Southwest Florida preparing to help families in need this holiday season

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Salvation Army preparing for holiday season. Photo via WINK News

Kari Lefort with Harry Chapin Food Bank cannot wait to see the reactions of families in need this holiday season.

“I’ve had people calling me every year crying about how much they appreciate this gift that they’re able to get,” said Lefort.

That gift: food on the table for families in need. With just two weeks left until Thanksgiving, they’re racing the clock to make sure families are fully prepared this holiday season.

This year, the Harry Chapin Food Bank is doing something different, with $35,000 worth of gift cards.

They’re looking for generous donors to offset the cost with just a $10 donation.

“We really decided a couple of years ago to go with gift cards instead of turkeys because a lot of families, their holiday meal is not turkeys, so the gift cards allow them to really purchase the holiday meal of their choice,” said Lefort.

If you’d like to donate to the Harry Chapin Food Bank, click here.

In addition, the 4th Annual Turkey Drop is being held on Sanibel East End and will benefit Harry Chapin. That drop off is on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 444 Lagoon Drive. You can bring frozen turkeys, non-perishable foods or food baskets.

Just down the road, the Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades is already in the Christmas spirit.

On Thursday, volunteers prepped 70,000 cans and non-perishable food items to be passed out to families in the area. But it’s not just food they’re looking for this year.

They started their Angel Tree drive at Edison Mall on Thursday.

“Our goal is to give it to the parents to give to the children on Christmas morning. They don’t have to know that it comes from the Salvation Army. As far as the child knows, their parents have provided for them for Christmas morning,” said Major Charlotte Gargis with the Salvation Army.

With your help, they’re hoping that everyone can spread a little holiday cheer.

If you’d like to Adopt an Angel, you can visit the Angel Trees at Edison Mall by the Santa display, Salvation Army Family thrift stores in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

“The big need that we always have is from newborn to 3-years-old, and from 7-years-old to 12-years-old boys and girls those are the hard years to shop for,’ said Gargis.

They are hoping to fill the needs and wishes of nearly 4,000 Lee County children this year.

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