By Lily Belcher
Ahead of the holiday season, 360° Painting of Brandon began hosting a virtual food drive for Sessums Elementary that will continue through Friday, December 10. The food drive is part of its ongoing Kids-Lift charity program, which hosted a similar virtual food drive at the beginning of the year.
The virtual food drive allows community members to purchase nonperishable food items, such as cereal, canned food and snacks, through Amazon. These food items will be shipped directly to the school after they are purchased by donors. Sessums Elementary is then responsible for deciding how and when to distribute the goods, either as the goods come in or all at once at the end of the drive.
“Kids-Lift works with franchise owners in communities across the United States and Canada to give back to vulnerable kids, their families and their schools,” Explained Communications Coordinator Alexa Dargis. “Starting [in November] and continuing through the end of December, 360° Painting is hosting a virtual food drive in the community so that Brandon residents can send shelf-stable food products directly to students and families in need.”
Chris Seufert is the franchise owner of a 360° Painting in Brandon and is promoting the Kids-Lift food drive around the community. He said that participating in the community outreach program and food banks has reminded him to not be selfish and grounded him.
“It’s very easy to get caught up in your head as life goes on, to become kind of selfish, and, for me, what helps me get out of my head is contributing to other people and helping other people,” said Seufert.
The food donated will go to the young children of Sessums Elementary, who have struggled with food security because of their parents’ financial hardship.
“It breaks my heart to know [the kids] don’t really have a say in the matter. They are kind of the helpless victims. … Through these community outreach programs, we do try to bring awareness to some of those issues and some monetary stimulus to the area.”
Seufert often extends his charity to his clients throughout the year and hopes that they will contribute to the food drive if possible.
For more information, contact Seufert at 727-430-9867. To donate, visit www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/13XNIK1IQRIL/.