Did you know you are holding Void’s 50th issue in your hand right now?! What an accomplishment! The community has been good to us, so good that we couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate than giving back to it and encouraging our readers to do the same.
Throughout the issue you will find a list of 50 local charities working to make North Florida a better place. They service people, animals, the environment, and more, often times with little to no funding and a small staff. Each of these incredible organizations count on people like you to step in and fill the gap. We’re encouraging you to pick, at minimum, one of these agencies and give them the assistance they are in such dire need of this holiday season. You will find that it’s not required to have a lot of money to give either. Many of the groups simply need bodies to help complete tasks.
Also included are suggestions for random acts of kindness. Most of these require almost no money. Perhaps you could be extra jolly this season and complete one of these daily, while also supporting the work of one of the great organizations listed.
No matter what you do this season, simply do something. The life we live is much bigger than ourselves. People matter, our pets matter, and the sustainability and long-term health of the environment matters. When you help others, you’re helping yourself. You improve the overall health and well-being of your community.
So get out there, spread cheer, get dirty, create smiles and be happy.
– Jesse Wilson | Contributor
50 Ways to Get Involved
Pet Rescue North
A non-profit, no-kill animal shelter that cares for abandoned dogs and cats.
Safe Animal Shelter
Clay county’s oldest no-kill shelter, created to
preserve and provide quality of life for lost, deserted and abused pets.
Jacksonville Humane Society
Provides comfort, care and compassion to animals in need.
A non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of feral and abandoned cats.
Friends of Jacksonville Animals
A non-profit working directly with Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services to benefit the lives of shelter animals.
River City Community Animal Hospital
A non-profit dedicated to ending the tragedy of our community’s overpopulation of pets.
The Old Dog House
A dog rescue organization dedicated to saving the lives of senior dogs.
Catty Shack Ranch
Their mission is to provide a safe environment and a loving home for endangered
S.A.F.E. Pet Rescue
Their goal is to save adoptable dogs and cats from euthanasia in Northeast Florida.
What they need:
Volunteers, financial contributions, or miscellaneous wish list items found on their websites.
Children and Families
Their mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope.
Helping underprivileged students and families in the greater Jacksonville area during the holiday season.
Ronald McDonald House
The organization supports the health and happiness of children by providing housing and services to those who are critically ill, chronically ill or seriously injured.
Boys and Girls Club
Their mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
Wolfson Children’s Hospital
The only full-service tertiary hospital for children in the region, serving North Florida, South Georgia and beyond.
Metro Kids Konnection
The organization is a youth program created to help at-risk children have a chance at being a positive member of their community.
Toys for Tots
Their mission is to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas with new toys.
Their mission is to improve the lives of children and families through a variety of different services and programs.
A non-profit organization that serves children, young adults and families with a variety of educational, developmental and mental health needs
The Sanctuary on 8th Street
Located in the Springfield community, the organization provides a stimulating environment for inner-city children and youth.
Wounded Warrior Project
Their mission is to help injured service members by providing programs and services to meet the needs of these members.
BEAM, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry
Their mission is to help families through emergencies and guide them to self-sufficiency.
The HEAL Foundation
A non-profit serving as an outreach organization providing, educational programs and camps tailored to the needs of our autism community.
An organization that seeks to provide a traditional home environment where each child can experience the security of boundaries and the acceptance of unconditional love.
What they need:
Volunteers, online wish lists, new toys (Toys for Tots), and financial contributions.
Jax Beach Brother’s Keeper
A movement to help the homeless.
The organization provides food, clothing, shelter and a variety of services to assist those in need.
Northeast Florida’s largest provider of comprehensive services for homeless men, women and children.
Family Promise Jax
A non-profit, interfaith hospitality network providing temporary shelter, meals, hospitality and case management for families experiencing homelessness.
Clara White Mission
Their mission is to prevent and reduce homelessness through advocacy,
housing, job training, employment and working in partnership with the
The organization was created to provide assistance on an individual level for the homeless.
City Rescue Mission
This corporation provides food, clothing, shelter, emergency services and residential recovery programs to homeless men, women, and women with children.
Emergency Services & Homeless Coalition of Northeast Florida
This organization coordinates efforts to prevent and end homelessness within the Jacksonville community.
St. Francis House
This organization engages the homeless in achieving stability, self-sufficiency and a viable plan for their future.
What they need:
Volunteers, material donations (clothing, first-aid items, ect.), financial contributions.
St. Johns River Keepers
Their mission is to work on behalf of the community for clean and healthy waters in the St. Johns River.
Dig Local and BFLN
The organization believes that the community gardens, farmers markets and accessible education are sustainable routes to a future where everyone can eat
Surfrider Foundation: First Coast Chapter
Volunteer-activist network dedicated to its mission to protect and enjoy our oceans, waves and beaches.
Keepers of the Coast
An organization concerned about local conservation issues, specifically those affecting the beaches and oceans so important to the founding members.
South Ponte Vedra-Vilano Beach Preservation Association, Inc.
Established to help restore, protect and preserve the dune system and habitat of the beaches of South Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beach.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
Their mission is to cultivate a unique environment for recreation, education and inspiration.
What they need:
Volunteers, financial contribution, and to take action.
Random Acts of Kindness
Let someone merge over or get in front of you while driving.
I know, sounds terrible. Just breathe, relax and be nice. It’s not the end of the world, and you’ll still be on time to your destination.
Smile at 15 strangers.
Smiling alone is proven to make some happy sensors trigger, so show off those pearly whites and make people happy!
Make two lunches and give one away.
Not only will this person thank you, but so will their stomach.
Adopt a rescue pet.
They’re are thousands of animals who need a loving home this holiday season.
Put money into an expired meter.
The lack of ticket for this stranger will lead to some great karma for you.
Pick up trash when you see it.
Whether it’s on the beach or the road, trash is trash. It takes a few seconds to put something into the proper disposal. The Earth will thank you.
Give flowers out to random women and girls on the street.
They will blush, and you will feel great for doing it.
Stop someone with toilet paper on their shoe.
You might get a, “Oh my goodness thank you so much,” out of this one … maybe even a hug.