BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Organizations, churches and others are pitching in to spread holiday cheer all across Volusia County and in Daytona Beach’s Midtown as well.
The Daytona Beach Police Department prides itself on community outreach. It has three activities planned to help spread holiday cheer on tap.
“It’s extremely important to help those in need during the holidays; especially with how difficult of a year this has been. We want to show the community that we are still here for them,’’ said Daytona Police Chief Jakari Young.
The police department is also participating in the Toys for Tots program.
“We’ll meet the parents out front, give them a wristband and let them shop with their kids. We’ll meet them at the register to pay for the items. We must practice social distancing. We won’t do the food at the end,’’ Young added.
Officers also will give out food baskets at police headquarters, 129 Valor Road. Details were still being hammered out.
For more information or to donate, call the police department at 386-671-5102.
Toys for Tots
It is too late to request toys with the Volusia County Toys for Tots program, but toys and financial support are being accepted until Dec. 16. The program is part of a nationwide initiative led by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Toys will be distributed only to those who pre-registered with the program or its partners through the program and its partners.
This year’s partners are the Joyce Cusack Resource Center in the Spring Hill area of DeLand; Hispanic Initiatives; Early Learning Coalition; Daytona Beach Police Department; Daytona Beach Housing Authority; New Smyrna Beach Housing Authority and Derbyshire Place.
“We’re starting to get a lot in right now. We haven’t been too affected by the coronavirus pandemic. People are still giving. It’s important that people continue to give so that we can make sure kids have a wonderful Christmas,” said Tarayn Nix, coordinator, of Volusia County’s Toys for Tots.
Those wishing to donate can do so at www.volusiacounty.toysfortots.org.
Crab Stop still giving
For years, the Crab Stop held a bicycle giveaway via raffle at the Crab Stop at 240 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. or Crab Stop II at 933 W. International Speedway Blvd. Currently, only Crab Stop II is open.
There is no bike giveaway this year, but owner Oliver Ross came up with another option.
Since Thanksgiving, his business has paid for holiday meals and gifts for random people shopping in retail and grocery stores.
“We are still giving back but just in a different way. Also, with the coronavirus a lot of things have changed,’’ Ross told the Daytona Times.
To date, eight families have been assisted. More will be helped up to Christmas.
“I saw everyone giving out Turkeys during Thanksgiving. I decided to do something different. The money we used for the bikes we’re spending this way. I find people out shopping. When you’re in the stores, you can see more. It’s from the heart,’’ Ross added.
Community Healing Project will hold its third annual Winter Extravaganza, formerly known as the Gift Grab & Coat Giveaway, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Morning Star Baptist Church, 635 Madison Ave., Daytona Beach.
There will be a toy and coat giveaway, book reading, arts and crafts, musical performances and refreshments.
Community Healing Project is partnering with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Burlington Coat Factory to give away 500 coats. Coats can also be donated to Burlington Coat Factory.
“We are doing the same thing. We changed the name. We need the community help to get as many coats as possible this year,” commented Dyrell Johnson, president of the Community Healing Project.
Coats will be collected up to Jan. 20. Leftover coats will go to local churches, shelters, schools and nursing homes.
“This has been a crazy year. That is why it’s more important than ever to give back,’’ Johnson added.
For more information or to donate, call 386-682-0650.
Bryon Center Christmas Party
The Rose Marie Bryon Children’s Center at 625 South Street is switching up its annual Christmas.
It will be held at New Life Church Ministries at Derbyshire Road on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. It will be a drive-up event with gifts, food, entertainment and games.
“We had to change it up due to coronavirus concerns,” said Janet Bryant, executive director of the center.
The Ho Ho Ho Girls at the Halifax River Yacht Club will be providing toys.
Anyone wishing to donate should contact Janet Bryant at 386-316-3910.