FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2022) – The impacts of Hurricane Ian are being felt across all of Southwest Florida and will be for months to come. Many families that struggled financially before Ian are now in even more dire straits, having lost everything to the storm, and will not be able to afford gifts for their children this holiday season. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida (CAC) is stepping in and will be hosting its annual toy drive and the Adopt-A-Family program to collect holiday gifts for families in need of assistance, which has grown exponentially since Hurricane Ian. Donations for the toy drive can be made between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., from Nov. 1 to Dec. 3 at the following locations:
- Children’s Advocacy Center, 3830 Evans Ave, Fort Myers;
- Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers;
- Henderson Franklin Attorneys at Law, 1715 Monroe Street, Fort Myers;
- Markham Norton Mosteller & Wright, 8961 Conference Drive, Suite 1, Fort Myers;
- Seed & Bean Market, 1520 Broadway Cir #107, Fort Myers and
- Cape Coral Police Department, 1100 Cultural Park Blvd, Cape Coral.
Hurricane Ian has brought an abundant amount of stress into the lives of Southwest Florida families. Children are no exception, as their lives have been disrupted due to displacement from their homes and schools, dealing with family financial stress, and school being out of session. As the aftermath of Hurricane Ian still impacts SWFL locals, it is important, now more than ever, to donate. When you donate to the CAC this season, you’re bringing holiday joy to children in our community.
There are two main Holiday Programs: the Adopt-A-Family Program and the annual Toy Drive. To Adopt-A-Family, the CAC identifies families who are most in need of help during the holidays and assigns them a donor Angel. The donor provides items to support the family as a whole.
You can also donate through the Toy Drive by bringing in unwrapped toys, new clothing, books, journals, and also gift cards for boys or girls, infants to age 17. The CAC also utilizes these items for an on-site “Santa’s Workshop”, where parents can pick-up toys and clothing for their kids.
Children’s Advocacy Center CEO, Julie Boudreaux, encourages the community to support Hurricane Ian relief by sponsoring families in need this holiday season. “Most families simply cannot afford to buy gifts this year, especially after the financial and emotional burden of Hurricane Ian,” says Boudreaux. “Sponsoring a family is such a great way to pay it forward and spread holiday cheer. We gave over 200 gifts last year and can’t wait to see this year’s impact. Families are so appreciative of the help and their smiles are priceless.”
Since 1981, the CAC’s mission has been to provide a coordinated response to victims of child abuse and neglect to improve the lives of at-risk children and their families through prevention services. The CAC provides abuse determination services, therapeutic counseling, pet therapy, advocacy, and parenting education.
The CAC’s holiday programs are a wonderful way to embrace the holiday spirit and spread the joy of the season. To support their holiday programs and other initiatives that help children and families in need, please call 239-939-2808 or consider making a tax-deductible donation at cac-swfl.org. If you are a local business interested in hosting a toy drop site this holiday season, please contact Rachel Peacock, CAC Development Director at email@example.com.
About Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida
Since 1981, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, Inc. (CAC) has worked to improve the lives of children and their families through a coordinated response to child abuse and neglect, offering them a safe and friendly environment in which to heal. CAC provides abuse determination services, pet therapy, therapeutic counseling, parenting education, and prevention programs in Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Charlotte Counties. All services are provided free of charge. For more information, please call 239-939-2808 or visit cac-swfl.org. CAC is a United Way Partner Agency.