COUNTDOWN TO SUCCESS –
SCHOOL SUPPLY PROJECT 2014
Thanks to many wonderful food bank supporters, children from 190 Kaye Prox Food Bank families returned to school this year with new backpacks full of supplies.
For the past half-dozen years, the food bank has organized a drive to collect school supplies and backpacks. The project has expanded from a grab box with a few supplies to filled backpacks for each student. Since 2010, the number has more than tripled. This year, 377 children and teens received fully stocked backpacks. That’s an increase of 40% from last year.
Led for the second year by teen coordinators, Maya Barrett and Isabel Giovannetti, 50 organizations and individuals donated nearly 15,000 school supplies and more than 250 backpacks to the drive. When it looked like the project would run short of backpacks, an amazing coincidence occurred. The same week that the manager of the Walgreens on Tampa Road at Country Way arranged for the food bank to purchase backpacks at cost, two generous supporters donated enough funds to buy seventy!
For several food bank supporters, donating school supplies was nearly as exciting as for the children who received them. One long-time food bank volunteer took her two granddaughters shopping to pick out school supplies and backpacks to donate. She then brought the girls to the food bank one afternoon to give the backpacks to two happy children. Another supporter came into the food bank three different times to donate backpacks. She said that every time she walked through the school supplies aisle and saw the cute backpacks, she remembered how much she loved getting a new one each year. She wanted children in the families the food bank serves to have that same feeling.
The bighearted response to the drive created a challenge. All the supplies needed to be inventoried, organized and packaged. A few sessions were set up and the call for volunteers went out. The first morning carloads of kids, teens and moms from Westtown Church arrived to help. Within 90 minutes, they had packaged more than 200 sets of supplies. Other volunteers helped on two additional days. Altogether, more than 50 volunteers donated 300+ hours to the project.
The generosity and hard work paid off in the smiling faces of the children who received backpacks and stories from grateful parents.
A big thank-you to the donors and volunteers who made this year’s project such a success. Special thanks to the food bank’s partner churches, First Reformed Church of Tampa, Incarnation Catholic Church, Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church and Westtown, for getting the word out, collecting supplies and recruiting volunteers.
THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION OVER TAMPA BAY
On Saturday, November 22, 2014, Miracle Center World Outreach will host the 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Celebration Over Tampa Bay. The event features an afternoon of festivities and hope. Over 2,000 frozen turkeys and bags of non-perishable food will be given to needy families. The event will take place at Steinbrenner Field on the corner of Dale Mabry Hwy and Martin Luther King Blvd.. The event starts at 11:00 a.m.(doors open at 10:30 am).
One (1) turkey and non-perishable food bag will be given to each household. Registration is required. For additional information or to register, go to http://billyburke.org/Thanksgiving2014 or call (813) 867-6111.
Registration is open through November 3.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~