The charity I’d like to highlight this month is Beacon of Hope. The organization was formed here on the island where I live after Hurricane Charley made a direct hit here back in 2004. It has since grown to include many services to “Help Our People Excel” such as meal service, GED classes, veterans’ support, transportation to medical appointments, and the list goes on.
The Beacon is now affiliated with United Way, but much of the money to run the programs comes from its thrift store and the annual Holiday House event.
Here I am at Holiday House selling my books.
I included both a hurricane and the formation of a social service agency in my book Southern Hospitality.
Here’s an excerpt:
The next afternoon, the sun had indeed come out in a cloudless sky. The humidity also co-operated making for a perfect day for an outdoor concert.
At noon, traffic was already backed from Calusa all the way across the drawbridge. Sheriff Biggs and Deputy Ramos along with a number of members of the Skippers directed car after car into parking spaces on the outskirts of Mr. Wibbertson’s property. After alighting, the passengers claimed spaces in the open area to set up folding chairs and throw down blankets. Before long, some began tossing beach balls and Frisbees through the air. Others partook of hotdogs, pulled pork sandwiches, and grouper tacos prepared by the food trucks lining the perimeter. A band of local teenagers served as the opening act and began to entertain the growing crowd.
Kate hovered in the wings checking and rechecking last minute details over a two way radio with Dave as he roamed the grounds. Behind the scenes, Geneva and Patsy welcomed Joey and his band mates when Seth delivered them from the hotel.
At three o’clock, Joey and the other musicians bounded onto the stage. With no original music of their own, they chose to perform up tempo oldies and trop rock favorites. Many in the audience either sang along or got up and began to dance. A party atmosphere prevailed for the full two hours that the band played. When they finally took their bows, the shouts of approval were deafening.
Afterwards, the traffic snaked its way off the island in a steady stream for a solid hour. Most of the cars had their windows down as the jubilant occupants continued to sing their way out of town.
The Skippers spread out over Mr. Wibbertson’s field as soon as the vehicles had departed. They soon gathered what little debris had been left behind restoring Mr. Wibbertson’s property to its former state. Weary but exultant, Kate and the others wended their way to their homes. On Sunday morning Pastor Jenkins and Father Mathias both held services of thanksgiving at their respective churches.
The next afternoon, Kate waited for her fellow committee members on the patio. Helen was the last to arrive. Grinning broadly, she all but skipped in, waving a paper over her head.
“I have the preliminary figures,” she announced. “We made nearly twenty-five thousand dollars over what we projected. The auction at the VIP party was a big success.” She paused long enough to blush. “And Joey himself made a hefty donation before he left town. He handed the check to me personally.”
“Who says prayers aren’t answered?” Father Mathias asked.
“Can I have an amen?” Pastor Jenkins raised his arms skyward.
After the rest of the group responded happily, Dave pulled out a sheaf of papers. “I have some good news too. We can get a preliminary approval of our nonprofit status. All we need is a name.”
“How about Funds for Calusa?” Helen suggested.
“Or Building a New Calusa,” Seth said.
Geneva raised an eyebrow. “Calusa Social Services?”
“I’ve been pondering this,” Kate said. “Everyone in town pulled together to help each other through this. I think our name should be Calusa Cares.”
Dave gazed into Kate’s eyes. “Perfect.”
What is a blog hop?
A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.
When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the
exact same list appears on each blog.
Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list.
The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.
Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can “HOP” from blog
to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!