FishHawk Holiday Toy Drives

Zoe Jean-Charles, Reporter

As the holiday season approaches with the end of Thanksgiving weekend, 2.5 million children will be homeless at some point before the year’s end, an estimated 54 million American households will face food insecurity and millions of stray domesticated animals will be without adequate food and shelter. With the beginning of the COVID-19 virus, these rates have risen exponentially and continue to do so. 

   Right here in Lithia, companies such as Starbucks are holding their own drives to help those who are less fortunate or need a helping hand. The local Starbucks located on Bayberry Glen Dr. is holding a toy drive for unopened new toys and will be donating them to Toys of Tots so that 12% of children whose families can’t afford new toys or gifts and who celebrate the holiday of Christmas.

   Similarly, Newsome High School held a canned food drive competition before Thanksgiving break with the winning first period being awarded a doughnut party. Newsome accepted dried and canned goods and will be donating them to charity to help feed those facing food insecurity or hunger during the holidays. Food insecurity is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” This can lead to malnutrition and food related diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, which are already on the rise throughout American households. 

   In parallel with Newsome, Randall Middle School is hosting its own Towel and Blanket Drive in search of blankets for dogs and other animals in pounds and shelters who will not have a home during the winter season. Millions of dogs and cats each year will be homeless or stray during the winter, or in inadequate shelter, and suffering in the cold temperatures. 

   Outside of Lithia and Fishhawk, both local and international companies can be utilized to help those in need. Food banks are also a good way to give back, both by donating canned and dry goods and volunteering to help cook and distribute food. It’s important to remember that kindness goes a long way. Even for those who can’t donate, a good deed here and there has the power to change someone’s holiday season.