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Holiday giving (back)

You might call this generation of kids the “gimme” generation. They crave the latest tech gadgets, the hippest shoes and the hottest trends. And they feel entitled to them all.

For parents, it’s hard to balance — giving to their kids while instilling in them the value of giving to others. This year, is here to help.

Here are just a few of the community organizations that welcome kids to give of their time, talents or resources during the holidays. Share our list — or your own — with the youngsters in your life. It just might be the most important gift you give them this year.


Volunteers of all ages are needed to help prepare, assemble and deliver more than 6,000 Thanksgiving meals from eight locations in Broward and Miami-Dade. The effort is being organized by Branches, formerly South Florida Urban Ministries, which has served the community for 40 years.

More than 1,500 volunteers are expected on Thanksgiving morning to put together meals in assembly-line fashion. Meals will include turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, a roll with butter and a piece of pie. Meals will be delivered along with information about community resources in English, Spanish and Creole.

Branches has partnered with several United Methodist congregations as well as Temple Israel to organize the meal delivery. To volunteer, donate food, organize a food drive or sponsor meals, visit

Christmas party

Since 2007, survivors of domestic abuse have gotten a fresh start through No More Tears, a Plantation-based nonprofit. For the past five years, No More Tears has held a Christmas party for the women and children the organization has served.

This year’s party is Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. The venue is still being determined, said No More Tears founder Somy Ali.

“The objective is to catch up with former survivors and give new survivors a place to go to during this difficult time,” Ali said.

The event benefits 150 to 300 women and children. Gifts are primarily donated by No More Tears supporters.

“Our donors and supporters attend and get to meet with the survivors and see where their money goes, firsthand,” Ali said.

Kids can help by donating gifts for children ages newborn to teens. They can volunteer to help wrap presents or help out at the event. Call Ali at 954-646-2955.

Gifts for kids

The Salvation Army Angel Tree program helps 3,200 underprivileged children in Broward County receive holiday gifts.

Paper ornaments with each child’s name and dream gift are placed on Christmas trees at South Florida malls waiting to be “adopted.”

Volunteers at the malls help shoppers select and adopt an Angel and buy them a holiday gift.

“If it weren’t for these volunteers, many children would wake up on Christmas with nothing to open,” said Terri Lynn, a spokeswoman for the Angel Tree program. “This is a perfect opportunity for children and teens to get involved in helping the less fortunate during the holidays.”

Angel Trees can be found Dec. 2-16 at the Galleria, Westfield Broward, Coral Square, and Pembroke Lake malls.

School clubs, youth groups, Girl Scout troops, social clubs and individuals are welcome to adopt Angels, Lynn said. Visit a participating mall to pitch in.

Pennies for patients

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, known as LLS, helps people with blood cancers through research, financial assistance and lobbying for medical coverage for treatment.

The Pennies for Patients program works with elementary, middle and high schools in Miami-Dade and Broward to get kids to donate pennies and raise money for LLS. Classrooms from participating schools compete to raise the most money and win prizes such as a pasta party from Olive Garden or pizza gift cards.

To help, contact Rhonda Siegel, school and youth program director, at 954-744-5313 or

Homeless help

The Kids Can Foundation, made up of about 100 kids ages 1 to 16, is holding a fundraiser to help homeless families for the holidays. The event is Dec. 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center, Orlove Auditorium, 5850 S. Pine Island Rd., Davie.

Participants will create Houses for Change, house-shaped collection boxes for coins to be donated to two nonprofits that help homeless families, the Broward Outreach Center and Family Promise, the national sponsor of Houses for Change.

Cost is $10 per child for supplies. Pay in advance at or at the door. Registration is encouraged. Contact or call 954-873-6930.