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Oldsmar Cares lives up to its name

Oldsmar Cares has been providing people with food and clothing for 24 years.

OLDSMAR, Fla. — Chris Sanderson rides his bike to Oldsmar Cares a couple times a week. On this day, he’s stopped in for a shower and to stuff his backpack with some penne pasta and Quaker Oats. The retiree, who says he chooses to sleep in the woods, says the not-for-profit lives up to its name.

“They’ve kept me alive,” Sanderson explained. “They play an integral part in Oldsmar.”

Oldsmar Cares has been caring for people living in and around Oldsmar for 24 years. The group’s building at 149 SR 580 West, houses a food pantry, clothes closet, and shower and laundry facilities. Oldsmar Cares also helps people with job counseling and utility assistance.

Board member David Wallace has been with Oldsmar Cares from the start. He says they serve families that just need a helping hand. “We try to make a difference in their lives and we do a pretty good job at that,” said Wallace.

The group depends on donations, and its biggest fundraiser is scheduled for Feb. 18. COVID-19 is forcing Oldsmar Cares to hold an online gala this year, and organizers hope the format change won’t diminish people’s support.

Oldsmar Cares is a 100 percent volunteer organization, so nearly every dollar donated is spent on helping people. Volunteers like Babe Wright says working there is the right thing to do. “It helps to give back to the community,” she said while stocking pantry shelves with cookies. “It makes it a better place to live.”

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Kendall Kirkham joined “Great Day Live” in November 2017 from Memphis, Tennessee, where she served as morning co-anchor for WMC Action News 5. Prior to her stint in Memphis, Kendall served as co-host of "Tulsa Live" at KOKI in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kendall also worked at KETK in Tyler, Texas, The Dallas Morning News and started her career as an intern for “The Ellen Show” and E! Entertainment.

Kendall has interviewed countless celebrities and notable figures, from Bob Woodward to Arsenio Hall, John Travolta and Paula Deen. She’s hit 9 Gs with the U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds, raised money for various charities in three local “Dancing with the Stars” competitions, and even played a gangster on stage for a traveling Broadway show. Kendall is most proud of her work with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She continues to support the hospital in various capacities today.

Kendall is a proud Texas native. She grew up in the Fort Worth area and graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Radio/TV/Film.

Kendall is thrilled to join the “Great Day Live” team and is having a ball highlighting this thriving community. She hopes to bring a smile to viewers at home every single day. In her spare time, Kendall enjoys exploring the countless sights, sounds and eats of Tampa Bay with her husband Jason and son Knox.

About Java: 

Java Ingram is a New Orleans native/Texan and is excited to call Florida home! Prior to joining the “Great Day Live” team, Java served as host of a lifestyle-entertainment show in Birmingham, Alabama. She also woke up dark and early, weekday mornings to help drivers make it to their destinations safely as a traffic anchor.

Java started her on-air broadcast career in the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Tupelo, Mississippi. In Tupelo, she served as morning news anchor, producer and reporter.

Javanté is an award-winning journalist, having been recognized by the Associated Press for Best Anchor, Best Reporter and Best Franchise Reporting, just to name a few.

When she's not working, Java is very passionate about giving back to the community, having served on the corporate boards for The Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi, The Civic Ballet Company, The Doniphan Dance Project and the Leadership Council for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Alabama. She has volunteered also with a number of civic organizations.