Tuesday, June 19, 2018
News Roundup

Carlton: Giving at Christmas, an option to knocking people's hats off

The boy looked to be about 5. He stood in line at Trinity Cafe, waiting with the grown-ups around him to be seated for the midday meal served to anyone who's hungry.

Every day, this dining room at the edge of downtown Tampa fills with the sounds of conversation and clanging cutlery, the whirl of volunteers moving between tables and the smells of hot food.

But the boy was focused on something else: a smallish bookcase against a wall, painted white and donated by local Girl Scouts who autographed it with their troop number, 3052. Which the boy likely didn't notice because he was taking in all the books.

Regularly, these shelves fill with colorful, donated children's books — books for babies, books about Amelia Bedelia and Captain Underpants, books for kids who have not yet had the pleasure of falling in love with Charlotte's Web. Sometimes there's teen lit, maybe a few required summer reading classics, too.

On this day, the boy looked and looked and finally reached for one. Then he sat down — right there on the floor — his head bent over the open pages.

Cindy Davis doesn't know his name, but that picture from earlier this year sticks with her: a child oblivious to the hungry and homeless filling the cafe, oblivious even to what treat the chef might have made for dessert that day, because he was lost in a book.

They go fast, these books — donated by book clubs or random people, taken home by kids who get to own them. At Trinity, a small building on an urban stretch of Nebraska Avenue, volunteers serve nearly 300 free sit-down meals on weekdays and breakfast on weekends. Many who come in have been bedding down outside or in shelters. Working people come, as do people who live in old motels. They see veterans and families here.

And kids.

Davis, Trinity's program director, says on a recent school vacation day — when there was no school lunch to count on — a third of the people who came for lunch at Trinity's newest location in the First Church of God on Busch Boulevard were children.

Maybe it seems lately the world has grown harder and colder. But at Trinity, they could, pardon the expression, write a book on the ways people manage to give.

You know the one about the loaves and fishes? A couple of years ago, Beth Ross' church doled out $100 to each family to see the good they could do with it. Ross decided on blankets to hand out at Trinity.

The first year she gathered 308 blankets — "so cool," she says. Last year it was 808. Ross, who by day works for a staffing company, created the nonprofit Blanket Tampa Bay. This year, there have been more than 3,000 blankets. Someone donated rain ponchos. She also hands out what Davis calls Blessing Bags of items like toothpaste, deodorant and socks. Hard to estimate the practical value of a clean pair of socks.

Speaking of required high school reading: Remember the part in Moby Dick about what a man does when he finds himself growing grim and barely able to keep himself from knocking people's hats off — a condition with which most of us are familiar?

Clean socks, a warm blanket, a book for a kid — that might do the trick.

For more information go to trinitycafe.org. Contact Sue Carlton at [email protected]

Comments
My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

My husband has been on the ketogenic diet for three months. Here’s how he does it.

This week I wrote about something with which I have become very familiar: the ketogenic diet. If you’re like, "Huh?" you are where I was three months ago, before my husband, Phil, embarked on the weight-loss regimen. The keto diet is a high-fat, low-...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Safety Harbor fire chief departs: ‘Take pride in the job’

Safety Harbor fire chief departs: ‘Take pride in the job’

SAFETY HARBOR — When Fire Chief Joe Accetta started working at the Safety Harbor Fire Department, Fire Station 53 was a double wide in the middle of a field now home to Mease Countryside Hospital.Now almost four decades of challenges and promotions l...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: High humidity, searing temperatures and little rain across Tampa Bay

Forecast: High humidity, searing temperatures and little rain across Tampa Bay

Dry air will keep rain chances down Tuesday, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your afternoon plans.While showers will be at a minimum, the searing heat won’t be as high humidity and mostly sunny skies will push the heat index at ar nea...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘Papa! Papa!’ Audio of children stokes rage over separation

‘Papa! Papa!’ Audio of children stokes rage over separation

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking voices of small Spanish-speaking children crying out for their parents at a U.S. immigration facility took center stage Monday in the growing uproar over the Trump admi...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: South Florida rapper gunned down; latest on the immigration controversy; the album we’ve all been waiting for

The Daystarter: South Florida rapper gunned down; latest on the immigration controversy; the album we’ve all been waiting for

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• It’s here: summer. Highs this week will all be in the 90s, with feels-like temperatures near 100 degrees, according to 10Weather WTSP.• As you head out for your morning commute, check...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Up to 1,000 children held by immigration authorities now living in Homestead compound

Up to 1,000 children held by immigration authorities now living in Homestead compound

The Trump administration has reopened a 1,000-bed Homestead facility that once housed minors who entered the country illegally and alone, reviving a compound at a time when the White House is under fire for a new policy that separates children from p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

Argument over dog leads to fatal shooting in Polk County

A Fort Meade man was killed Monday night and two others were wounded after Polk County deputies say they approached a man while searching for a lost dog.The shooting occurred around 6:45 p.m. at the home of suspected shooter Charles Peddycoart, at 41...
Updated: 3 hours ago