SoZo Kids

SoZo Kids Club member Lee Bryan, of the Village of Sabal Chase, right,helps apply a bandage after Jovanny Rodriguez, 9, got a small cut playing outside during the SoZo Christmas party in Umatilla.

Pastor Dave Houck is the founder and CEO of the Help Agency, a faith-based organization that provides community assistance to residents of Ocala National Forest.

One agency program, SoZo Kids, inspired four clubs — including one in The Villages — that raise money and volunteer for the children living in poverty in the forest, where 22% of the population is below the poverty level.

The biggest way Houck said people can help is by sponsoring a child.

For $25 a month, sponsors can see exactly how their money serves a child’s current needs, which can vary greatly.

However, donating non-designated funds is also helpful because it allows for individualized need-based purchases. To find out more about the Help Agency or to make a donation, contact Houck at 352-299-5830.

For more information about the SoZo Kids Club of the Villages, contact club President LaRae Donnellan at or 850-766-0049.