Helping Santa Rosa County’s less fortunate

Out of the 27,676 students currently enrolled in Santa Rosa County School District (SRCSD) schools, 1,322 are considered homeless, or without a “fixed adequate nighttime residence.” Fifty-one of those students are also living without a parent or guardian.

The district tracks those numbers and employees three staff members that work directly with the families. Last year, the number was slightly higher at 1,333. They provide services including tutoring, paperwork, transportation arrangement and they also work as a middleman to other agencies that can help.

Read more in the Nov. 13 issue of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

Holiday helping guide:

Your stuff:

We Care canned food drive: Drop off your canned good items at the Navarre United Methodist Church.

Toys for Tots donations accepted Nov. 10 – Dec. 12.

Children’s Home Society is collecting food baskets and gifts for local children from Nov. 24 through Dec. 5at 1300 N. Palafox St, Suite 103. Contact Kelsey Adams at 266-2746 for a specific child/wishlist. Otherwise visit the website for specific age appropriate gifts. All donations are requested to be unwrapped (in a gift bag) for sorting purposes. Please deliver Thanksgiving food baskets Monday prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets by Monday, Dec. 15.

Navarre Chamber: You and/or your organization can select an angel from the Navarre Chamber Angel Tree and then shop for a bike and helmet for the appropriate age and sex of the name on your angel.

Navarre First Assembly of God is accepting food, donated blankets, winter coats, socks, sleeping bags and hygiene items for their ongoing, weekly Blanketing Our Streets ministry.

Food pantries at First Baptist Church, Navarre United Methodist Church/We Care Thrift Store, Navarre First Assembly of God, Interfaith Ministries and more.

Angel Trees at Navarre Chamber, Navarre United Methodist Church, Holley Navarre Fire Department and most local schools.

Your time:

Caring and Sharing of South Santa Rosa County: Sort food items, package food in boxes and organize for distribution on Saturday, Nov. 22, at West Navarre Intermediate School between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sort food items, package food in boxes and organize for distribution on Saturday, Dec. 20, at Oriole Beach Elementary School between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Help with distribution is also needed on Nov. 23 and Dec. 21.

Help distribute Toys for Tots donations Dec. 18 & 19, contact the United Way for more information.

Family Promise of Santa Rosa County: Help drive families to job interviews, churches or health appointments. Help maintain lawns at the organization’s transitional housing and low-income rental housing. Help maintain the organization’s two vans that transport families.

EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless: Needs items such as dishes, cups, toilet paper, towels, soap, toothbrushes, blankets, bicycles and more.

Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen: Volunteers needed for kitchen and dining room help, family ministry-shelter, family ministry-transitional housing, living well (parent-child center), thrift store, spiritual needs, material needs.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida: Volunteers needed for administrative/family services and house management. Groups can help by helping with cleaning, cooking, family fun and more.

Children’s Home Society: Volunteer as a mentor, tutor, organizer or planner.

Your participation:

Fall sale to benefit less fortunate: Family Promise of Santa Rosa County, Nov. 15, 2014 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Milton Storage Center.

Santa’s Sprint 5k: Held by the United Way, the Santa’s Sprint is a 5k nature trail / twilight run that will be held at 4:30 p.m., Dec. 13, at Adventures Unlimited in Milton.

Festival of Trees: The Santa Rosa Kids’ House will host the Festival of Trees at the Imogene Theatre, which will be filled with beautifully decorated trees, centerpieces and other designs. Viewers will vote on their favorite tree and also be able to visit with Santa on Nov. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m., cost $5 per person. On Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., viewers can participate in a marketplace with local arts and crafts vendors, cost $5 per person. Finally, a formal event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 22 where guests will wear cocktail attire, listen to music, enjoy refreshments and participate in a silent and live auction. Cost is $50 per person.

Local organizations to volunteer with and/or donate to:

Caring and Sharing of South Santa Rosa County: or 850-396-0321

Children’s Home Society of Florida: or 850-266-2705 or

EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless:  or 850-439-3009 or

Family Promise of Santa Rosa, Inc.: or (850) 623-5300 or

Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen: or 850-438-7616 or

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida: or 477-2273 or

Santa Rosa Kids House: or (850) 623-1112 or

United Way of Santa Rosa County: or 623-4507


District wide, help is needed for host homes of children and their families. You can receive more information by contacting Karen Barber at 983-5237. Each school in the Santa Rosa School District helps their less fortunate students/families differently. Donations of food baskets, full-size toiletry and cleaning items and gift cards for restaurants, gas and groceries are always welcome. Each school has a representative that can be contacted for more specific ways to help.

Navarre High School, 850-936-6080, extension 0351, Robert “Doug” Mahone, Guidance Counselor

Holley Navarre Middle School, 850-936-6040, extension 0272, Martha Hewatt, Guidance Counselor

Woodlawn Beach Middle School, 850-934-4010, extension 0361, Kelly Barnes, Guidance Counselor

Holley Navarre Intermediate School, 850-936-6020 option 4, Tammie White, Guidance Counselor

West Navarre Intermediate School, 850-936-6060 option 4, Jan Speed, Guidance Counselor

Holley Navarre Primary School, 850-936-6130, Melissa Johnson, extension 0281, Guidance Counselor

West Navarre Primary School, 850-936-6000 option 4, Sharon Brainerd, Guidance Counselor

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