Making a difference: Stories from the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund Holiday Campaign

Thousands of children and families throughout Central Florida need your help this holiday season.

Contributions to the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund Holiday Campaign provide basic needs like a hot meal, a place to sleep or after-school tutoring and literacy programs to youth year-round.

All administrative costs are paid by the Family Fund and the McCormick Foundation, which contributes 50 cents for every dollar donated. You also can charge a donation to a credit card by calling 800-518-3978 or going to OrlandoSentinel.com/familyfund.

Questions? Call 407-420-5705.

  • Food bank's school helps young mom work her way out of poverty

    Food bank's school helps young mom work her way out of poverty

    It's 11 a.m. on a weekday and Michel'le Snell is preparing lunch for 84 of the pickiest eaters in the food business: Preschoolers. At the Park Lake Presbyterian Child Care Center, Snell, 26, whirls about the kitchen: fluffing rice, stirring green beans, checking meat, spooning out bowls of sliced...

  • Osceola County program helps save families on the verge of homelessness

    Osceola County program helps save families on the verge of homelessness

    You've been working for a chain department store in Puerto Rico for 13 years. You make a good commission in the men's section. Your kids have everything. You vacation in Orlando once a year. So when the department store suddenly takes away the commissions, you make plans to transfer to its better-paying...

  • Harbor House aids domestic abuse victims

    Harbor House aids domestic abuse victims

    As her toddler draws and colors nearby, Rebecca is at once smiling and teary-eyed as she tells her story. It is not unusual for a survivor of mental and physical abuse to become a melting pot of emotions. The memories haunt her. But she is happy that her life is now in a much better place, largely...

  • 'Love Pantry' feeds need in Central Florida

    'Love Pantry' feeds need in Central Florida

    Ivey Lane Elementary School provides sanctuary for Luz Mercado. The "Love Pantry" provides sustenance. Canned green beans, spaghetti and meatballs and corn. A jar of peanut butter. Boxed cereal. Meats and milk. Mercado has a family to feed. Four children, including one with mental disabilities. A...

  • City Year provides guidance for troubled kids

    City Year provides guidance for troubled kids

    Last year, Jilene Andjar was having a hard time. Going into sixth grade, she had lost her father to cancer and "didn't get much attention at home," she said. "I wasn't myself. I was a follower. I let people bring me down." Around that time, Alyssa Pepio was working in a call center. "I really felt...

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