xmasjuly_web.jpgFor the past 10 years, Broward County and Kiwanis Divisions 23 and 24 have partnered to support “Christmas In July” activities that benefit homeless children living in the county.

This assistance is especially significant at a time when many families are  feeling the effects of the economic downturn. Some have had to turn to public assistance programs for the first time and local homeless shelters are at capacity.

“Christmas In July” activities culminate in a day of entertainment, games, food and gifts that provide homeless children, from infants to age 19, with new clothing, socks, shoes and underwear. School-aged children also receive school supplies for the upcoming school year.

This is all made possible through the generosity of residents and county employees.

“I encourage everyone to donate to this worthwhile cause, realizing that you're making a big difference in the lives of children who frequently must do without,” Mayor Sue Gunzburger said.
Collection boxes, located at select county facilities and at all Broward County libraries, will remain in place through Friday, July 1.

The following are suggested items for donation: pants/slacks/shorts; skirts/dresses; shirts/blouses; shoes and socks; undergarments; diapers/wipes/baby clothing;  school supplies; and books Only new items should be donated and they may be for girls or boys.

The number of children helped by “Christmas In July” has grown annually, to 7,500 since its inception in 2002.

“I recently heard a staggering statistic. More than 2,000 students enrolled in Broward County public schools list an area homeless shelter as their home address,” said Celia Earle, chairwoman of Christmas In July.  “These children have become homeless through no fault of their own. They need our help. that's why Christmas In July exists.”

Kiwanis Divisions 23 and 24 are also reaching out to the community for financial and in-kind support for the program. Those interested are asked to contact Donna Grace, Christmas In July co-chairwoman, at 954-757-3950 or 954-646-4943.

In addition to libraries, collection boxes are located at the following Broward County facilities:

Downtown Governmental Center
115 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

Government Center West
1 N. University Drive, Plantation

Main Courthouse

201 S.E. Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

North Regional County Courthouse

1600 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach

South Regional County Courthouse

3550 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood

West Regional County Courthouse

100 N. Pine Island Road, Plantation

Water and Wastewater Services

2555 W. Copans Road, Pompano Beach

Port Everglades
1850 Eller Drive, Fort Lauderdale

Aviation Department

100 Aviation Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Child Care Licensing & Enforcement

2995 N. Dixie Highway, Fort Lauderdale