Friday, April 27, 2018
News Roundup

Giving Tree provides help for a teen — and his unborn baby

NORTH TAMPA

Shane Zoller's list hung on a Christmas tree in a break room where Molly Lindsay works. He wanted receiving blankets, infant clothes, diapers. Lindsay wondered if there was a mix-up. Shane, according to the paper ornament with his list, is a 17-year-old boy. Lindsay wanted to know more about the boy, whose name she had picked off the tree to buy gifts. What she found out resonated in her own family. Shane and his girlfriend are expecting a baby girl on Jan. 26. He plans to share custody of the baby they will name Yanella.

Shane and his two younger brothers live in North Tampa and receive mental health and behavioral services through Success 4 Kids & Families. The giving tree was part of the nonprofit's holiday program to provide dinners for 100 families and gifts for 370 children who are served by the organization.

The gifts are purchased by local companies Microsoft, Tribridge, First Citrus Bank, Bouchard Insurance, the Container Store and ConnectWise, and employees of the companies, like Lindsay.

The packages were delivered earlier this week.

Lindsay, a marketing manager at ConnectWise, and her husband, Andrew, live in St. Petersburg with their 5-month-old daughter and his 18-year-old son.

This year, the couple decided to forgo gifts for themselves and instead give to others.

"There's a lot of folks out there who haven't been as fortunate over the years," said Andrew, an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Even though we don't know them, we wanted to send a message that we care."

Molly Lindsay picked four ornaments from the tree, one for each member of her family. She called her husband from her office to tell him about Shane's request. They were happy to learn that he was looking forward to his own daughter.

"A baby is such a blessing, such a joy," Molly said. "We're glad he's thinking of it that way."

Shane had been shocked when he learned he would be a father. But at the first doctor appointment, he saw a sonogram and heard a heart racing.

Now, a crib sits next to his bed in the house where he lives with his mother, father and two younger brothers.

On a shelf next to it, booties that he bought fit under a stack of thin blankets.

A grainy black-and-white ultrasound print is tucked into the edge of his bureau mirror, with the word "baby" and an arrow pointing to a peanut shape. Above it, hang miniature boxing gloves and a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball cap. A poem that is over his bed reminds him of his late grandmother, who always gave wise advice.

Shane attends D.W. Waters Career Center, where he's the only boy in his parenting class. There, he has mixed formula and learned what swaddling means and how to do it.

For extra support in his new role, Success 4 Kids will help with in-home education through their program, Healthy Start. He's also looking for a job.

Weeks ago, Andrew and Molly went shopping for gifts to fulfill the ornaments' lists.

They picked out makeup and hair supplies and a journal for a teenage girl and a light-up globe and guitar for a 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. For a 6-month-old girl, the couple tried out toys on their own baby.

"If she liked them, we bought them," Andrew said.

He picked out the blankets and shampoo, bottles and diapers for Shane.

There was also an Xbox 360 video game, Halo 4, something to acknowledge Shane for stepping up to take care of his baby.

And then he added a note.

"We picked your card because you are 17 years old with a baby on the way. I was also 17 when my son was born. He just celebrated his 18th birthday this month and I have had full custody of him for the last 10 years. Things were difficult at first, but there is really no better feeling than your child looking to you as their role model knowing that you've done the best that you could do for them. . . .

I wish you the same joy that I have felt since I was 17 years old, with your new baby. Being so close in age makes the relationship really fun. You don't forget what it was like to be a kid."

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3431.

 
Comments
Would you draft ex-Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway?

Would you draft ex-Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway?

Former Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway should have heard his name called last night during the NFL draft's first round.He didn't.He might hear his name called tonight, during the second or third round.He probably won't.Which means one of the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

PLANT CITY — Plant City softball coach Ashley Bullion is 4-for-4 after Thursday night.Four years at the helm, four district titles.The latest championship came in a 4-1 victory over East Bay in the Class 8A, District 6 final, a victory highligh...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Softball: Recent momentum carries Mitchell past Sunlake

LAND O' LAKES — Despite being on the wrong end of two lopsided outcomes to Sunlake during the regular season, recent events gave Mitchell hope in its Class 7A-10 district final rematch with the Seahawks.Just two days prior, the Mustangs be...
Updated: 5 hours ago
The Daystarter: We recap the first night of the NFL draft; has Florida’s bet on cybersecurity worked?; NRA fundraising strong as ever

The Daystarter: We recap the first night of the NFL draft; has Florida’s bet on cybersecurity worked?; NRA fundraising strong as ever

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Expect some clouds this morning as a weak front moves in, though rain chances stay low, according to 10Weather WTSP. The afternoon high will be in the upper 70s. The weekend brings th...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Softball: Robinson makes it 10 straight wins vs. Jefferson

TAMPA — For the Robinson softball team, the perfect 10 was complete.The top-seeded Knights defeated No. 2 Jefferson for the 10th consecutive time Thursday and claimed their fifth district championship in a row, a 12-2 five-inning victory in the...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Softball: It’s April, so Chamberlain is winning

TAMPA — Coach Bob Diez and his Chamberlain Chiefs have always believed in this motto: "Be good in April."This is their season.The Chiefs added another Class 7A-8 district title Thursday against Gaither with a 7-0 victory.With the win, the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Softball: East Lake is aggressive from the start

TARPON SPRINGS — If strong pitching and defense are the bellwethers of a deep playoff run, consider East Lake ready.Playing second seed Pinellas Park on Thursday night for the Class 8A-7 title, the host Eagles (22-3) used that philosophy to mak...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida wants to build a cybersecurity sector. The question is how?

Florida wants to build a cybersecurity sector. The question is how?

TAMPA — In 2014, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity was established by the Legislature with several purposes in mind:Lawmakers tasked "FC2" with bringing high-paying jobs to Florida, attracting companies in industries such as defense, health care, ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Educators see red in Arizona, Colorado; funerals set for some Waffle House victims; Ford ditches U.S. cars; more in U.S. news

Educators see red in Arizona, Colorado; funerals set for some Waffle House victims; Ford ditches U.S. cars; more in U.S. news

ArizonaEducators, students see redA sea of teachers clad in red shirts and holding "Money for Schools" signs reached the Arizona Capitol to press lawmakers for action Thursday, a key event in an unprecedented walkout that closed most of the state’s p...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

TAMPA — The selection of Vita Vea is a move the Bucs made for the present and the future. While Gerald McCoy remains a dominant defensive tackle, he turned 30 in February and is due to make $12.3 million this season and $13 million in...
Updated: 4 hours ago