APOLLO BEACH – About 200 volunteers from a dozen area churches will give up their Saturday morning Sept. 28 to help others. They’ll be participating in the second annual CareFest SouthShore, a Christ-centered community service day benefiting folks most in need.
“CareFest is about completing projects for the disabled and elderly and those who can’t do for themselves physically or financially,” said Dana Perrotto, who with her husband, Trent, is coordinating the effort in southern Hillsborough County. “We do things like yard cleanup, interior and exterior painting, minor home repairs, landscaping and street cleanup – all within a four-hour window.
“To qualify, recipients must be homeowners who live in their homes,” she said. And they must sign a liability waiver.
When the Perottos, who are both disabled, moved to Apollo Beach in 2010, they saw a great need for an event like this. Having previously been involved in other events and ministries throughout the Tampa Bay area, the couple decided to collaborate with The Rev. Norm Blanton, then pastor of Foursquare Gospel Church in Ruskin, to start an effort here. They had worked with Blanton in the past, Trent Perrotto said.
Last year’s inaugural CareFest SouthShore included 175 volunteers from nine area churches and donations of food or cash from BMO Harris Bank in Apollo Beach and Hardee’s, Sweetbay and McDonald’s in Ruskin. Twenty-three projects were completed.
This year’s effort will include volunteers from United Methodist Church, Destiny Church, New Beginnings Fellowship, Grace & Truth Fellowship, Maranatha Church of God and Christ Community Church and Ruskin Foursquare Church – Ruskin; South Bay Church and South Shore United Methodist Church – Riverview; Tree of Life Christian Fellowship – Wimauma; Southside Baptist – Sun City; and United Methodist Church – Sun City Center.
CareFest SouthShore will begin at Ruskin United Methodist Church, 105 4th Ave. N.W., with registration and kick-off at 7 a.m. The projects start at 8 a.m. and end at noon. Then everyone will gather back at the church for a celebratory lunch hosted by The Rev. Richard Nussel at 1 p.m.
“Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves,” said Dana Perrotto. “As Christians, that’s why we’re doing this.”
It’s all about community.
“When everyone pulls together we can accomplish so much more,” Trent Perrotto said. “We’re all one body. Let’s preach the gospel by doing things not just in word.”
CareFest began regionally in Clearwater in 2001 as an outreach of Somebody Cares Tampa Bay, a nonprofit group formed to support ministries throughout the area that assist people in need.
To submit a project for consideration, call Trent Perrotto at (813) 454-9244, and he will guide you through the process.
If you’d like to volunteer, become a business sponsor or make a donation, call Dana Perrotto at (813) 401-2800.
For additional information, visit Somebody Cares Tampa Bay at www.sctb.org or www.carefestusa.com.