The FLORIDA TODAY Reaching Out Holiday Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization was established in 1992 to allow solicitation of donations from individuals and corporations in order to purchase new toys and books for Brevard County's underserved children during the holiday season.
In 2013, the program was expanded to assist not only the county's children, but also some of our most fragile seniors. Through a partnership with Aging Matters, the Reaching Out Holiday Fund assists in the purchase of gifts for some of our senior neighbors who are living along - to let them know that they are not forgotten during the season, providing items of help and comfort in their daily lives.
To provide these services to families in need, we count on generous corporate donations and FLORIDA TODAY and floridatoday.com readers who send in gifts of $5, $10, $25, $100 and more.
With their varied expertise and standing in the community, the Board of Directors provides ideas and input to enhance the project. This board reaches out to the business community and social service agencies countywide to encourage their participation in the program.
FLORIDA TODAY promotes the program through the newspaper, radio, human service agencies and point of purchase materials at participating retailers and United States Post Office locations throughout the county. Parents are advised of the dates to register their children for the gifts. Toys and books are chosen according to the child's age and gender.
After registration, FLORIDA TODAY processes registration forms to determine the exact numbers of toys and books needed for each age and gender category. Sorted according to location, distribution of the gifts takes at from four distribution sites (North, Central, Melbourne & Palm Bay).
FLORIDA TODAY secures arrangements with retailers for the purchase, storage and transportation of toys and books. Registration and distribution sites, as well as organization of volunteers to work these sites, are secured. FLORIDA TODAY also forms partnerships with Brevard businesses who are interested in participating in this worthwhile cause.
FLORIDA TODAY supports the Holiday Fund with staff time, news features, promotion and listings of individuals, companies and groups who have contributed to the Fund. All money donated to the Holiday Fund is used exclusively to purchase toys, books and gifts.
100% of donations go to purchasing gifts and are tax deductible. The Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services registration number for the Reaching Out Holiday Fund is #SC-02775. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll free, 1-800-435-7352, within the state of Florida. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval nor recommendation by the state.