Looking to give back? Here’s how in Acadiana

For those looking for a way to give back this season, there are several organizations working to assist families and children during the holidays that are in need of donations.

The United Way of Acadiana and other organizations offer these suggestions:

  • Early Head Start in Lafayette needs donations for holiday gift baskets for the families they serve. Donations will be accepted from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through Dec. 20 at the United Way Early Learning Center, 1515 Jefferson St. Donations may include, but are not limited to, children’s toys, children’s books, canned goods, winter coats for children and adults, gift cards and diapers. Call Lauren Naquin at (337) 706-1212.
  • New Hope-Community Development of Acadiana needs after-school tutors at the J Carlton James Activity Center, 710 Aster Drive, Lafayette. Volunteers are asked to tutor one day a week for 11/2 hours. Tutoring takes place every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday during the school year from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. for elementary students and from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for middle school students. Call Kristine Newman at (337) 316-9461.
  • FoodNet needs volunteers to sort, pack and distribute food on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No appointment needed. FoodNet’s Greater Acadiana Food Bank is located at 217 Surrey St. For details, call (337) 232-3663.
  • St. Francis Diner needs volunteers on a one-time or ongoing basis. The diner, located at 1201 S. Hopkins Street, New Iberia, is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call Juanita Lewis at (337) 369-3362.
  • Community Holiday Care Package Drive will accept donations of dish detergent, laundry detergent, trash bags, dish towels, bath towels, drinking glasses or cups, dishes, eating utensils and cleaning products on Sunday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Northgate Mall Parking lot at the corner of Castille and Moss streets. Donations may also be made online at www.gofundme.com/50irwg.

For more information or to nominate a family for a care package, call Tonya Bolden-Ball at (337) 255-5151.

  • Miles Perret Cancer Services needs support for its annual Giving Tree Program, which helps make Christmas easier for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

The program is offered to children and/or siblings 18 or younger living at home of an active Miles Perret client. Donors may select an ornament from the giving tree that has a child’s wish, age and gender and buy a gift for that child.

To select an ornament, stop by the Miles Perret Cancer Services, 2130 Kaliste Saloom Road, or call (337) 984-1920. Gift items should be submitted, unwrapped, to the office by Tuesday.

  • Lafayette Catholic Service Centers’ Christmas wish list has different donation options that can be made online to support its outreach service to feed, clothe and house those in need.

For more information, visit www.catholicservice.org or call Sarah Clement at (337) 235-4972, ext. 104.

  • The Dolly Parton Imagination Library program operated by the United Way of Acadiana is seeking donations.

The free program mails a book each month to children up to age 4 in Lafayette, Vermilion, St. Martin and Acadia parishes.

To make a donation or for more information about the program, contact Cydra Wingerter, director of resource development, at (337) 706-1233 or cydra.wingerter@unitedwayofacadiana.org.

For more information about volunteer opportunities throughout the year, contact Chelsey Roberie, United Way of Acadiana’s senior volunteer mobilization coordinator, at chelsey.roberie@unitedwayofacadiana.org or (337) 706-1226.