It's that time again!
We are looking for volunteers for 4-hour gate shifts on Saturday and Sunday during the Manatee Fest.
Please click this link to volunteer: http://ow.ly/kN4850HbzeM
This event has generated $15,000 for our program because of our volunteers!
Masks, gloves, and sanitizer will be available at your gates.
Blessings t-shirt included for your volunteer service!
On Nov. 17, a group of volunteers from the Key Training Center (KTC) and West Citrus Ladies of the Elks (LOE) packed weekend food items at the Citrus County Blessing pantry in Lecanto. These weekend supplies help to fight childhood food hunger for Citrus County school children. From left are: Jessica Barberia, KTC; Matt Gosse, KTC; Craig Norton, KTC; Melissa Martin, KTC; Donna Hayes, LOE; Beth Tarnowski, LOE; Jill Jeroski, LOE; Janet Porter, LOE; and and Joanne Hepner, LOE.
Jack and Ida King were named Family of the Month for September by St. Scholastica Knights of Columbus Council 14485.
In 2015, Jack devised and implemented the St. John Paul II scholarship fund with the help of Roger Preble. He has also served as chancellor of the council and chairman of the admissions committee.
Jack has advanced to membership in the patriotic degree in the Knights of Columbus and is a member of Father James Hoge Assembly 1547 in Lecanto. He is a member of the Color Corp in the assembly.
For the past 10 years, Jack has volunteered on a weekly basis providing maintenance and other services as needed at Daystar Life Center. He also volunteers with the Citrus County Blessings when needed, delivering food and performing special projects.
Jack served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1970 and served aboard the USS Lexington as a boiler tender.
After a hiatus in 2020, due to COVID19, the annual Blessings Ball was back on October 22nd, 2021. This was a great opportunity to bring the community together for dancing, dressing up and most importantly, helping to feed kids in need. Keep you eyes on our social media and website for the 7th Annual Blessings Ball date and theme!
From left are: Debbie Johnson, CCCC show co-chair; Lea Bedinotti, CCCC vice president; Jan Lawson, Citrus County Blessings volunteer; Pat Gilman, Citrus County Blessings volunteer; Katie Hurd, CCCC treasurer; and Jamie Cyrulik, CCCC publicist.
Raffle items at the event raised $129 for Citrus County Blessings, which helps feed local children around the county balanced meals on the weekend and school breaks.
The U.S. Family Foundation recently presented Citrus County Blessings with a check for $30,000. This contribution was made in honor of June Grant, who established an endowment for the educational needs of those youth most in need of assistance.
Citrus County Blessing’s is an organization established to fight childhood food insecurity. They are currently providing food each weekend of the school year for more than 1,850 children in need.
“With program growth and the addition of area preschools, the generous donation ensures our program’s sustainability,'' Citrus County Blessings executive director Christina Reed said.
“The U.S. Family Foundation has generously supported us over the years and we are thankful to have them looking out for our community and programs that help support those in need,” Reed added.
In 2021 the U.S. Family Foundation has provided more than $4.5 million in donations, with $1.5 million going directly to Citrus County charities.
For more information on how to establish a permanent endowment for Citrus County Blessings, visit usfamilyfoundation.com.
The Blessings program is community funded. It relies on donations from individuals, businesses, churches, civic groups and foundations.
For the fifth consecutive summer, Citrus County Blessings and their dedicated volunteers have spent one evening a week in the community providing fresh fruits and vegetables for families in need.
The program runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings for nine weeks at seven locations in the county.
“The generosity of several community partners allows us to set up in areas where we know our families live. Where it is convenient for them to get to,” Blessings executive director, Christina Reed, said.
Each week the organization sends a little something extra to help with food costs or as a special treat for the kids. Included in this are peanut butter and jelly, bread, cotton candy and even goody bags in celebration of the Fourth of July.
“Seeing the kid's excitement at our locations is the heart of what we do,” Blessings program coordinator, Rachelle Garrett-Butler, said.
The summer program currently serves an average of 431 local children and adults facing food insecurity. It is available to families who are already participating in the Blessings program over the school year.
“Enrollment is required in advance, as we purchase our produce each week through the Community Food Bank of Citrus County,” Garrett-Butler said. “We are also accepting new enrollments, this is a great way to get the information to families and get them the help they need.”
Funding for programs offered by Blessings is provided by the generosity of individuals, businesses, civic groups and churches.
They also receive local grants like the Citrus County Charitable Foundation, which awarded Blessings a grant for $13,394 for their weekend meal program.