MOON LAKE — There are still a couple of days left to show your love for those in need of clothing items and blankets this Valentine’s Day.
The Arc Nature Coast group, which helps individuals and families with disabilities, is in the final days of its clothing donation drive to support West Pasco’s needy. The clothing collected will be presented to the Volunteer Way, a West Pasco County group that works to feed and clothe the homeless and low-income families and individuals.
The clothing will go on the racks and shelves of the Clothes Closet at the Volunteer Way thrift store and food kitchen at 10012 Moon Lake Road. There, people in need can shop for free. The kitchen, which serves free meals, and the clothing shop, are open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The Arc drop-off for clothing and blankets is at its West Pasco office at 8726 Old County Road 54. It’s open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The group’s website is www.thearc-naturecoast.org, and it can be reached at 727-376-7800.
The clothing collected will be presented to the Volunteer Way on Valentine’s Day.
Nancy Stubbs, Arc development director, said much of the clothing her group has collected so far has come from Arc employees and the many families and individuals Arc supports with residential services, life skills training and employment placement, as a way of giving back for what they have received through the nonprofit organization that operates in Hernando and Pasco counties. The Arc headquarters is based in Brooksville.
“We’ve had a relationship with Volunteer way for a while,” said Stubbs, who said another Arc program collects fresh produce to deliver to the Volunteer Way kitchen in Moon Lake as part of Martin Luther King Day. “A lot of what (clothing) we’ve collected has been from internal sources, but we are taking donations from the public, as well.”
Nicole Cestaro, assistant CEO of Volunteer Way, said the work of Arc is greatly appreciated by her group, which always is in need of items for West Pasco residents in need. Anyone who needs clothing, food or other necessities can stop by the group’s Moon Lake facility. There’s never a charge, said Cestaro, and there’s no paperwork involved.
“We just take everyone on their good word that they need help,” Cestaro said.
Marlene Perry works in the Clothing Closet and has been volunteering with the Volunteer Way for 11 years. Perry and her fellow volunteers have a particularly important job during the winter months, when warm clothing and blankets are most important to the homeless and low-income people, and said she looks forward to the Arc donation — just in time for Valentine’s Day.