As CEO of Volunteer Way, Nicole Cestaro-Jackson has never stopped believing. Volunteer Way has been helping feed families in Citrus, Pasco, and Hernando for more than 25 years. Now, Jackson is enlisting community aid in feeding 3,000 families this Thanksgiving, and countless more through this holiday season and beyond.
During a recent meeting with New Birth Church, located at 7425 Orchid Lake Road, New Port Richey, Jackson vowed that Volunteer Way would help the church provide turkey dinners for needy families this Thanksgiving holiday. The donated food is set to be distributed at the church’s Nov. 20 Harvest Fest event, where anyone, regardless of their county of residence, can get a full Thanksgiving dinner from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “I said that we would provide turkeys for 3,000 families,” she said.
Retreating to her car after the meeting, Jackson immediately felt overwhelmed by her own promise and uncertainty about her ability to fill such a tall order. Then turning on her car radio, she heard the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. “I took it as a sign,” said Jackson, emotion filling her voice. “I don’t know why that number came out of my mouth. But I know that God will provide.”
When Atlanta McDonald, a representative of Summit Adventure Park in Spring Hill and HITS106, heard about this charitable effort, she became determined to help; As did administrators at Summit Adventure Park. “Summit Adventure Park is hosting a food drive for Volunteer Way. The goal for families for Thanksgiving is 3000 turkeys–they have 300! We want to help,” said McDonald.
From now until November 19, Summit, located at 11160 Spring Hill Dr., Spring Hill will host a food drive to benefit Volunteer Way. “We are collecting dry goods food for Thanksgiving dinner. On November 13, we will have Volunteer Way on site with their freezer truck from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and we’re going to collect as many turkeys as we can,” McDonald said.
Keith DePalma, Area Director for Summit and Catapult Adventure Parks says. “This year, as a member of the Leadership Team at Summit and Catapult Adventure Park’s, I am happy to use the good nature of our companies and team up with the good nature of the Volunteer Way. The Volunteer Way is a brilliant company who does a lot for Hernando, Citrus and Pasco counties as well. We will be working together to gather food donations for families in our communities. Each family who brings in a fresh turkey as a donation will receive either a 120 Minute Jump Pass OR a Discounted $15 Membership (which equates to well over $50 in savings over the first 12 months)! Anyone who donates any other food, will get discounted jump time. We will take care of everyone who donates, but there is a huge need for turkeys this year. That is why we are offering such big discounts on our membership program or the 120 minute free jump time for everyone who donates a turkey,” he said.
Jackson agrees that the need is great. “The need is greater this year because of COVID, because of people losing their jobs…”
“We hope with our partnership with the Volunteer Way, that there isn’t a single-family in Hernando, Citrus, and Pasco Counties that go without a great Thanksgiving meal with their families,” said DePalma. “Please join us in our fight against childhood hunger in Hernando, Citrus, and Pasco counties, and help us ensure that there isn’t a single family that goes hungry this holiday season! There are families out there who cannot put food on the table, join us in becoming part of the solution!”
Jackson is convinced that her goal will be achieved if indeed we all believe. “We’re going to do it,” she said.
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