Caring and Sharing started over 30 years ago when the Holley-Navarre Fire Station gathered toys for local children for Christmas. Don VanDerryt was the newly appointed fire chief, and he and his daughter, Theresa, set about the task of sorting the toys that had been donated. Theresa went home in tears; telling her mother Ruby that there were not enough toys, and that many were broken and in need of repair. The family gathered up what money they could and personally bought presents for the children. The next year, Ruby took on the job of collecting food, getting donations, and buying and wrapping toys. She was able to do this by going door-to-door to local businesses for help. She discovered the people had hearts of gold and Caring and Sharing was born!
Through the years, this event evolved into a South Santa Rosa County organization with support volunteers from Gulf Breeze to Navarre and north to the Yellow River. Caring and Sharing of South Santa Rosa County. Inc. is a 501c(3) non-profit organization in which all members are volunteers and no one earns a paycheck. They have many reasons for volunteering: to repay kindness, to help their fellow man, or to re-affirm their beliefs. Whatever the reason, everyone has the common goal of brightening the holiday season for those in need.
People think this is a wealthy area. We tend to zip up and down Highway 98 and see the condos on the beach, the nicely manicured entrances to subdivisions, and the lush, green golf courses. A short drive down any side road will convince you otherwise. There are families who are struggling to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis. The extra expense of holiday meals and gifts for their children can be overwhelming. Through the generosity of others, we are able to help in our small way. In 2014, we were proud to serve over 200 families!