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Share the Spirit
Pinellas filling holiday wish lists
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Local Realtor and Santa’s Angel Nancy Tangredi is collecting donations of new unwrapped gifts, new clothing and canned foods for needy Pinellas families.
Local organizations and businesses continue to sponsor events to collect toys, food and other necessities to help make the holidays bright for Pinellas County’s less fortunate, its seniors and those with special needs. Tampa Bay Newspapers has updated its annual Share the Spirit listing of ways people are pitching in to help others. To add to the list, send an email to webmaster@tbnweekly.com.

Collecting for Santa’s Angels

Local Realtor and Santa’s Angel Nancy Tangredi is collecting donations of new unwrapped gifts, new clothing and canned foods for needy Pinellas families. Tangredi works from the Coldwell Banker Real Estate office at 3325 66th St. N, St. Petersburg. Donations are delivered to Santa’s Angels, a charity based in Madeira Beach that helps kids in Pinellas have a traditional Christmas celebration. Santa’s Angels delivers gifts, food baskets, and Christmas decorations to families identified through several Pinellas outreach and educational organizations.

Earlier this year, Coldwell Banker donated $1,000 to Santa’s Angels, arranged by Realtor and Santa’s Angel volunteer Arlene Funio through the Coldwell Banker charitable foundation, CARES. Last year, Santa’s Angels provided holiday joy to 195 children from 73 families throughout Pinellas County. For more information, visit www.s­antas­angel­s.us or call Nancy Tangredi at 727-381-2345.

Elves for Elders Program 2012

The Elves for Elders program connects gift givers with seniors who have no funds or family to provide them with basic necessities or to remember them with a gift at the holidays. Simply pick a tag off a tree containing the wish list of someone in need. Buy an item or two and return the gifts unwrapped to the location on the tag. No gift is too small, and if you do not have time to shop, mail a gift card to “Elves, Sunshine Center, 330 Fifth St. N., 33701 and an Elf will shop for you. Deadline to drop off the gifts at the trees is Dec. 12.

Trees are located at Bealls Stores in; Largo Mall, Gateway Mall, and Oldsmar Mall. More trees are located at Pasadena Office building at 1135 South Pasadena Ave.; The Walgreen's on 54th Ave. and Ninth Street; Walgreen’s on U.S 19 and Central Avenue; and the Big Lot's on 62nd Ave.

Gifts are taken to The Sunshine Senior Center where head "Elf" Carol Radin, administrative assistant, Office on Aging for the city of St. Petersburg works with other Elves who put the bags together, then distribute the gift bags to the case managers and guardians of the needy seniors, who deliver them to the seniors. The list is long this year with more than 450 needy seniors.

Giving Back to Clearwater

Budget Blinds is donating a turkey on behalf of anyone who buys a window treatment through Dec. 14 as part of the Giving Back to Clearwater program. Customers who choose not to make a purchase can donate $5 and Budget Blinds will match the donation. Budget Blinds and its customers donated 50 turkeys to needy families for Thanksgiving. The goal is to provide another 50 for Christmas. For information, call 400-6870.

Fill the Sand Key Limo with Toys

Sand Key Realty is sponsoring Fill the Sand Key Limo with Toys on Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In exchange for an unwrapped toys, gift givers will receive a thank you raffle ticket. The raffle drawing begins at 4:30 p.m. for prizes donated by The Shoppes of Sand Key. The prize gift certificates range from ice cream cones to a dozen rose a month for a year. Event organizers hope that the raffle tickets will entice people to give more toys, as there a lot of local children in need of holiday cheer this year.

Firefighters toy and cash collection

Pinellas Park firefighters are collecting toys and cash donations to help local needy children. Donations can be dropped off at any Pinellas Park Fire Station, and will be accepted until Monday, Dec. 17. For more information, call 541-0712 or 488-4129.

Dunedin giving tree

The city of Dunedin named the tree in front of City Hall, 542 Main St., “The Giving Tree” and decorated it with a nautical theme in support of efforts to “collect a boat load of food” for the community this holiday season. Donations will be collected at City Hall Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Thursday, Dec. 20.

The public is asked to drop off nonperishable food items, grocery gift cards or new children’s toys in the lobby of City Hall and sign the card that will be delivered with the donations to a local charitable organization, selected by the city’s Social Services Committee.

Christmas toy and clothes drive

Sound Mind Ministries, a Christian-based Counseling Service, needs winter wear jackets, coats, hoodies, sleeping bags and gloves. The service, located at 1130 Pinehurst Road in Dunedin, Suite E., is also organizing its annual Christmas toy drive and needs donations. Sound Mind Ministries doors are open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., pick up or drop off.

The counseling service, which just celebrated its fourth year in Dunedin, is based on a sliding scale according to income and offers marriage, family and single counseling. To learn more about the ministries, call Sound Mind Ministries at 329-6463 or visit sound­mindm­inist­ries.­net.

People That Love Church and Mission

Food is being collected for the holidays and for daily distribution at the People That Love Church and Mission, 817 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Canned and nonperishable foods are needed, as are 10- to 12-pound turkeys. All donations may be delivered at any time. For information, visit www.p­eople­thatl­ove.c­om.

Canned goods for library fines

All Clearwater Public Library branches will offer an amnesty period for overdue materials in exchange for a donation of nonperishable goods. The offer is valid through Friday, Dec. 21. Anyone who has fines may bring their canned goods or nonperishable foods to any Clearwater library branch and present them at the circulation desk with the overdue materials if available. Staff will waive any fines due, and the donated food will go toward a holiday charity food drive. Call 562-4970.

Salvation Army - Clearwater

Clearwater Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to help with holiday activities, including the Christmas Distribution, Dec. 17-18. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers needed to assist with the Christmas toy and food distribution. For more information, call Jo Ann Bruner at 727-725-9777, ext. 104 or email JoAnn_Bruner@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Salvation Army - St. Petersburg

Salvation Army in St. Petersburg has a number of volunteer opportunities just in time to help hundreds of families in southern Pinellas County with gifts of love and hope for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year 7,513 men, women and children received assistance. Help is needed in the following areas.

- Bell ringing through Dec. 24. Priority for Volunteer Bell Ringers will be on Fridays and Saturdays at the Publix Stores, Walmart, and Tyrone Mall stations. Minimum shift is two hours.

- Christmas toy sorting, through Dec. 14. Assist staff in sorting and packaging toys for needy children in the community.

- Christmas distribution, Dec. 18-20. Distribution of food, toys and other assistance to 1,000 plus families from the community.

- Christmas Eve Community Dinner, Dec. 24. Come help prepare, serve and clean up after the Community Christmas Dinner.

- After Christmas, Jan. 7-31. Check dates and stock food donated to our Social Services Department in their pantry.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, call Gail Stark at 727-550-8080, ext. 332 or email her at Gail_Stark@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Suncoast Brotherhood motorcycle toy run

The Suncoast Brotherhood motorcycle rights group presents its 32nd annual Toy Run on Sunday, Dec. 16, starting from the K-Mart parking lot at U.S. 19 and S.R. 580 in Dunedin. The police escorted procession begins with kickstands up at noon.

Participants are asked to bring a $5 donation and an unwrapped toy per person, all to benefit the Pinellas County Foster and Adoptive Parents Association. The group is especially asking for gift cards this year, as many of the foster kids are teenagers. The procession will start along S.R. 580 and end at American Legion Post 275 at 360 Wilson Street. For information, call Suzanne at 736-4664 or Kenny at 580-9183.

Holiday fundraisers

Organizations throughout Pinellas use the holidays as a time to raise funds for their causes to be used year-round to help the community. The following is a list of fundraisers submitted by TBN readers.

Kiwanis Club Christmas tree lot

The Kiwanis Club of Seminole’s Christmas tree lot is open at 8450 113th St., next to the former Seminole Chamber of Commerce building. The lot will be open weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. until all trees are gone. The lot features Frazier fir trees. Most major credit cards are accepted. Proceeds will benefit the club’s various community service projects.

Boy Scout’s Christmas Tree Sale

Boy Scout troop 371’s annual Christmas tree sale continues through Dec. 20, at Christ the King Lutheran Church. 11220 Oakhurst Road, Largo. The trees will be sold from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday; and 1 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Proceeds go to the troop's upcoming campouts and other troop needs

Holiday gift wrapping

Holiday gift wrapping at the Tyrone Square Mall, 6901 22nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg, benefits Suncoast Hospice. Look for the booth stationed near the Dillard’s Court next toe Elizabeth’s through Dec. 24. Prices range from $2 for small boxes to $5 for an extra-large box.

All Children’s Hospital gift catalog

All Children's Hospital is taking part in the launch of the first-ever crowdfunded hospital gift catalog –www.G­iveMi­racle­s.org – as part of a national campaign led by the world’s largest crowdfunding-for-good platform, Fundly, and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Through www.G­iveMi­racle­s.org, individuals wanting to give back with their holiday gifts can purchase critically needed medical equipment and medical care for children at All Children's Hospital.

Once donors choose their gift from the www.G­iveMi­racle­s.org catalog, ranging from comfort toys ($30), to a pediatric wheelchair ($970), to an entire hospital wing devoted to neonatal intensive care ($12 million), they will receive updates on exactly how their gift is being utilized.

Individuals can launch their own personalized crowdfunding campaign on the www.G­iveMi­racle­s.org platform to collectively-purchase big-ticket, high-impact medical items for the hospital through small donations from friends and family via Fundly, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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