Experience the Gift of Giving This Christmas in Myrtle Beach

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Christmas is the time for giving, and there are several outstanding local charities filling specific needs this holiday season. Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean you can't share in the true spirit of Christmas by chipping in to help those less fortunate. From Christmas dinners to toy drives, the Myrtle Beach area has lots of outlets for giving:

Christmas Dinners: Numerous local charities and church groups make it their mission that no one should go hungry on Christmas Day, and virtually all of them are in need of donations of food and/or labor to pull off the feet of feeding hundreds of hungry and needy people who have fallen on hard times. Feel free to volunteer at Community Kitchen or a church of your denomination or a cause that is close to your heart, at St. John's Greek Orthodox Church in Myrtle Beach, Risen Christ Lutheran Church in North Myrtle Beach or Belin United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet, just to name a few.

Food Banks: If you won't be in town to pitch in on Christmas dinner, you can do your part by making sure the hungry have plenty to eat the rest of the year. The Grand Strand has several local food banks that provide food for families in need, and they can never have too much to meet the demand. When you make your grocery trip for beach snacks and drinks, pick up a few non-perishable items and drop them off at Helping Hands, Second Harvest, or the Lowcountry food banks. Make the maximum impact by grocery shopping at the nearby Bi-Lo on 38th Avenue North and a percent of your purchase goes to feed the needy through Bi-Lo Charities.

Housing: It's hard to go home for the holidays when you don't have a home, and some local organizations try to make the homeless and displaced feel the warmth and holiday spirit of having a place to stay for Christmas. Always in need of food, cash donations and volunteer labor, places like Myrtle Beach haven, Street Reach Ministries and New Directions work to put a roof over the heads of the homeless. Other groups operate shelters for specific needs, like lodging for abused women and children, and Habitat for Humanity works to build homes for entire families and can always use supplies.

Salvation Army Angel Tree: It's not enough to simply feed and house a child at Christmas time. Every kid deserves to have presents under the tree, and you can make sure at least one child doesn't get left out through this popular program. The Salvation Army Angel Tree displays decorative cards for kids with specific needs, such as clothing sizes and toy requests. Simply select a card with a kid's name, buy a few items on their list and attach it to your gift-wrapped box. Return it to the giant tree at Coastal Grand Mall and experience the joy of knowing you helped one child this season.

US Marine Corps Toys for Tots: The Marines may have a tough guy image, but the soldiers show their softer side at Christmas time with the nationwide Toys for Tots campaign. This charity makes it easy to make a big difference in a child's Christmas experience. Simply purchase an unopened toy and turn it in at collection stations located at Barefoot Landing and other participating businesses, including all the Grand Strand's Bojangles locations.

Make your holiday season complete by experiencing the joy of giving someone else a Merry Christmas, and enjoy your holiday stay at the Caribbean Resort & Villas on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront.