Holt pantry spruced up during Day of Caring


Miranda Smith (left) and Heather Bowness fill the raised garden beds at the Holt Community Food Pantry during the United Way Day of Caring Sept. 20.

HOLT, Fla., Sept. 21, 2018–The Holt Community Food Pantry received some TLC Thursday thanks to a work team with the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties 25th annual Day of Caring.

A four-person work team arrived in the morning ready to take on a to-do list provided by pantry manager Donna Ash.

With materials and tools provided by the pantry, the team supplied the manpower to get the jobs done.

“We certainly appreciated being included in this year’s United Way Day of Caring,” said Ash.¬†“This team knocked a few important items off our to-do list today.”


Danny Smith clears branches from the pantry roof.

The work team took care of things like cleaning out the rain gutters, clearing tree branches from the roof, removing an unused satellite dish, cleaning up the garden beds and building a compost pile.

“We’ve needed our gutters cleared out for awhile now, as well as getting the compost pile built,” Ash said.

Team members Danny Smith and Derek Lott, both from CCB Community Bank, took care of the gutters, roof and satellite dish while Heather Bowness and Miranda Smith, both from CHELCO, took care of the raised garden beds.


Derek Lott and Miranda Smith build a compost pile for the Holt pantry.

Later, after building a compost pile, the team worked together to finish the new structure by emptying a trailer load of compost, giving it a base layer.

This isn’t the first time these team members have participated in the annual Day of Caring.

“The bank always participates,” said Danny Smith. “The bank is very community minded.”

Giving back to the community, as Bowness described the opportunity, gives participants a break from their desks and the office.

“We do something different every year for organizations in the community that needs help,” said Lott.

The Day of Caring is a one-day event in five Okaloosa/Walton communities of Fort Walton Beach, Destin/South Walton, Defuniak Springs, Niceville/Valparaiso and Crestview to match volunteers with local non-profit agencies.

Last year, more than 900 volunteers from Okaloosa and Walton counties came together to serve nonprofits, schools and others to make a difference in the community, according to the United Way website.

Stephanie Holcombe

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