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Family challenges Tampa Bay to a charitable BOGO | Community Spirit

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Family challenges Tampa Bay to a charitable BOGO
Family challenges Tampa Bay to a charitable BOGO

Tampa, Florida --  Consider it a charitable form of Buy One-Give One...

The Brink Foundation of Tampa is challenging you and the Tampa Bay community to match its donation of $12,500 worth of toys and more than 14,000 pounds of food to Metropolitan Ministries.

"I have faith enough in the people of Tampa that they're going to step up and match every pound, every dollar," said Christopher Brink, manager of the Brink Foundation.

Metropolitan Ministries says the donation is among the largest this holiday season.

While it won't completely fulfill the need at Metropolitan Ministries, the donation will help make a dent in the demand for toys and food.

There are more than 30,000 families throughout the area requesting holiday assistance from Metropolitan Ministries, which represents an increase of ten percent from last year.

"A lot of people are struggling right now, but there's a lot of people who aren't struggling, so let's come together as a community and be grateful for what we have as Americans, as free individuals," said Brink.

Brink's commitment to his community started as an 11th grader at Seminole Presbyterian.

He says it was his physics teacher, Patricia Goodwill, who inspired him and his classmates to give back during the holidays as volunteers at Metropolitan Ministries.

Over the years, his family made their fortune, but their best investment so far has been what they've been able to give back to the community through their Brink Foundation.

The donation drives to Metropolitan Ministries started during the Thanksgiving holiday when Brink and his father noticed how bare the pantry shelves were at the warehouse.

So, they donated 25,000 pounds of food and encouraged people to match that donation.

And now, the BOGO event is making a comeback during the Christmas holiday.

"This is going to make a world of a difference to start off our holiday efforts," said Ana Mendez.

Mendez says they still need nearly 17,000 toys, especially toys for babies and teenagers.  The most requested food items include turkeys, canned fruit and vegetables, gravy, stuffing and boxed cereal.

"We're seeing more and more folks who used to give or were volunteers in the past coming to us for support, so it really is all hands on deck to help the community and help our neighbors in need," said Mendez.

If you can't donate food or a toy, Brink says there's another way you can give back.

"Understand you're just like me.  You don't have to have money behind you.  The most important thing you can donate is your time.  Come work with tent, come meet people, come and understand, walk a mile in someone else's shoes because I promise, you're going to walk away from the experience a lot more enriched than the people you're helping," said Brink.

Click here to find out where you can make a donation, or offer your assistance as a volunteer.

It's also not too late to request assistance if you need it.  To learn more, call 813-209-1200.

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