By Michelle Colesanti

Is your student looking for community service hours? Are you retired and looking to help local charitable organizations? For the fifth year, the Community Roundtable of Brandon will host a free Community Service Forum, which will take place at Brandon High School on Thursday, November 5 from 6-8 p.m. Students from all of the area high schools have been invited to attend and meet with many local charities that are seeking volunteers.

Adults seeking information on volunteering are also welcome.

Instilling a sense of community and pride for the Greater Brandon area through participation via membership and volunteerism is the mission statement of the Community Roundtable, and this forum will introduce both students and adults to local charities to learn what they are all about, and will help to match the charities with people who have interest in the areas served. All information that students will need to help determine what charities are best for them will be available at the forum. This is also a good opportunity for parents to accompany their students so that they can help them navigate through the attending charities to find the right fit.

Cheryl Ann Haley, who is general manager of Life’s Treasures (supporting LifePath Hospice) said, “Each Community Service Forum has been a huge help for recruiting teen volunteers for Life’s Treasures. We are able to staff the store and get projects done while the students are able to earn Bright Futures and Honor Society community service hours. The store’s other volunteers who are mostly retirees are also able to impart practical work experience and knowledge while working alongside the teens.”

Some of the local charities already on board include Tennis For Fun, Valrico Rams Youth Sports, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, ECHO, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., All Children’s Hospital Guild and more. Over 30 charities are expected to participate.

Janine Nickerson, president of the Community Roundtable said, “This is really important for our community to have students and adults to find a way to help our local charities.”

Brandon High School is located at 1101 Victoria St. in Brandon. For more information, call 661-4350, email or visit

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.