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Community Spirit

Seniors in Service salutes volunteers

Seniors in Service salutes volunteers

New Tampa, FL - The Seniors in Service organization held its annual recognition luncheon at The Embassy Suites Hotel USF today. The gathering celebrated participants in a variety of the organization's programs, including Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, Volunteer Caregiver, Bill Payer and Spic & Span for Seniors initiatives.

The non-profit group, which is headquartered in Hillsborough county, sponsors a variety of services throughout the community. The mission, according to their official website, is to "recruit, train and place volunteers to help children succeed and elders remain independent."

Shriners make a toy run for deserving kids

Shriners make a toy run for deserving kids

Tampa, Florida -- They brought Santa's gifts in style to some deserving children on Saturday. Bikers from all over the Bay area pulled up to Shriners Hospital in Tampa for the 21st annual motorcycle toy run.

Each rider brought along a small gift or made a donation.

Photo Gallery: Shriners Hospital Toy Run

One rider even brought along his pug for support, wearing a little hat and goggles.

Shriners Hospital provides care for children regardless of the family's ability to pay.

Company Christmas party benefits hungry Haitians

Company Christmas party benefits hungry Haitians

Tampa, Florida - It wasn't your normal company Christmas party Saturday in Tampa. Eighty-five employees of the Tampa Bay Steel Corporation gathered at East Chelsea Baptist Church at 7225 East Chelsea Street to pack up 25,000 meals dry meals made up of rice and grains.

The food is being shipped to Haiti to feed those in need after the devastating earthquake and massive flooding there.

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.

Shoeboxes for Seniors spreading holiday cheer

Shoeboxes for Seniors spreading holiday cheer

Riverview, FL - Riverview eatery Joia Fabulous Pizza and Martini Bar is opening its doors to holiday spirit this week.The Shoeboxes for Seniors charity will be setting up a collection event for the community, inviting citizens to fill shoe boxes with gifts for local seniors who aren't readily mobile.

Anyone interested in assembling a gift should wrap the top and bottom of an empty shoe box separately, then fill it with new, unopened gifts. Suggestions include socks, slippers, books, magazines, toiletry items, stationary, stamps, and calendars. A note for each box designating it as a gift for a male or female recipient will be helpful for sorting. Finish off the gift box with a rubber band, not tape, and it will be ready for delivery.

Santa Pub Crawl hitting SoHo this weekend

Santa Pub Crawl hitting SoHo this weekend

Tampa, FL -- Get ready to see lots of santas and elves donning jingle bells in South Tampa on Dec. 10, when the 10th Annual Santa Pub Crawl will invade SoHo after dark. For just $20 for those in costume who also donate a wrapped toy for charity, pub crawlers can be part of the festive tradition, which includes exclusive drink specials and freebies. For those empty handed and not in costume, it will cost $30. For more information, head to Metromix.com for the full event listing.

500 bikers turn out for this year's Cookson Toy Run

500 bikers turn out for this year's Cookson Toy Run

Seffner, Florida - Organizers say five hundred bikers took part in this year's annual Cookson Toy Run, which was held Sunday afternoon. The bikers rode from Veteran's Memorial Park in Tampa to Evans Park in Seffner, where hundreds of children were waiting for them.

For the past 17 years, bikers from across the Tampa Bay area have donated toys to hundreds of needy children during the event. The founders of the toy run, Bill and Sheri Brown, say if it wasn't for the bikers, many children from East Hillsborough County wouldn't have a Christmas.

Photo Gallery: Cookson Toy Run

Biker James Dargocey, says the toy ride is different from many of the others. "Well, it's more personal. It's more up front. You can see their faces...the happy children."