Joy of Giving event gives gifts, community support to thousands

Raymond James Stadium appeared much more like Santa’s workshop on Saturday as dozens of native church buildings, non-income, and native companies got here collectively to offer again to their group for the eighth annual “Pleasure of Giving” occasion.

This yr’s occasion was spearheaded by WWE Celebrity Thaddeus Bullard, a.okay.a Titus O’Neil and was greater than ever earlier than. Organizers stated it is as a result of extra households are in want this yr.

Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the vacation season, many Bay Space residents could not assist however consider a current catastrophe that nearly destroyed their Christmas.

“The hurricane has affected us it is like a domino impact,” resident Nicole Black stated of Hurricane Irma.

Three months later, households are nonetheless making an attempt to get well from Irma. The storm broken houses, knocked out energy and compelled residents like Black to overlook work.

“My job was affected, I feel that is the primary two weeks I’ve seen eighty hours,” Black stated.

Black was one among 10,000 residents getting presents on the Pleasure of Giving occasion. O’Neil has made it his mission to pay it ahead in honor of those that helped him.

“I received a distant management automotive at 12 years previous,” O’Neil stated. “A woman stated she received the present particularly for me as a result of I needed you to have a pleasant present. That was the one present I received that yr, I grew up poor.

“I would like this group to proceed to attempt and I would like the individuals inside it to know that we actually reside in top-of-the-line cities in America,” he stated. “So I would like it to proceed that means, and the one method I can do that’s to actively be concerned in ensuring that occurs.”

Households stated the group’s generosity and help have saved their vacation.

“To inform you the reality we purchased hen quarters for Christmas as a result of we simply could not make it,” Black stated. “I am working however by the grace of God as a result of guess what? We have got Christmas dinner, so God is sweet all the best way round,” Black stated.

Households on the Pleasure of Giving occasion have been additionally given entry to very important group assets like counseling, well being care, and authorized help.

For extra info on Pleasure of Giving and an inventory of all organizations who helped make the occasion occur go to

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