CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Christmas is just a week away and a group of volunteers is working to make this holiday a lot brighter for dozens of First Coast families in need, and they can use your help.
“We’re humans on a mission is what we call ourselves,” Noelle Marx said.
Marx is the co-founder of The Human Collective Foundation that launched in October.
“I realized that I was surrounded by an amazing group of people, an amazing group of humans who just wanted to do better. We didn’t have a specific cause in mind. I thought, how great would it be just to get everybody together and just start filling in the need,” Marx said.
An alum of Orange Park High, she reached out to the principal there and to Fleming Island High where her daughters attend to ask if they knew of any families in need. They did.
“There are over 35 homeless children at Orange Park High School, and there are 13 at Fleming,” Marx learned. “It’s unacceptable that any child doesn’t have a hoodie or shampoo and conditioner, and they’re sitting in a classroom next to my kids, or they’re going to our alma mater. So we took them all on, and we are filling in the need.”
Her organization is now helping more than 60 families including one with three children who didn’t have beds.
“They were sleeping on blankets on the floor of their apartment that they just got. They’d been living in a hotel room for over two years,” Marx explained. “They have not celebrated Christmas in a long time. I gave her a tree and a poinsettia and some decorations. She sent me pictures already. We’ve had beds delivered, mattresses.”
Donations from the community have poured in and more are needed. It’s an effort Marx says will continue year-round.
“We’ll take anything, everything. We do take donations of household goods. We’ll organize a pickup. We’ll schedule a drop off for them,” Marx said. “If they don’t want to sell it, we will take it gently used.”
If you would like to help families in need The Human Collective Foundation is collecting donations for Christmas until Monday, Dec. 21 including toiletries and gently used clothes. They have a list of specifics items needed on The Human Collective Foundation Facebook page. They also welcome donations year-round. You can schedule a pickup or drop-off time by emailing
“The outpouring of love and donations and willingness to help strangers, it’s been beautiful,” Marx said.”