Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shuttered Target attracts new inventory of storm donations

ODESSA – Commerce returned to a shuttered department store at State Road 54 near the Suncoast Parkway Thursday when a former Super Target became home to an inventory of bottled water, non-perishable food, clothing and toiletries donated by the public.

"They just showed up. It's amazing,'' said Erik Breitenbach, assistant county administrator.

The shopping center owner donated the space to be used as a staging area for the Florida National Guard, out-of-state ambulance crews and utility workers sent to Pasco for Hurricane Irma. After social media posts about a need for donated items, the public responded. Thursday afternoon, a convoy of 10 vehicles from Wesley Chapel Nissan delivered food and clothing collected by the car dealer and the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club.

Dealership owner Jay Rosario said some of his employees were without power, but still wanted to assist.

"They see the benefit of giving to people worse off than they are,'' he said.

Plenty of others pitched in, too, including Elaine Ziska, 52 of Odessa. She and her two children Emma, 17, and John, 15, donated razors, shampoo, toothbrushes and snacks and then volunteered to stay when they realized county staffers needed help separating and organizing the donations.

Gwen Long, 55, of Land O' Lakes, has lived in Florida for 11 years, but Irma was her initial first-hand experience with a hurricane. She brought a case of bottled water to the site after reading an Internet posting about the donations.

"I just wanted to give back. I've very grateful,'' she said.

By mid-afternoon, the former store contained 11 pallets of donated water, plus food, soda, pet food and household items waiting to be stacked. Pasco Commissioner Mike Moore said the donated goods were expected to be distributed to needy people who had registered with the county's human services department.

The store has been vacant since Target closed it in January 2016, one of a dozen stores it shut down nationally because of falling sales.

Shuttered Target attracts new inventory of storm donations 09/14/17 [Last modified: Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended

    Nation

    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  4. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  5. The two Ricks tangle at what may be final debate

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — In what was likely the last mayoral forum before the Nov. 7 election, Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker started out small, discussing neighborhood issues like recycling and neighborhood funding. They ended tangling over familiar subjects: the future of the Tampa Bay Rays, sewage …

    Ex-Mayor Rick Baker, left, and Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, debated familiar topics. The Times’ Adam Smith moderated.