HOA Manager – Thoughts for the Season
Please remember that there are many vulnerable children in our communities that do not have national organizations dedicated to them, but that still need donations this holiday season. Where possible, find organizations like shelters, foster agencies and hospitals in your area ? they probably have their own lists of needs. Here are a few in our area:
Toys for Tots is maybe the best-known Christmas gift charity. Run by the United States Marine Corps, the program distributes new toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them. Please contact Mr. Christian Isaly at 877-848-0011 or drop-off at the Toys “R” Us/Babies “R” Us location in Wesley Chapel and Lutz.
The Pasco County Foster and Adoptive Association have had a long relationship with The Groves community. I’s sure you have seen the “Angel Tree” in the Civic Center. The handwritten wishes from foster/adoptive children are hanging from the Christmas tree branches. Please pick any of the wishes from the tree and return with the gifts to the Civic Center on the date required. For more information ask Amy Rockwell at the Civic Center front desk.
Samaritan’s Purse is an evangelical Christian organization that works to help meet the needs of people who are victims of war, natural disasters, famine, disease and poverty worldwide, with the purpose of “sharing God’s love,” according to their mission statement. Operation Christmas Child (samaritanspurse.org) provides gifts to children in need each year. Volunteers are asked to pay $25 and pack a virtual “shoebox” of gifts for a child including essentials like a toothbrush, a “wow gift” and small gifts like a ball or a car, and a note and a photo if you so choose, or you can just donate $25 to have the organization build a shoebox for you. There is also a “gift catalog” section of the website where you can donate money toward a specific cause, like caring for orphans, freshwater wells or refugee relief.
Some kids spend the holidays in the hospital. Your local children’s hospital probably has a way to donate toys and games at the holidays (and has need of them all year round to stock their hospital playrooms). According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital website, “A gift of toys, games or activity supplies can make a big difference to children and families spending time in the hospital.” You can see their wishlist at http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/wish-list-gifts-to-buy. You can also find guidelines for donating toys to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Friendly reminders from the Community Standards.
Don't forget to clean the driveway aprons, sidewalks and walkways, please! I’ve been asked about the cleaning of sidewalks and driveway aprons. Some residents believe it's CDD property; thus it is the respon-sibility of the CDD to clean. Answering the question requires a look in the Community Declarations. According to Section 9.6, the CDD owns and maintains the sidewalks. Maintenance is narrowly defined to the concrete structure of the sidewalks, not appear-ance. In Section 11.15, however, the remedy of the appearance of discolored sidewalks is the homeowner’s responsibility, i.e., “Roofs and Pressure Cleaned. Roofs and/or surfaces and/or pavement, including but not limited to, walks and drives, shall be pressure cleaned within thirty (30) days of notice by the ACC.”
4.08 Seasonal Holiday Decorations. Decorations may be displayed no earlier than 15 days prior to and must then be removed no later than 7 days after a holiday. These holidays include: Valentine’s Day, Easter and Independence Day. Fall decorations may be displayed no earlier than October 1 and must be removed no later than December 1st. Winter/Holiday decorations may be displayed beginning on the Saturday following Thanksgiving and must be removed no later than January 10 of the following year. Winter/Holiday lighting shall be attached to the home with wire hangers specifically designed for that use. Duct tape or similar material shall not be approved. All lighting and decorations shall be totally removed by January 10.
I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and a Joyous Holiday Season!