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Still time to donate

By Staff | Dec 27, 2011

There are still opportunities to make a last-minute holiday donation.

The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties is among several organizations that are still looking to the community to help them help those in need this season. The Red Kettle Campaign will wrap up at 3 p.m. today.

The group was aiming to raise $600,000 and, as of Thursday, they had reached 76 percent of its goal, spokeswoman Merrilu Bennett reported.

Until the Red Kettle Campaign comes to an end, Fuccillo Automotive Group will match any race-for-the-goal donations to The Salvation Army, up to $100,000 in total.

Donations can be made by calling 239-278-1551 or can be dropped off at The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties, 10291 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers,

At the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Associate Director Joyce Jacobs pointed out that their food drive runs through the year’s end.

“We always need donations,” she said. “Hunger doesn’t stop just because Christmas is over. People are hungry all throughout the year.”

Those who wish to help this holiday season can stop by any Publix or Sweetbay Supermarket and purchase one of three levels of bags of food. Last week, the food bank received four tractor-trailers filled with food.

“That helps tremendously,” Jacobs said.

People are welcome to drop off donations at the food bank, too.

Jacobs added that people can donate money with a check or online.

“We get it instantaneously, so that helps us tremendously,” she said.

The food bank can buy $6 worth of food for every dollar received.

For those still holding onto toys that they intended to donate, Toys for Tots of Lee County is taking last-minute presents at Champion Self Storage in the Cape and at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage venues located throughout Lee County.

The regular drop-off locations had been picked up as of Thursday.

“The primary thing right now is to get people fed,” Judy Bowler, the coordinator for the local Toys for Tots group, said.

Last year, the organization helped more than 6,000 families with more than 12,000 children. This year’s numbers were not available as of Thursday.

“I know we’ve exceeded that this year,” Bowler said.

Locally, the Cape Coral Caring Center had already sorted out the toys for those families in need this year. Executive Director Fred Cull said Thursday that the center could still use donations of food and monetary donations.

“There is no end to what we would accept,” he said.

Last year, the Cape center helped more than 14,000 individuals, which translated into 4,235 families. It handed out about 88 tons of food.

“We are on pace to break that record this year,” Cull said.