Editor's note: Local businesses and nonprofits are helping out those in need for the holidays. If your organization wants to be included, email information to email@example.com.
MANATEE -- The Bridge Street merchants will host Christmas on Bridge Street from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 15. Event proceeds go to the Manatee County Food Bank, the island all-denominations food pantry and to Manatee County Animal Services.
They will be collecting canned goods for people and canned and bags of animal food for shelter animals. They will also have bins at the event so if you are planning on coming bring a food item for people or pets. Please drop off all food donations to the following locations up until Dec. 21:
n Hancock Bank, 5324 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
n Bridge Street Bazaar, 117 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
n AMI Sun newspaper, 9801 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria
For more information on Christmas on Bridge Street or the food drive, contact Caryn Hodge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-778-8705.
Sarasota law firm collecting toys for Tots
SARASOTA -- Florida criminal defense law firm Finebloom, Haenel & Higgins has partnered with Second Chance Last Opportunity of Sarasota to help provide holiday meals and serve as a drop-off point for the charity's annual Toy Drive.
Clients, friends and employees of the firm are encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys appropriate for children from newborn through age 12. The children enrolled in Second Chance Last Opportunity's programs will choose their own gifts at the organization's holiday party, which will be held Dec. 22.
Cutoff date for donation of toys and gifts is Dec. 20. New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the office at 200 North Washington Blvd., Sarasota. Information: 941-953-2622.
Grill helps with Feeding Empty Little Tummies
HOLMES BEACH -- Island Gourmet Grill, 5910 Marina Drive, is accepting donations for F.E.L.T. "Feeding Empty Little Tummies", of Manatee County for the month of December.
According to organizers of Feeding Empty Little Tummies Inc., $25 will feed one child for six weeks. Typical backpack food items needed include oatmeal and cereal packs, pasta cups, fruit cups, raisins, beans with franks, and peanuts and Almonds. No glass containers, tab tops are preferred.
For more information on how you can help call 941 747-8804 or visit www.feltinc.org. Send checks, made payable to: FELT Inc. of Manatee, mail to Island Gourmet Grill at 5910 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217.
For more information, call (941) 778-0333.
Blood bank partnering with Child Protection Center
MANATEE -- Suncoast Communities Blood Bank is partnering with the Child Protection Center. The blood bank is asking its blood and platelet donors to bring in an item from the Child Protection wish list when they donate blood through Dec. 18. Items needed include coloring books, crayons, art supplies, socks, diapers, bandages, dog treats, jump ropes and new or gently used clothing. Donors who bring in an item from the wish list will be eligible to win a $250 shopping spree, donated by Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota.
Items may be dropped off in Manatee County at donor centers at Lakewood Ranch Plaza, 1731 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., and Bayshore Gardens Shopping Center, 6026 14th St. W.
School for austitic children holds community food drive
SARASOTA -- Beyond the Spectrum, a nonprofit school and therapeutic clinic for children with autism and related disabilities, is conducting 21 days of giving back to the community food drive with a goal of 200 items. The school is collecting items through Dec. 21 at 7333 International Place, Sarasota.
United Way Women helping Just for Girls
BRADENTON -- The Women's Leadership Initiative of the United Way of Manatee County will be visiting Just for Girls, 1011 21st St. E., on Dec. 14 for their annual Holiday with a Heart. Girls may select a wrapped gift for an adult man and woman in their life, providing the girls an opportunity to share the joy of giving. School supplies will be given to the girls as well.
More than 200 gifts will be wrapped at the United Way office, 1701 14th St. W., starting 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Anyone who would like to participate with donations of wrapping paper, tape or their time is invited. Information or to participate, e-mail Marianne Moyer at email@example.com.
Annual Be A Santa toa Senior event begins
BRADENTON -- Home Instead Senior Care is sponsoring its eighth annual Be a Santa to a Senior event benefiting nursing home residents in Manatee County.
Until Dec. 12, a tree with names and gift suggestions is at the Bealls Outlet Westgate store, 3905 Manatee Ave. W.
Purchase the gift suggestion and leave the item at the store. Volunteers will wrap and deliver the gifts. Information: 941-739-3050.
AutoMaxx Sarasota serves as food donation center
SARASOTA -- AutoMaxx of Sarasota has announced it will serve as a food donation center for All Faiths Food Bank of Sarasota.
A food donation barrel has been set up in the dealership at 8490 N. Tamiami Trail. All Faiths Food Bank encourages donations of protein-packed foods like canned meats and seafood; canned fruit and juices; canned vegetables; and whole grains, cereal, pasta rice and beans. No glass containers will be accepted.
Lakewood Ranch Town Halljoins Manatee food drive
LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., is participating in the Manatee County Food Bank Drive. There will be a collection barrel in the Town Hall front lobby until Dec. 19.
Burgers & Brew supports food bank, Toys for Tots
MANATEE -- AJ's Burgers & Brew, 3550 53rd Ave. W., in support of the Manatee Food Bank and Toys for Tots, is asking customers to bring in a nonperishable food item and receive $1 off a burger, sandwich or entrée.
Those who bring in an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots will receive a free beer with the purchase of a burger, sandwich or entrée.
All discounts are for dine-in only meals.
Mascot Mania to raise money for families
BRADENTON -- AMF Bradenton Lanes, 4208 Cortez Road, will be hosting the inaugural "Mascott Mania" fundraiser to benefit needy families this Christmas 7-9 p.m. Dec. 8.
Bring your company team, Mascot & Friends, for a night of fun and fundraising.
Cost: $15 per person includes two hours of bowling and shoe rental.
For every person registered, AMF Bradenton Lanes will donate $10 to the Food Bank of Manatee County.
Information: 941-758-8838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drop off points for toys
n HOLMES BEACH -- Lois Gift, branch manager for Hancock Bank, 5324 Gulf Drive. Bring your new, unwrapped toy 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 p.m. Friday. Anyone unable to purchase a toy can make a donation by check payable to the Marines Toys For Tots Foundation. If you are unable to drop off your toy donation, someone will be happy to pick it up for you.
n PALMETTO -- Slicks Garage, 923 Fifth St. W.
n EAST MANATEE -- The Gulf Coast Corvette Club and Mustang Club of West Central Florida are joining forces for the 16th annual Toys for Tots Car, Truck, and Bike Show 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Bealls parking lot, 7365 52nd Place E.
Cost for participants to show their car is $20 registration fee or a new, unwrapped toy of equal value.
n LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Dr. Maribel Santos-Cordero, Dentistry for Children and Adolescents and Dr. Francisco Marcano, Sarasota General Dentistry, 7315 Merchant Court, Suite A, Lakewood Ranch.
Deadline for a new, unwrapped gift is noon Dec. 14. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday until noon, closed for lunch noon to 1 p.m.
n BRADENTON -- Rep. Jim Boyd's district office, 717 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 100 (entrance on Manatee Avenue). For more information, call 941-708-4968.
n ELLENTON -- The Ellenton Steakhouse, under The Ice Arena dome at 5309 29th St. E., Ellenton, is a Toys for Tots dropoff point and the Food Bank of Manatee County location. Open 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
n BRADENTON -- Keller Williams Realty of Manatee, 4520 S.R. 64 E., has a Toys For Tots barrel in its lobby.
n BRADENTON -- America's Super Pawn, Inc., 5137 14th St. W., is sponsoring its second Season of Giving event benefitting All Faiths Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee.
From now until Dec. 18, anyone bringing in a food or toy donation will receive a ticket to enter a drawing for a new Lenovo Ideapad laptop computer.
n BRADENTON -- New unwrapped toys and gift items can be dropped off at the Manatee Players, 102 Old Main St. in downtown Bradenton.