More than 100 Grand Isle residents recently shared their blessings with area families in need.
David Brubaker, president and CEO of Sharing Center of Central Brevard, visited the 55-plus community on
Nov. 13 to collect 75 large boxes filled with nonperishable food, as well as $1,500 in cash donations. The boxes will be among those given out to 325 families the week of Thanksgiving. Families also will receive a gift certificate redeemable at an area grocery store for a turkey or ham.
For the past 15 years, Grand Isle volunteers Jim Crane and Jackie Hoskins organized a dinner dance and silent auction in October to benefit the nonprofit organization. With large gatherings in the senior community on hold because of COVID-19, Hoskins knew Grand Isle’s generous residents would fill Thanksgiving food boxes instead. Residents also donated clothing and assorted household items for center clients. Earlier this year, Hoskins led a neighborhood fund drive for the Sharing Center that raised more than $5,000.
Rosalie Masloski, who moved to Grand Isle from Winter Haven two years ago, donated two large boxes filled with the makings of a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
“There are an awful lot of families that are struggling this year,” Masloski said. “More than anything, I feel bad for the children. I wanted to give as much as I could.”
The Grand Isle community “has supported our mission for many years. We are so thankful (for their donations) at this time of year,” Brubaker said.
He said the pandemic has forced the Sharing Center to rethink how it serves the community and engages with donors to support its mission. Despite challenges related to the pandemic, the Sharing Center “never shut down,” Brubaker noted. “I’m very proud of that.”
The Sharing Center of Central Brevard is headquartered at 113 Aurora St. in Cocoa, where it also operates a thrift store, food pantry and community kitchen. Another thrift store is at 95 E. Merritt Ave. on Merritt Island, near Home Depot. The center operates a boutique and donation center in Suntree at 7720 N. Wickham Road, Suite 103, near Amici’s Italian Restaurant.
The community service organization welcomes donations of cash, nonperishable food, and clothing and household items in good repair. Pickup of large items such as appliances or furniture can be arranged by calling the center at
Brubaker said the greatest need now is for volunteers to sort canned items and fresh produce at the food pantry, sort donations at thrift stores, and work in the community kitchen and main office.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the center, go to sharingcenter.org.