Thankgiving Day Big Give Gets Even Bigger In South Shore

By Kelly Legg
general-newsSouth Shore’s Big Give is an example of how a grass roots effort can change a community. Beth Howard, owner of South Shore Gallery in Apollo Beach, felt a calling to feed people in need on Thanksgiving Day 2008.  Just by word-of-mouth, the community came together and served over 300 needy families.  “I was feeling led to organize an event to help people and families here in South Hillsborough County,” said Howard.  “Everything just started falling into place. Everyone I asked was excited to be a part of it.”The event is being held again this Thanksgiving Day beginning at 11 a.m. at Beanie’s Family Sports Grill, located at on 2002 S. U.S. Hwy. 41 in Ruskin. The restaurant’s owner, Beanie Tichy, cooked 40 turkeys last year that were donated by South Bay Hospital.  “This was such a rewarding event last year,” said Tichy. “We expect to feed 600 people this year.”“People in the area have been so generous,” said Howard. Last month, The South Shore Anglers held a fishing tournament and event coordinator, Steve Hoffman, donated the proceeds to The Big Give. “That gave us the jump-start we needed for some of our funding needs,” said Howard.  Feeding the multitudes is no easy task. Currently, South Shore’s Big Give is looking for more donations and volunteers. “We need crews to help cook, set-up, serve, clean-up, and deliver meals to people that have no transportation,” says Howard. “We are also hoping for more local business sponsors and individual donations to help offset the cost.”  Last year, the event needed drivers to deliver meals to those who were unable to drive to Beanie’s because of transportation issues. “We are planning on packing up several hundred to-go meals and deliver them to people on Thanksgiving Day,” says Tichy.  “We need people who are able to make these deliveries.”Those who can’t help on Thanksgiving Day can stop by and drop off canned goods at Beanie’s on 2002  U.S. Hwy. 41 S. to help re-stock the shelves at the South Hillsborough Community Cupboard. Canned goods are being accepted beginning at 11 a.m. only on Thanksgiving Day thursday, November 26, at Beanies. Some of the dry goods needed are spaghetti sauce, canned chili, soup, vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, boxed macaroni and cheese, rice, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and soap.To donate to this event, or to volunteer, please call Howard at 687-0483 or e-mail at beth@southshoregallery.com.