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Amanda Galiano

Holiday Help, Donations and Volunteerism

By November 10, 2012

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According to the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, 18.8% of Arkansans live below the poverty line and can't afford enough food to eat. Central Arkansas has over 1,000 homeless according to a 2011 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development count.

Many more Arkansans live just above or at the poverty line. They can't afford to have much of a holiday either.

The holidays encourage most people to be more charitable. We'll see the red buckets of the Salvation Army soon. Food drives for holiday meals have already started at schools. If you want to do more, here are a few ideas share what you have with others.

  • Ideas on Where to Get Help for the Holidays - This list includes some ideas on getting help and getting cheap or free items for the holidays, including toys and food. Many of the organizations that provide help start taking applications as early as August, so it's probably too late to apply for those now, but there are a few other options.
  • Toy and Gift Donations - This link leads to a handful of organizations that distribute toys and clothes to children who wouldn't get them otherwise, like Stuff the Sleigh and Toys for Tots.
  • Local Food Banks - The Arkansas Rice Depot and Arkansas Foodbank are my favorites on this list because they distribute so much food to so many other organizations. This list is designed for people looking for help, but most of the organizations take donations of food, money and time.
  • Local Shelters - Local shelters are in need of many items from toothbrushes and toilet paper to clothing and food. They also need volunteers help to serve meals, clean and often need others types of volunteers too.
  • Animal Shelters - Our furry friends deserve some consideration too. Most of the local animal shelters could use some help around the holidays too.

Feel free to comment and share any other worthy organizations.

Photo Copyright Jeff Smith / Getty Images.

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