CLEARWATER — The season of giving is here and plenty of local entities and organizations took part leading up to last week’s big day.
Law enforcement agencies, first responders, local businesses, nonprofits – help came from all over to make sure less fortunate Pinellas County residents could celebrate Thanksgiving with a decent feast.
At the Light of Christ Catholic Church, 2176 Marilyn St., volunteers representing Clearwater Fire and Rescue, the IAFF Local 1158 firefighters and Publix teamed up Nov. 20 to provide turkeys and all the trimmings to families at the Clearwater house of worship.
The annual effort also included a little something extra for children attending the church’s preschool. Firefighters brought the schoolchildren into the parking lot to check out the fire engine and hop on board.
The Salvation Army of Pinellas County staged its annual meal distribution at three locations last week, as well. An estimated 9,000 turkeys and food baskets were distributed to local families, amounting to approximately 175,000 pounds of food.
North Pinellas families picked up food at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, in Tarpon Springs, and the Salvation Army Social Services Campus, in Clearwater.
The turkeys and food baskets were provided by an anonymous donor who works throughout the year to gather support from family and friends to make sure people in need have a Thanksgiving meal.
More than 200 volunteers provided their time and effort to distribute the food this year.
Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Community Policing Unit got in on the giving last Tuesday.
Participating deputies met at the loading dock behind the Indian Rocks Shopping Center Publix in Largo to pick up turkey dinners. From there, deputies went on delivery runs to households throughout Pinellas County. A total of 50 families benefited from the deliveries that went to homes in the Lealman, Highpoint, Ridgecrest and other North County neighborhoods. The families were identified by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies through their daily work in the community.
The project, in its 14th year, receives help from the Indian Rocks Beach Rotary Club, Calvary Episcopal Church, Pinellas Suncoast Fire Rescue and Publix.