Pierce Manufacturing, a global leader in custom fire truck manufacturing and fire apparatus, delivered more than 900 pounds of toys, games and bikes for the "Littles" of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast. Each year the Littles of Manatee County enjoy an eventful holiday party along with their Bigs. Employees of Pierce Manufacturing, dressed up as Elves), loaded up a box truck in route to the Manatee office to deliver the toys. For some of the Littles this will be the very first bike they have ever owned. PHOTO PROVIDED
The 135 members of Manatee Patchworkers Quilt Guild recently donated 737 handcrafted reversible placemats to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. The placemats were distributed to area seniors and home-bound clients with their meals during the holiday season. In addition to the Placemat Project, the Guild filled stockings for 101 homeless men and made quilts for cancer patients. Above: Patchworkers Quilt Guild Placemat Project Chair Joyce Harmon, Chair of Community Service Hazeldean Meyers, President Shelia Rose and Vice President Rose Ryan and Meals on Wheels PLUS Vice President of Client Services Roxy Carson display the placemats donated by the Guild to Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee on Dec. 12 at the Meals on Wheels PLUS Administrative offices in Bradenton. PHOTO PROVIDED
Goodwill Manasota and Olive Garden recently partnered for the second year to provide a free holiday meal for area veterans and their families. This year, veteran Melissa Bomar, who served in the Army National Guard, was the recipient of the holiday meal. Her guests included her two children, Lorelei and Landon, her father, Greg Wierzbach -- who is also a veteran -- and mother, Terry. Bomar was identified through Goodwill's Veterans Services Program. Barbara Richards, manager of the Olive Garden in the Sarasota Landings, hosted the family at no cost to them. PHOTO PROVIDED
More than 8,000 Christmas wreaths were placed at veteran's grave markers Dec. 13 by veterans groups and volunteers at the Sarasota National Cemetery. American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24, Bradenton, volunteers placed 150 wreaths. Post 24's motorcycle riders also participated in the annual wreath-laying event. Above: Post 24 Commander Richard Alvarez and George Staudt placing wreaths. PHOTO PROVIDED
The Foundation for Dreams staff and supporters, along with members of the Manatee County Sheriff's Community Policing Unit made the wish of one of the campers come true this holiday season.
After hearing about the families' struggles, donors contributed money to purchase a basketball net. Members of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office put it together and delivered the gift early for Christmas. These men also went out and purchased basketballs for the young man to play with during the day and night. They even stayed to play a couple of games. PHOTO PROVIDED
The Colony Cove residents came forward in a big way this year with their Toys For Tots drive Dec. 7. Sponsored by the New England club this year, Santa's little helpers, collected more than 800 toys including 15 various sizes of bicycles. Also, the business community along U.S. 301 participated with boxes and also donated several toys. Colony Cove residents also collected $1,000, which will be used in Manatee County just for special needs kids. The evening started out with a spaghetti meatball dinner, made by Fred and Carol Roselli. Then all the people with golf carts headed out in various routes and picked up toys in the community. The Marine Corps Reservist then came with their truck and the residents picked up the toys. All the residents involved hoped that this put a smile on a child's face on Christmas morning. PHOTO PROVIDED