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Children of the Nations, whose mission is to provide every available means possible to enrich the livesCOTN shoes of children and encourage them to transform nations, reached out to the Give Back Committee (GBC) in need of donations for their Happy Feet Shoe Drive. We were grateful to be able to contribute seventeen pairs of shoes, especially in time for the holiday season. Shoes might not seem like a very exciting gift when compared to a bicycle or set of building blocks, but for children in Malawi, Africa, shoes are a necessity to protect their feet from parasites, cuts and infections and afford them the opportunity to attend school. To learn more about Children of the Nations and other donation opportunities, such as meals for orphaned children, mosquito nets and more, visit their website at cotni.org.

Any opportunity to assist the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida equates to a surefire way of bringing Coalition for the Homeless Christmassmiles to the faces of all ages, which warms our hearts every time. The holiday season is an especially meaningful time of year to help fulfill wishes. In true Christmas fashion, the Coalition for the Homeless treat their residents to endless merriment and joy, with the help of selfless volunteers who serve hot meals, sing Christmas carols, spend quality time with the 200 children and their families and even a special guest appearance from a present-clad Santa Clause. The GBC added to the holiday cheer by donating $25 Wal-Mart gift cards to help make things a little more festive and bright. To learn more about the Coalition for the Homeless and ways to donate and volunteer, visit their website at www.centralfloridahomeless.org.

For the second year in a row, the GBC jumped on board one of Central Florida’s most treasured holiday-donation programs, XL106.7’s Baby DJ. The Baby DJ program was created to help spread the magic of Christmas with impoverished families. Each year, the community joins together and donates toys, food and Christmas trees to Baby DJnearly 3,500 kids. The best part about Baby DJ is the ability to adopt a family, read a personalized letter detailing their current situation, along with their families’ wish list, and help make their dreams become a reality. It’s incredibly touching to know you contributed directly to a wonderful Christmas morning that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise—plus, the shopping is a ton of fun! This year the GBC selected three deserving families and had a blast selecting toys, clothes and other exciting gifts. We hope they enjoy everything as much as we did. To learn more about XL106.7’s Baby DJ Program, visit their website at www.babydj.org.

From our Give Back Committee family to yours, we hope you had a safe and happy holiday with loved ones and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.