March 30, 2020 at 9:45am | Kerryn Ellson
By Kerryn Ellson

First, let me say I hope you are staying well and healthy during this unprecedented battle that our country currently faces. We, as a community, can stay vigilant and strong if we all do our part to help our country heal. Please stay safe at home if you are able.

For those on the front lines: Our doctors, nurses and first responders, we send our love, support and are truly grateful for your expertise under pressure and your heroic sacrifice.

As a community we can all do our part by volunteering, even from home, as it is the ultimate selfishly selfless act – you give a lot, gain a lot and learn a lot about yourself and others.

Now more than ever, especially during today’s difficult challenges, we need the diversion to help ease isolation, stay informed, and search out lighter moments of laughter to relieve the stress we’re all feeling. Volunteering your time, expertise and efforts benefit not only the cause you select, but YOU as well.

It is easy to be supportive in our community that won’t over-stretch you or break the bank. Zero-in on one or two causes that speak to you. Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • Seek out small organizations to support. There are plenty of non-profits that you see regularly in the media and on the news. Many hold events, galas, fundraisers. The truth is, not every non-profit can afford to do these things. Many fund their causes from their own pockets, making an event nearly impossible for their budgets. I encourage you to find a lesser-known non-profit and follow their page on Facebook. Retweet them. Interact with them on your computer at least once every few days. Ask the organization which ways your help is most needed.
  • Share their posts on Facebook. I don’t mean just “like” the post. I mean clicking through, tagging and sharing, after you write a message to your followers, encouraging them to support the cause too. Of course, not all of them will catch on immediately, but at least you’re helping to get the word out.
  • Donate Your “Clutter.” When you’re doing spring cleaning, instead of putting everything in the trash, separate usable items into a bin and take it directly to a non-profit. Many animal rescues need items like blankets and old pillows or old clothing that could be used for blankets. 
  • Coupons are a great thing to donate, too! Many assume that donating automatically means writing a check, but not always. Gift cards are also a big help.
  • Reach Out. Pick a cause you’re curious about and send them an email or a Facebook message to see what they are currently most in need of. Ask if they have an Amazon Wishlist that you could view and send them a gift, or if they need help hosting an information booth in the future.
Volunteer support can consist of small but necessary things that make life better and strengthen our society.  Your time and talent can make more of a difference than you can imagine!

The Ellson Team is a frequent supporter of the Belleair Recreation Department a VIP Tent Sponsor at its annual concert series. Kerry is also an avid supporter of the Belleair Police Department and the Belleair Community Foundation. In addition, Kerryn and her team are repeat sponsors of Martinis and Matisse, benefitting the Clearwater Free Clinic and The Arc Tampa Bay Foundation.


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