Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shepherd Center in Tarpon Springs helps fill holiday needs

TARPON SPRINGS — Wanda Weber calls the work of the Shepherd Center a community effort.

In recent days, the center has distributed toys, turkeys and other food, and quilts to needy residents of Tarpon Springs and beyond.

"It's amazing," said Weber, executive director of the center. "What a community. With so many people hurting from the middle class down, it's still amazing that people's hearts are so open."

The Shepherd Center is a faith-based nonprofit organization that partners with area churches and community organizations to provide food, clothing and health care to those in need. The center's achievements this holiday season include:

• Giving 60 senior citizens gift bags that included food, holiday treats and handmade quilts, with the help of the Unitarian Universalists Church quilters in Clearwater.

• Filling the wish lists of almost 400 children from Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs.

• Distributing Christmas turkeys and food baskets Monday to 600 families in north Pinellas County, via its program dubbed Project THANKS.

Pat Weber, executive director of the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority, assisted the center with the senior citizen effort. She said the Shepherd Center "is a great, great resource for this community."

"A lot of our seniors don't have relatives here," said Pat Weber (no relation to Wanda Weber). "They are alone and their children are not living in Florida and the gifts and blankets, which were beautiful, lets them know that the entire Tarpon Springs community is thinking of them."

The Shepherd Center has two full-time and four part-time employees, plus nearly 270 volunteers.

"Our volunteers really are the strength of our organization," Wanda Weber said. "Our economy is not in a good place and we had this community pull together and say 'I'm not going to buy so much for myself but give to someone else.'

"We had people coming in that had never worked with us before, saying I want to do this or that. …I call them random acts of kindness."

Ron Haddad is chairman of the Shepherd Center's board of directors. He said 92 percent of the people served at the center are low income and elderly. The other 8 percent are the homeless.

"The people coming to us for help are people who are destitute and have no other resources," Haddad said. "Two or three years ago, they were our volunteers. But with foreclosures, loss of job, they need some help to get by from day to day. If it were not for the Shepherd Center, I wouldn't guess what would happen to these folks.

"And it's not just toys for kids. We are talking about basic necessities."

Contact Demorris A. Lee at dalee@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4174.

.Fast facts

About the center

The Shepherd Center is a faith-based nonprofit organization that partners with area churches and community organizations to provide food, clothing and health care to those in need.

Established: 1974.

Where: 780 S Pinellas Ave.

For information or to volunteer: Visit www.shepherdcenterTS.org or call Wanda Weber at (727) 939-1400.

Shepherd Center in Tarpon Springs helps fill holiday needs 12/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20

    Blogs

    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  2. Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis

    Movies

    The day the clown died, Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis.

    Jerry Lewis in 2005. Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91 (New York Times)
  3. Game of Thrones: 'Beyond the Wall' is dark and full of terrors

    Blogs

    In the battle between the living and the dead, you win or you get the dragon queen to come rescue you.

    Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 6.
  4. The Tampa Bay Rays are unlikely to make a decision on whether the team will leave Tropicana Field until after the St. Petersburg mayoral election, people close to the negotiations believe.
  5. Live video: See how the solar eclipse is unfolding across the country

    Space

    Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out viewing spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history.

    A family sets up a tent at their campsite at sunrise for the solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, on the Orchard Dale historical farm near Hopkinsville, Ky. The location, which is in the path of totality, is also at the point of greatest intensity. [Associated Press]