This holiday season, there is a bittersweet feeling in the air and I think many people’s hearts are heavy with the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school and there are many initiatives going around to “pay it forward” in some way. One way that we can all pay it forward is to help those that are in need during the holiday season and try to make a difference in someone’s life, especially the youth. Yale Enforcement and the Tampa Branch tried to do just that with a very large donation to Metropolitan Ministries, which is the Tampa Bay areas largest charitable organization for the poor, hungry and homeless population in the area.
Metropolitan Ministries is truly an amazing organization. Their donation tent operates as a well oiled machine and is about the size of a football field. You pull up into the donation lane and volunteers come up to the car with a grocery cart to unload, count and weigh the items. It really makes you feel great when you have so many items, that it takes 3 carts and a handful of volunteers to unload and process your donation. They see the items being donated and it’s the items they are in severe shortage of, and they thank you with tears in their eyes and tell you what a blessing it is and that we just made a huge difference. The old adage “giving is better than receiving” has never been more true.
Yale Enforcement gave a generous donation of $250 that allowed for the purchase of 10 turkeys, 48 cans of sweet potatoes and 36 cans of fruit cocktail, which are all the food items listed on Metropolitan’s website as having a shortage of donations for. I think we made a good dent in that.
As well, the Tampa office came together and in lieu of exchanging any gifts amongst ourselves, we pooled $270 to purchase gifts to be donated along with the food items. Everyone always buys gifts to donate for little kids so as I mentioned with the food, I always make it a point to get on Metropolitan’s website to see what they have a shortage of and every year it’s ages 12-17 that they are in dire need of gifts for, and they list suggestions of what to get. I always relate to my own son and think of how much he loves Christmas and what it would be like for him if we were in that position, and my heart goes out to all the less fortunate teens who are overlooked when it comes to donations. We donated 31 items for teenagers and hope that we are able to bring a smile to that many kids on Christmas that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten anything. These items consisted of:
6 watches (3 boys & 3 girls)
3 make up kits
3 body lotion kits
3 Uno card games
4 Dominos games
1 Jenga game
As I mentioned, Metropolitan Ministries weighs all items and between the food and the kids items, we donated almost 300 lbs of goods! As my own family opens our gifts on Christmas, I will think of all the kids and families we were able to help and that feeling will be better than any gift I receive. Thank you to Yale and the Florida staff’s generosity and I wish everyone a very Happy Holiday!
Director of Operations - Region 3