Ways to Give Back to Acadiana This Holiday Season

What better way to get into the Holiday Spirit than to get into the community spirit? Lafayette Mom is encouraging you to give back to Acadiana’s families by participating in one (or more) of the following activities this season. If you have more events or ideas please comment below and we will add them.

United Way of Acadiana

United Way of Acadiana Early Head Start serves 103 children from birth to 3 years of age and pregnant people. The program operates two centers that are located in the city of Abbeville in Vermilion Parish, serving 28 children, and in the city of Lafayette in Lafayette Parish, serving 36 children. The remaining 39 slots serve families through the home-based option providing services for pregnant people, infants, and toddlers in either parish.

They are hosting a Toy Drive from December 1- 13 for their children and families.

Bring a new, unwrapped gift for a child age 3 months – 3 years old. To either of the headstart locations ( Lafayette- 1515 Jefferson Steet, Abbeville Headstart- 802 South Saint Valerie Street) from 7:30am- 2:30pm or to the United Way Offices ( 215 E. Pinhook Road Lafayette, LA) from 8:00am- 4:30pm.

Second Harvest Food Bank

Did you know that one in five households in Louisiana struggles with hunger? Unfortunately, hunger in South Louisiana is a very real problem facing many families. But the good news is that with every $1 donated, Second Harvest can provide the equivalent of four meals. $0.97 of every $1 donated goes directly to programs that feed the hungry. If you are short on time, it is quite simple to donate to this cause, though we’d recommend asking your children to each save towards this goal or somehow be intentional so that they recognize the cause your family has chosen and why. It would also be easy to take the children on a shopping trip to the store and then visit one of their warehouses to deliver the items in person. Second Harvest also has many volunteer shifts available, which could be a great way to engage your older children in this important cause.

Operation Christmas Lights

Operation Christmas Lights is a project sponsored by The Vital Foundation to help deserving families in our community, who have fallen on hard times, to be able to provide their family with gifts for the holidays.

They’ve had more than 200 applications this year and only have 19 kids remaining on the list. Click the following links to: adopt a child list, or donate directly to the foundation.

Lafayette Council on Aging

The Lafayette Council on Aging is looking for donations of new ( and gently used) Winter Essentials including: Blankets, Adult Coats, Gloves, Socks with grips, and space heaters. You can drop these off at One Acadiana (804 East St. Mary Dr. Lafayette, LA) Wednesday December 14 from 8-11am.

 

Lafayette Community Fridge

Lafayette Community Fridge is a mutual aid project which aims to reduce food insecurity, while also mitigating food waste. You can drop off food to the following locations. Check out these links for more information High Demand Items and Donation Guidelines

Locations:

  • NEW Location: Tops 5826 Johnston Street Lafayette, LA
  • 2905 E Simcoe
  • 315 W Simcoe
  • 620 Charity St, Abbeville, LA

They are also looking for volunteers! They need to keep the fridges clean in order to continue operating- which means daily maintenance of the space and cleaning checks. If you need volunteer or community service hours- or if you just want to give back to your community in an easy and fun way check this link.

Food Net Food Bank 

The 36th Annual KLFY Food For Families Food Drive will be held on Tuesday December 6th. To drop off food and to find out more please visit Food Net’s website.

Gifting Grace Project 

Did you know that by the end of the 2021-2022 school year there was a combined total of over 2000 children enrolled in the Homeless Education Departments of Acadia Parish, Iberia Parish, St. Martin Parish, Lafayette Parish and Vermilion Parish? Lafayette Parish alone had a total of 1261 homeless students! These children and unaccompanied youth are living in cars, shelters, motels, store parking lots, doubled-up in other families’ homes, couch-to-couch, etc. Most of these children do not have adequate clothing, food or hygiene necessities. This is a shocking and sobering reality for our community and our organization addresses this head on.

To see how you can get involved with the Gifting Grace Project please visit their website to read further information.

Faith House

Faith House still has families in need of adopting for Christmas, and you have the ability to help! If you are interested in adopting a family, please visit this link. Thank you for supporting survivors in our community!

VOLUNTEER

The United Way of Acadiana has made it easy to find volunteer opportunities not just with their organization but with any organization that is signed up on their platform. For a list of volunteer opportunities please visit: The Volunteer Center. 

If you know of any other opportunities please comment below and I will add them to the list.

Marissa has lived in Lafayette since 2014 and quickly fell in love with Louisiana culture, community spirit and the amazing food!! Marissa is the Director of Healthy Acadiana at the United Way of Acadiana and loves to be the helper. Marissa has a 5 year old named Jackson and absolutely loves being his Mama. Follow along with them as they navigate the waters of school, co-parenting, and so much more.

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