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Lakeland, FL – Peace River Center, a nonprofit behavioral health organization serving Polk, Hardee, and Highlands Counties is hosting a Christmas in July drive to gather essentials for clients. Ninety-five percent of the 21,500 clients Peace River Center (PRC) serves annually are at 200 percent or more below the poverty level.

“Oftentimes our clients are living on incredibly limited incomes, by the time they cover housing and medication costs, many are left with little to purchase essentials like toiletry items or items that boost their coping skills such as journals,” said Ileana Kniss, Director of Development and Community Relations at PRC. “The domestic violence survivors and their children served through our Victim Services program often have just one bag they quickly packed up to escape their dangerous situations. When these families find safe, alternative housing we love providing a housewarming basket with essentials like towels, sheets, laundry detergent, and dish soap. These are the items so many of us take for granted, but that can strain a budget when people are getting back on their feet.”

Desired Wish List items include sporting equipment such as baseball gloves and basketballs as well as colored pencils, drawing paper, notebook paper. The full list is available at https://bit.ly/2021prcwishlist. Donations may be purchased using PRC’s Amazon Wish List (https://bit.ly/prc-wishlist) or dropped off at:

  • PRC’s Community Relations Office, 1933 E. Edgewood Drive, Ste. 101, Lakeland 33803, Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; or
  • The PRC Thrift Shoppe, 2934 S. Florida Avenue, Lakeland 33803, Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

While the organization aims to collect all donations by July 31, donations are always welcome and appreciated.

About Peace River Center

Peace River Center is a licensed and accredited, non-profit provider of mental health, substance use, and integrated medical services serving Polk, Highlands, and Hardee counties. Peace River Center provides options for people struggling with mental health and addiction, for children and adults coping with the trauma of abuse and violence, crisis intervention for people in acute need, and housing and community support and integration for people affected by domestic violence or whose recovery requires more support and time. Peace River Center offers inpatient, outpatient, home-, school- and community-based services, telehealth, and mobile programs to individuals, groups, and families. Peace River Center’s dedicated and compassionate staff of more than 400 operate 36 programs out of 27 locations and provide 24/7 emergency psychiatric response services to the community through our mobile psychiatric Crisis Response Team. In FY2020, Peace River Center had contact with and provided services to more than 21,500 children, adolescents, adults, and seniors. For more information visit www.PeaceRiverCenter.org.

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