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Thursday, April 18, 2024

The holiday season is a time to give to those in need, and this year, some of Gainesville’s local businesses are offering rewards to those who donate.

The Shoppes of Thornebrook and sororities from UF are teaming up to host “Sorority Night” on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Shoppers are asked to bring one nonperishable food item to The Shoppes of Thornebrook, 2441 NW 43rd St.

In return, donors will receive a flier with coupons to most of the stores in the shopping center, according to Beverly Clapp, owner of The Painted Table, an antique shop in the center.

“We’re just a group of local people who wanted to do something to help the community, and this is where we went with it,” Clapp said.

Mai Le, president of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority Inc. at UF, is excited to be participating in the event. She and a few of her sorority sisters are planning to bring nonperishable food items and shop around the center.

“It’s something different,” Le said. “We don’t get contacted every day for something like this.”

The idea for the food drive actually came from something that Florida State University did a few years ago at a football game, Clapp said.

“My husband wondered about what you could do if every UF student brought just one food item,” Clapp said.

Clapp invited each sorority individually to take part in the event.

“I think they have a lot to offer and they are a very vital part of the community,” Clapp said.

Depending on how much food is collected, some will be donated to Catholic Charities and Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network, among others.

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“With a lot of people cooperating together,” Clapp said, “you can accomplish wonderful things.”

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