Helping others this holiday season -- and beyond
Students at Tampa Bay Christian Academy are holding a food drive today with BJ's Wholesale Club to help bring Thanksgiving dinner to those less fortunate. The campaign, called “Choose to Give”, asks the community to donate food for Thanksgiving. In addition, BJ's will donate $1,000 in additional food to America's Second Harvest of Tampa Bay. Students in second through fifth grades bundled the food donations into family meals and decorated the containers to resemble turkeys. The students will present the troop of turkeys to Second Harvest. But even though that happened Monday, you can still help the students and the food bank by donating to Second Harvest. Take it to the agency's Distribution Center, 4702 Transport Drive Building 6, Tampa. For information, call Jillian Metz at (813) 258-2700 ext. 231 or call Second Harvest at (813) 254-1190.
If you're lookng for a way to clean out your closets -- of gently used items, mind you -- then it's time to donate clothing, toys, books, shoes, electronics and more to the Miles for Hope Sidewalk Rummage Sale from 8 a.m. to noon Friday-Sunday (Nov. 20-22) at 24295 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater (next to Bob Evans). On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning Mobile Marketing Unit will be on hand and there is a chance to meet Lightning mascot ThunderBug and the Bolt Brigade. There also will be many Lightning giveaways. Call (727) 647-6548 for drop-off times. Funds raised will go toward brain cancer research. And during the rummage sale, there will be a canned food drive to help those less fortunate during the holidays. Organizers will accept non-perishable canned and boxed food items at the garage sale throughout the weekend.
Speaking of Miles For Hope and the Lightning, on Nov. 27, the Friday after Thanksgiving, the team will host the Ticket to a Cure for Brain Cancer event when the Lightning take on the New York Rangers at the St. Pete Times Forum. A portion of the tickets sold will go to Miles for Hope and brain cancer research. Tickets start at $17 and for each ticket purchased, fans will receive a free Lightning gift. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a brain cancer awareness wrist band. Call (813) 301-6832 for more information.
Finally, if you want to further help the cause to find a cure for cancer, then you may want to check out the South Tampa Relay for Life Kickoff Rally beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Home Theater Gallery, 3300 S Dale Mabry, Tampa. The actual relay itself isn't until April 23 but the kickoff rally is a chance for families, caregivers, cancer survivors, schools and companies to get together to kick off the Relay For Life season and their particular event.
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is an overnight community celebration where individuals and teams camp out, barbecue, dance and take turns walking around the track relay style to raise funds to fight cancer. At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminaries around the track in a moving ceremony to honor cancer survivors as well as friends and family members lost to the disease.
To join a Relay For Life event in your community, call toll free 1-800-227-2345 or go to this Web site.
-- Sherry Robinson