ST. PETERSBURG — Throughout the year, the ladies at the St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) have a calendar full of charitable events, one of which is their annual Thanksgiving giveaway last month. This year’s event saw the parking lot at Greater Mt. Zion AME Church full cars lined up.
Due to the pandemic, the ladies conducted a drive-thru, with vehicles lined up for blocks to have large grocery bags of Thanksgiving groceries and essentials placed in their cars. Items included a turkey, dressing, canned and fresh vegetables, eggs, cake mix cranberry sauce, and other miscellaneous items, more than enough to showcase a deliciously healthy meal on the table to share with family.
Participants were greeted with a warm welcome and a smile that lit the faces of all who drove through by event chairperson, Dewana McCarty, while the willing workers prepared for strategic teamwork that smoothly directed the flow of the drive-thru without much waiting.
This year, the Section shined a little light of encouragement and hope in the lives of more than 150 families while closely adhering to COVID-19 protocol. The pandemic has put a strain on many households, but the Thanksgiving Giveaway was a rewarding way to enjoy the spirit of the season.
Thanksgiving is a significant and reassuring time for family togetherness; it is traditionally a spirit-filled gathering, an atmosphere of gratitude, smiles, and laughter on everyone’s face while reflecting on the many expressions of why. Despite the challenges 2020 has wrought, there is always a reason to be thankful.
The Section is always in the spirit of giving all year long and especially at a time when the pandemic has imposed such hardships on the community and the needs are much greater than ever before. Although Thanksgiving 2020 was quite different, one thing that remained constant was their commitment and mission to make a difference in service to others.
This year’s event was a great success. Event chair McCarty, co-chair Georgia Thomas, along with their entire network of community partners and volunteers, all agreed that an overwhelming level of fulfillment had been reached, and they too felt they had been rewarded by the inspiration and cheerfulness of those they served.
A few of the many supporters whose mission is aligned with that of the Section and who made this gift of giving possible included:
- Petersburg Free Clinic
- Black Pearls Youth group
- Publix Supermarket
- Smith Funeral Home
- Bethel Metropolitan
- Zion Progressive MB
- Petersburg District AME
- Power Broker Magazine
- Rene Flowers, Pinellas County Commissioner
- Night Riders Van Club
- Petersburg Masonic Lodge 109
- Positive Impact Ministry
- Greater Mt. Zion AME
- Pete Bulletin
- Naomi Titus 2 Covenant Alliance
- Petersburg Police Department
Let us remember to reflect on the words of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune: “The world will call for the best that all of us have to give.” And, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “What are we doing for others?”
Ethel Robinson is the current president of the St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section.
To find out more about the St. Petersburg Metropolitan Section, visit www.ncnwstpete.org.