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Holiday Carol Sing to Help CCMI Feed the Hungry; Need For Food Called "Critical"
The 22nd Annual Carol Sing attracts about 4,000 people who join in song at one of three performances December 11. Admission is free, but donation of canned goods and voluntary donations is encouraged to benefit CCMI.
The Holiday Carol Sing will be Tuesday, Dec. 11, at First Presbyterian Church, 2438 Second Street in downtown Fort Myers, between Lee Street and Royal Palm Avenue. Admission is at least two cans of non-perishable food for the Everyday Café and Marketplace (formerly known as The Soup Kitchen), operated by Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. (CCMI), and a voluntary cash donation, if you can.
“We certainly need to raise all of the money we can to feed the hungry, but in the event you don’t have the money, do not feel embarrassed or let that keep you away. This is a birthday party – it’s Jesus’ birthday,” said Organizer Sam Galloway, Jr. “Our birthday party is in God’s house and He welcomes everyone – regardless of means – and so do we.”
Because of the overwhelming popularity of the event, three carol sings are planned at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The doors will open 30 minutes prior to show time.
“The need for food has become a desperate situation for many families in our community,” Rev. deJong said. “Continued unemployment and the ongoing downturn in our local economy have caused many of our neighbors to ask for food to feed their families for the first time in their lives. We need our community to come together and help with all the canned goods they can.”
Galloway said cash donations are especially needed because CCMI can buy five times as much food for the same amount of money that residents spend at local grocery stores.
“This way, we can take every dollar and make it stretch as far as is humanly possible,” he said. “The need is greater – more than people realize. Please dig as deep as you can.”
Residents who cannot attend any of the Holiday Carol Sing performances may donate canned goods at either the Galloway Ford dealership on Boy Scout Drive or the Coconut Point Ford dealership on U.S. 41 in Estero or mail donations to CCMI, P. O. Box 2143, Fort Myers, FL 33902
The Holiday Carol Sing is a festival of holiday music and family fun. This year’s 90-minute performance will feature the First Presbyterian Church Choir, soloists and other special guests singing favorite holiday carols with audience sing-a-longs.
There is a strong rumor that Santa Claus will be making a surprise visit for the “children in all of us.”
All canned goods and cash will benefit CCMI, which operates two locations of the Everyday Café and Marketplace in Cape Coral and on Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard in Fort Myers.
The Holiday Carol Sing is the third of three hymn sings sponsored annually by the Galloway Family of Dealerships. The other two are Mrs. Edison’s Hymn Sing in February and A Midsummer Night’s Sing in July. All three events benefit the Everyday Café and Marketplace of CCMI, which was started in 1984 by First Presbyterian Church as The Soup Kitchen to help alleviate hunger and suffering in Lee County.
CCMI is an innovative nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 14,000 meals each month through their Everyday Café and Marketplace and Home Delivered Meals programs. CCMI also educates 40 children in their Community Montessori, offers homeless and comprehensive case management services through the Cape Coral United Way Resource House, oversees an emergency mobile food pantry and supplies weekend backpacks full of food to more than 1,500 children each school year.
Last year, CCMI received more than 4,500 pounds of canned goods and other non-perishable items from the Holiday Carol Sing. The food was immediately distributed to those in need.
For more information, call First Presbyterian Church at (239) 334-2261 or visit www.fpcfortmyers.org.