Down Time

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By Michelle Freneaux

Summertime is traditionally about vacations, family time, and relaxation. My recommendation this week goes a little bit against our usual summertime expectations. During the following weeks, I’d like to encourage all of you to find a way to volunteer in Central.

One great cause that I know we can all relate to is Relay for Life. Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s biggest fundraiser every year, and you can help this year. Cancer is a disease that has affected everyone, either directly, or through family or friends, and joining a team for Relay for Life is a simple way to support the search for a cure. Team members need to raise $100 each, and the more teams we get at Central’s Relay for Life, the more we can raise for the American Cancer Society. The team leader meetings give lots of great information about fundraising, gathering team members, and the goals of the American Cancer Society. If you’re looking for an existing team, try asking around at churches, charity groups, and businesses. If you don’t have ties to an existing team, start a new one! I would love to see this year’s Relay overflowing with people, and now is a great time to get started. If you’re interested in forming a team for this year’s Relay for Life, or would like to get information for someone who is interested, head over to the Central Library for a team leader’s meeting on June 29th at 11:00 A.M.

Another great way to volunteer your time involves getting to know your neighbors. Do you have a neighbor, friend, coworker, or church member who is going through a rough time? Take some time to write a card, bring over a homemade treat, or just lend an ear. In Central, we pride ourselves on our support for each other and our close-knit town. Make that a priority this week. Go meet the new neighbor that just moved into your subdivision, or check on the neighbor next door that you might not have seen since Christmas time. See if your mom or dad needs some help with yard work or housework (volunteering isn’t just for adults, you know!), and help them with a smile.

You can volunteer more than time, too. Donating to local charities like St. Vincent de Paul and the Central Food Bank is a wonderful way to get involved and have a positive impact on our community. Barrels for Central Food Bank donations can be found at Winn-Dixie at the corner of Hooper and Joor, and in many churches in the area. You can make donations to the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store or food bank at the corner of Sullivan Rd. and Greenwell Springs Rd. For more information on donating to these charities, check out number 7 of 7 Simple Ways to Stay Involved in Central, online at .

Finally, I’d like to make a personal request for any of you who donate blood or are considering doing so. Stop by Our Lady of the Lake this week, and donate blood in Brittany Lamana Michelli’s name. As you probably know, she was involved in the same car accident as Adam Stafford, Hailey, and Loyd and is still in critical condition. She needs our help, so I’m asking all of Central to come out and support her. For more information, see last week’s issue of Central Speaks, or go online to . Just because these blood drives have passed doesn’t mean you can’t still help. Please continue to keep those in the accident, and their families, in your thoughts and prayers.