By Grace Maselli
Tis the Season for Appreciation, Even If You’re Not in the Mood
Sure, it’s arguably not easy to be thankful. Especially given this déjà vu thing: The holiday season in 2021 means staring wide-eyed into the prospect of another tenacious COVID-19 mutation, ominous omicron, alongside a climate of vaccine hesitancy. These 20 or so intense months since March 2020 have resulted in more than 5 millions deaths worldwide from the dreaded virus.
But we here at TBT choose to keep moving. To keep doing what we can in our own backyard to make a positive difference—despite the swirls of uncertainty caused by the pandemic and so much more.
This starts with our very own TBT Coordinator, Rita Cobbs. Rita saved the life of an abandoned and precious dog, Lacey, pictured below in her new home with Rita. Lacey is a beautiful girl who’s been taken into the fold by several timebank members after Rita’s call for support to keep the Lacey well exercised and happily frolicking. So TBT members and friends have been taking Lacey on jaunts here an there, walking her in Tampa Bay Area parks, and doggie sitting too on a recent occassion when Rita spent a lush holiday trip with her family in town from Wyoming. Because after all, it takes a village to do it right.
But this is just one of many mitzvahs engineered by TBT and its leadership team, members, and volunteers who remain grateful for their homes, and health, and the food they’re able to eat. Following are a few 2021 highlights, but certainly not an exhaustive list:
- Attended a Community Pet Project fundraiser event, helping to distribute pet food for homeless persons.
Several members fostered dogs through the Lucky Ones Rescue.
- Collaborated with the Life Enrichment Center to promote monthly online member programs and classes.
- Joined forces with Lutheran Services Florida to organize clothing and household goods for donation and distribution to refugee families in the Tampa Bay Area.
- Partnered with Radiant Hands to gather and bring furniture donation to arriving Afghan refugees.
- Worked alongside the Refugee & Migrant Women’s Initiative, Inc. to promote services and activities devoted to refugee women, including assembled donations of 56 self-care baskets of personal items and a monthly Zoom support call.
- Brainstorming and information sharing online with a Georgia permaculturist to support minority farmers.
- Hosted an online Celebration of Life and outdoor potluck in Phillipe Park for TBT founder Marie Nelson.
- Hosted a members’ decluttering workshop and financial literacy workshop, among many others.
In the spirit of the pending new year, all of us here at TBT wish you new, joyous beginnings and deepening connections to your local communities, where ever they are.