By Jerriann Sullivan | November 23, 2010
The Vine’s Thanksgiving lunch was held Wednesday afternoon.
Cindy Cook Shadron, executive director of the Vine thrift store in Oviedo, said she felt compelled to host the event, which was held for the second time since the organization opened its doors in 2007.
“Wherever they feel love to give, we will take them,” Shadron said of those who volunteered at the lunch.
The midday meal was open to all community members but was designed to provide a place for people who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to celebrate the holiday.
“Some people feel isolated and don’t have anywhere to go,” Shadron said.
Last year the Vine fed about 300 people and passed out about 200 bags of groceries. Shadron said some of the guests took buses from Sanford to the Vine just for the free meal. She said it felt like there would be fewer events for Thanksgiving this year, making the Vine’s lunch even more necessary for the Oviedo community.
Shadron wasn’t sure how many people would show up to receive the free meal or bag of groceries.
“You don’t know; you just put it there and feed as many people as you can,” Shadron said.
The Vine’s sponsors, including Fifth Third Bank, Riverside Park, Rippin’ Riverside Skate Park, Metro Church, SNAP Fitness and central Florida fire stations 44, 46 and 48, collected food this year. The radio station Z88.3 reported live from the event.
Shadron said she hopes to continue collecting food in order to host a bigger dinner to celebrate the Christmas holiday next month.
The Vine is also a Christian-based ministry, which Shadron said originally set out to provide funding and support for children who have aged out of the foster care system.
“I just have a big heart for the kids,” she said. “But we help where we can.”
Shadron worked as a guardian ad litem through Seminole County for 11 years, which is where she learned about the needs of foster children.
“A lot of those kids fall into the cracks,” she said.
With some success, the Vine grew and is able to offer support and resources for children, single moms, single dads, troubled teens, homeless men, needy families and lonely or hurting people of all age and backgrounds.
“If we keep going in that direction, I think a lot of people will be helped,” Shadron said.
The Vine produces funds for the non-profit organization through sales made at its thrift store. Shadron and her volunteers operate the store, where they sell brand name clothing, accessories, books and housewares.
When able, the Vine will also send trailers of clothing and furniture to other non-profit organizations. Shadron said they are always looking for volunteers and donations.