By B.C. Manion
A number of civic clubs, businesses and religious organizations have stepped forward to help brighten the holidays for others.
The help comes in many forms in North Hillsborough and Central and East Pasco counties.
It comes as a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings, as a yoga class to support the troops and in toy collections and food drives to bring holiday cheer to the less fortunate.
The Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel Noon is hosting its third annual Turkey Gobble, but this year it will be at a different venue.
The civic group has teamed with Helping Hands Pantry at Lutheran Atonement Church, 29617 SR 54 in Wesley Chapel, which will be hosting the event.
Hot meals will be served on Thanksgiving Day for those in need. The dinners will consist of turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, rolls and pie and will be served from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The event is open to all in need, including the elderly, shut-ins, unemployed, underemployed and the homeless. Reserve a meal by calling Ken Chase at (813) 760-1775 or stop in to the Helping Hands Pantry on Wednesday for more information.
While the Rotary Club works to feed people on Thanksgiving, Keystone Community Church is again collecting food and new toys at a Metropolitan Ministries Tent on its grounds, at SR 54 and US 41.
This is the fourth year the church has collected toys and food to help those in need at the holidays. It is accepting nonperishable food, new toys and monetary donations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 21 to help others at Thanksgiving. It will reopen the tent to accept donations from Dec. 15 through Dec. 23. Collection hours on those days are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays.
While many people will be watching parades or gearing up for a big feast on Thanksgiving, Sun Yoga, 19025 Geraci Road in Lutz, is inviting people to drop by for a yoga class to put their holiday stress on hold while supporting the troops and veterans at the same time.
The business will offer a yoga class from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 22, with donations going to BOOTSTRAP, an online program aimed at helping heal troops through yoga.
The class will be taught by a certified, experienced yoga teacher. The practice is accessible to nearly everyone, even if you’ve never done yoga before.
No preregistration is necessary. For more information, call Sun Yoga at (813) 471-7064, or visit www.sunyogatampa.com. For more information on BOOTSTRAP, visit www.bootstrapUSA.com.
Meanwhile, Cornerstone Air Conditioning & Heating, 3800 US 41 in Land O’ Lakes, is a drop-off place for Toys for Tots. Those donating a new toy valued at $10 or more will receive a voucher from Cornerstone valued at $30 off any repair, which will be valid for one year. The company is also collecting canned foods for a food drive.
Cornerstone’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Another local Toys for Tots drop-off point is CinéBistro at Grove 16. It will be accepting donations through Dec. 16.
People interested in donating can bring unopened, unwrapped toys for children up to age 12 to the theater. No donations of fake weapons or food will be accepted.
Those donating will qualify for prize drawings. Each donation valued at $15 or more, with proof of a receipt, will allow the donor to receive a complimentary appetizer.
CinéBistro is at Grove 16 is at 6333 Wesley Grove Blvd. in Wesley Chapel.
CenterState Bank in Dade City is again hosting a Christmas party for orphans, fulfilling wish lists and bringing orphans from the Florida Baptist Children’s Home to the bank for a 5 p.m. party on Dec. 18. The bank could use some help in fulfilling the wish lists. Anyone who wishes to help by providing presents, or helping with the party, should call Bonnie Krummen at (352) 521-0715. Café 9212 in Dade City has volunteered to donate food and cater the event.