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December 24, 2018

The holiday season is in full swing. People will exchange gifts with their family members, friends, and loved ones.

However, there are families who are unable to do the same. Holiday charity drives are a wonderful time to consider donating food, toys, and other items to those who are most in need.

In the Sarasota and Bradenton area, there are food and toy drives that you can still contribute to if you would like to help children and families. Your contribution will be helpful, as a number of charity drives and toy drives are still need your help.

Here is a list of holiday charity drives to consider donating to for this holiday season.

Charity Drives

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is having a toy drive. In its second year, thetoy drive will benefit over 1,000 children, from infants up to 18 years old. Donated items must be new and also unwrapped. Donations are accepted from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm at 6019 Cattleridge Blvd. in Sarasota.

Suggested donations for this holiday toy drive are:

  • Gift cards
  • Sporting equipment
  • Bicycles
  • Board games
  • Puzzles
  • Movies
  • CD’s

The Bradenton Marauders are holding their Marauders’ Holiday Dash and Drive. It consists of three events: registration, a 5k run, and a one-mile Family Fun Run. Registering for the Holiday Dash and Drive will allow guests to receive a race t-shirt, promotional items, and a bag. After the main race, there will be several events afterward, including an after party with food trucks and live music.

Proceeds to the Holiday Dash and Drive will go to the Salvation Army and toy donations will go to Marty’s Toy Drive. The Holiday Dash and Drive is located in Bradenton, on 27th St. E. Hours for donations to be picked up are from 10 AM to 6 PM.

The Bradenton Police Department will be holding their “Fill the Truck” campaign for children who may not be able to celebrate Christmas this year. This is not the first time that the event has been held, even in December. Earlier this month, there were so many toys donated to the Bradenton Police Department that they have decided to extend the donation timeline.

As a result of community support, the event will continue throughout the month of December. If you would like to donate to the Toy Drive, the Bradenton Police Department will only accept new and unwrapped toys. All collected donations will benefit the Bradenton Dream Center and Family Services. Donations can be dropped off at the Bradenton Police Department, located at 100 10th St. W.

Additional drives to consider

There are additional drives to consider if you are interested in donating food or toys this holiday season. Zachos Realty & Design Group is holding a Toys for Tots drive this month. New, unwrapped toys are requested for anyone who wants to donate.

The hours for dropping off donations are from 9 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday. Their location is at 536 S. Orange Ave. in Sarasota.

Toys for Tots has additional drives in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas that will benefit children in need.

It is not too late to donate to causes that will benefit children and families this holiday season. If you would like to donate to any of the drives above, it will greatly benefit the foundation and its mission. It will also ensure that a child and their family will have a reason to celebrate the holidays this year.


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