SoZo Kids Angel Tree Christmas Project UPDATE
Wow! You have responded in a BIG WAY already to support the annual SoZo Kids Angel Tree Christmas Project, which helps ensure 136 SoZo Kids receive gifts from Santa this year. As of this posting, all but three children's wish lists have been adopted. Perhaps an individual or a group might want to go together to claim these remaining children.
You can still sign up to purchase gifts for teens. Popular choices are sports balls, portable Bluetooth speakers, or AXE deodorant kits for teen boys and girls.
Your donations of cash will help with our remaining holiday initiatives and with the ongoing SoZo Kids' basic, educational, and emergency financial needs.
Wish Lists generally involve spending in the range of $75 - $125. We encourage donors to fulfill Wish Lists with 2-3 clothing items AND 2-3 fun toys/gifts. Donors are under no obligation to purchase every item on a Kid's Wish List.
Here's how you can help:
Click the Angel Tree Wish List Link and select one of the remaining SoZo Kid's Wish Lists. You (or you and your friends) can do the shopping ... OR
Scroll to the end of the Angel Tree Kids' Wish Lists, select one or more of the remaining teenager gifts, and shop for them. ... OR
Donate to Friends of SoZo Kids in lieu of gifts for your own children, and we'll provide you with a card to send to your family member, noting: "A SoZo Kid's Wish List was fulfilled in your honor this Christmas." ... OR
Give a cash donation, and we'll do the shopping for Wish Lists that may not be adopted or will purchase other needed items for the Kids.
Dropping Off Your Purchases
Place all UNWRAPPED gifts, with price tags removed, in a large gift bag or a large black garbage bag (to hide the contents).
Attach the child's ID number and name (e.g., SA-U1, Emily) and YOUR name to the OUTSIDE of the bag.
Please do NOT put your name, address, or cash INSIDE the bag (this is for your privacy and for the security of your gift).
Donations of gift bags and tissue paper are welcome.
Drop off your donations at Oxford United Methodist Church, 3906 E. Co. Rd. 466, Oxford, FL (next to the WaWa gas station), between 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on either Saturday, Nov. 13, or Saturday, Dec. 4.
If you have questions, write to Contact@FriendsOfSoZoKids.com. Thank you for your generosity and willingness to brighten a child's life!
Give a Gift in Someone's Name
If you are wondering what to give to friends and family who "don't really need anything" this year, consider making your donation to Friends of SoZo Kids be their gift.
We have beautiful cards to let your loved ones know you are honoring them with a gift to support children and families living in poverty in the Ocala National Forest. To get one or more of the cards, write to us at Contact@FriendsOfSoZoKids.com to make arrangements.
Drop-Off Bin at NLPC
NOTE: Please DO NOT drop off Angel Tree items at North Lake Presbyterian Church. The NLPC drop-off location is specifically for extra donations of NEW items that go directly to Pastor Dave and SoZo Kids.
SoZo Kids has a drop-off box in the lobby of North Lake Presbyterian Church, 975 Rolling Acres Road, Lady Lake (behind Home Depot). Please call 352-753-8484 before you leave home to make sure the church is open.
During the pandemic, many people emptied their closets or garages and wanted to find a new home for their no-longer-needed items. While we appreciate your thinking of SoZo Kids, Pastor Dave does not have the volunteer staff nor the space to handle used items. When you drop off used items in our bin, we try to find another nonprofit that can use them.
It would be better if you donated your still-usable closet and garage items to a deserving charity already set up to handle such things.
Sometimes SoZo Kids can use working kitchen appliances or washer/dryers (not furniture). To inquire about these larger items, call 770-550-4184. Thank you. Here is what can and cannot be used:
NEW children's clothing, school supplies, art supplies, or toys
FULL-size toiletries (e.g., shampoo, deodorant, feminine products, toothpaste, etc.)
Clean, working, large appliances (e.g., refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer) -- BUT you MUST call 770-550-4184 BEFORE dropping off any large items!
New or used adult clothing of any kind
Used children's clothing, shoes, or toys
Used linens, cookware, or other household items
Knick knacks or other such stuff
Hotel sample toiletries
Pastor Dave says that at the moment, they do not need any more hats or scarves, either. Apparently, a lot of knitters and crocheters have been especially busy during the pandemic!
Before making a trip to drop things off, give NLPC a call at 352-753-8484. To inquire about donating working appliances (e.g., refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer -- not furniture), please call 770-550-4184. Thanks so much!
Support Thanksgiving & Christmas Meals
Can you imagine the holidays without a special meal? Neither can we!
With YOUR help, we can ensure all of our SoZo Kids families have hot, healthy, and wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
Friends of SoZo Kids is collecting cash so Pastor Dave can purchase 75 20 lb. frozen Thanksgiving turkeys -- and 150 Christmas hams -- for SoZo Kids and their families this holiday season. The SoZo Kids Food Bank provides families with all the fixings.
Prices of turkeys and hams are expected to rise as the holidays approach. As of Oct. 28, a donation of $20 should cover the cost of one 20-lb. turkey. The cost per pound for ham is slightly higher at the moment.
Click on one (or both) of the following links so Friends of SoZo Kids can help provide holiday meals for Forest families in need. Thank you!
Next General Meeting: Jan. 10
Friends of SoZo Kids will hold its next General Meeting at 1 p.m., Monday, January 10, 2021 at Rohan Rec Center.
Volunteers help with annual SoZo Kids Back-to-School Bash
More than 50 Villagers and others from surrounding communities touched the lives hundreds of children and their parents at the annual SoZo Kids Back-to-School Bash for children living in poverty in the Ocala National Forest.
T-Shirts, Hats, & Name Badges Available
Friends of SoZo Kids Inc. has partnered with local vendors to provide T-shirts, hats/visors, and name badges with our name emblazoned on them so you can proudly declare your support for SoZo Kids wherever you go. They also make great gifts for the holidays!
Imprinted clothing items are especially useful for those of you volunteering at our fundraisers or working directly with the children. You contact the vendors and pay them directly; we are not involved in your purchases.
T-Shirts & More
Pickleball Xtra, owned by Victoria Brock, creates top-quality shirts in 100% moisture-wicking polyester, plus hats and visors. If you provide your own shirt or hat, Tory will put our logo on it for only $8. She can also add your name, if you request that. You can save shipping costs by picking up your items at her home in the Village of Charlotte. Go to her website to see what's available and to place your orders:
Women's Short-Sleeve Shirts -- $23.99, 14 colors
Women's Sleeveless V-Neck Shirts -- $23.99, 13 colors
Women's Racerback Shirts -- $24.99, 8 colors
Men's Short-Sleeve Shirts -- $23.99, 12 colors
Hats & Visors -- $22.99, 12 colors
BobMartinSigns@gmail.com, run by Tom
Martin, makes our official Friends of SoZo Kids
name badges. The cost is $7. Email Tom and
send him the name you want on the badge. He
does a quick turn-around. Tom lives in the Village