.W. 28 St., Miami, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. More information at 305-280-6572 or contact [email protected].

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