One of the greatest joys of the holiday season is giving to those who are less fortunate than us.  Trilogy members are generous throughout the year, but many make an extra effort to reach out during the holiday season, when the need is often most strongly felt.  Read on to discover just a few of the ways that our community members are making the holidays brighter for those in need.

Giving the Gifts of Warmth and Joy at Ardiente
Calling all crafty Ardiente members!  Do you know how to quilt, knit, crochet, or tie blankets?  If so, there are four wonderfully worthy organizations that need your time and talent this holiday season. The Shade Tree Shelter for Women and Children, March of Dimes Nevada Chapter, Homeward Bound Cat Adoptions, and Sophie’s Chihuahua (and small dog) Rescue are all in need of new blankets.  Shade Tree and March of Dimes are requesting the donation of crib-size blankets, and Homeward Bound and Sophie’s need pillow-size blankets.  A donation box will be in the Clubhouse lobby behind the Donations & Giving Counter from December 1st to the 15th. For more information about these organizations, please visit their websites at,,, and, respectively. If you have any further questions, please call Lee at the front desk.  Thank you in advance for putting your handiwork to great use!

The Ardiente Veterans Club and the Ardiente Veterans Auxiliary Club are also organizing a giving-back project at Ardiente this season.  These groups are sponsoring a local family in need, with the goal of making their Christmas season much brighter and happier.  The Nellis AFB Chaplains Office connected them with a deserving family made up of a husband (unemployed) and wife (the wife is a TSgt in the Air Force and is currently deployed, expected home about December 2nd), and their six children ranging in age from 3 to 16.  This family will most certainly appreciate the generosity of the Ardiente community.  Beginning November 15th, members were asked to come to the clubhouse to pick up a stocking with one of the children’s details on it, including name, age, gender, and gift suggestions.  Even if all of the stockings have been taken, or if you don’t have time to head to the store to buy a gift, monetary donations will be gratefully accepted.  Please make your check payable to Ardiente member Ruth Klag, place it in an envelope, and leave it at the clubhouse.  Ruth will consolidate the money and purchase a gift card or additional gifts for the family as needed. For those of you who already generously selected a stocking for a member of this family, please bring your wrapped gift (be sure to have the child’s name on it) to the clubhouse no later than December 14th.  This will allow time to sort the gifts so they can be delivered to the family by Christmas Eve.  Our service folks have endured many hardships and this is a small way that we can repay them for their service to our country.   The Veterans and Auxiliary clubs cannot tell you how grateful they are for your support!

Blessings in a Backpack, Trimming Trees & Helping Furry Friends at Trilogy Orlando
This holiday season, many families aren’t just worried about putting presents under the tree; they’re worried about putting food on the table for their children.  In challenging economic times, when parents are unable to feed their children, Federal Food Assistance step in, often through school breakfast and lunch programs, providing much-needed nourishment to more than 62% of K-12 students in Florida’s Lake County. The “Blessings in a Backpack” program steps-up where federal aid stops by feeding children on the weekend. Every Friday afternoon, children receive backpacks filled with kid-friendly, ready-to-eat items. Students return every Monday morning with an empty backpack, a full stomach, and an eager mind.  If you’d like to donate, please visit 100% of donor proceeds go to feeding children right in your community. An $80 donation will feed a child for one full school year!  Donations of all sizes are welcome either through the website or via mail at P.O. Box 120037 Clermont, FL 34711. All contributions are tax-deductible.

You may be trimming an evergreen with tinsel and bulbs inside your home this month – but there are trees outside your home that may need some trimming as well. This year, you can improve the look of your landscape while supporting a wonderful cause at the same time. Trilogy Orlando member Jim Hays says that he started trimming his neighbors’ trees “as a fun thing for myself, a learning experiment, and a chance to be a helping hand to my neighbors.” He takes great care in his work, doing it the old fashioned way: securing an extension ladder to the tree, climbing the tree, securing himself with a climbing belt and lanyard to the tree, and cutting palm fronds with a small hand held pruning saw. After each tree is pruned, he sprays his saw with hydrogen peroxide to prevent disease transfers to other trees. All removed fronds are bundled in manageable piles, secured, and placed in a location for trash pick-up. The area around the tree is policed for smaller debris, which is raked and removed. This is an incredibly helpful service for Jim to offer to his neighbors – and this year he decided to help another cause that is close to his heart through his tree-trimming service. Jim has asked that those who use his services consider a donation to Cornerstone Hospice as a “thank you” for the service. He suggests that the donation does not need to exceed $25, and he will provide pre-addressed, postage-paid envelopes with a Cornerstone Foundation address and donation designation information. Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care is a non-profit Hospice, and at present time it’s the only Hospice serving Lake and Sumter Counties of Florida. Jim regularly volunteers for Cornerstone and is happy to add his tree trimming service as a way to raise funds for this wonderful organization. (Note: Since Palm Trees grow new new fronds all year and old fronds become unsightly and can become rodent and pest nesting areas, Jim is available all year long.) If you’d like Jim to trim your palm trees, his contact information can be found in the Member Directory of

Trilogy Orlando can also make spirits bright this year by helping some furry friends in need. Members are asked to join with the South Lake Animal League in helping to provide pet food and cat litter to homeless and less fortunate people living in Lake and West Orange counties. In partnership with Pet of the Homeless, Inc., of Carson City Nevada, those who donate will be providing pet food to nine food pantries in both counties.  Trilogy Orlando members who would like to support this cause are asked to bring donations of pet food to the Member Services desk in Magnolia House during the month of November.  Providing pet supplies to the less fortunate can save pets’ lives.  Many times a pet is the only true friend a homeless person has, and yet it is sometimes impossible for them to provide for their best friend.  At the end of 2011, Lake and Orange counties had 2900 homeless residents.  Please open your generous hearts during this time of giving. Two of our South Lake Animal League volunteers and Trilogy members will be delivering this food as they do each month.  Thank you for keeping our four-legged friends in mind this holiday season.

Holiday Raffles, Food Drives, and More at Trilogy at Vistancia
The members of Trilogy at Vistancia are busy, busy, busy as they do their part to make the holidays merry for those in need.  On December 2nd and 3rd, the Trilogy at Vistancia Women’s Club (TAVWC) is holding their 6th Annual Holiday Home Tour, along with a Silent Auction of beautifully decorated Christmas Trees and Menorahs, and a holiday raffle for prizes that will make perfect presents for those on your holiday shopping list.  Prizes include golf packages, gift baskets, a one-year membership to the Botanical Gardens, and more!  All proceeds of the tour and raffles will benefit Faith House, a west valley shelter for women and children in crisis.  If you’re a Vistancia member, you can purchase tickets at the Member Services desk.

Members Ted and Lana Friedman are also organizing the annual food drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank, and they’d like to remind their friends and neighbors that “this is the season for extra caring and sharing!”  Now through December 20th, members are encouraged to bring food or checks (made out to St. Mary’s Food Bank) to the Kiva Club’s Member Services desk.  Most-wanted food items include tuna fish, peanut butter, canned stews and soups, canned veggies and fruit, dry pasta, rice, and beans.  Keep in mind that for every $1 donated, 7 nutritious meals can be provided for hungry men, women, and children.  During the holidays in 2011, the Trilogy community donated a grand total of 24,555 meals!  Your generosity again this year will be so very much appreciated by those in need.

But wait…there’s more holiday cheer to go around at Vistancia!  The 8th Annual Toys for Tots Fundraiser & Party will be held on Friday, November 30th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  Last year, the community collected 1,514 toys and bikes and $2,015 in monetary donations.  The goal this year is to collect 1,600 toys and bikes and $2,500 in funds.  This is a great opportunity to help underprivileged children and to support our troops!  If you live in the Trilogy at Vistancia community, please bring a new, unwrapped toy or a check made out to the US Marine Corp Toys for Tots Fundraiser and Party. The Marines will be there to speak briefly about where and how they distribute the toys.  There will also be free drawings for everyone who attends.  Every member is invited, and is encouraged to bring an appetizer to share, along with your Toys for Tots donation.  The Brownworths will be providing one free drink to each person who brings a toy.  (Please see the Events page of for full event details.)   There is also a Toys for Tots Donation Box at the Kiva Club where you can bring donations at any time, now through November 30th, if you’re not able to attend the party.  Thank you for your generosity!

Encanterra’s Community Christmas Stroll
The members of Encanterra have a festive way of making sure that there are toys under the tree for underprivileged children in Arizona.  Inspired by the much-loved Christmas Stroll of Nantucket Island, Encanterra members will be taking part in the 3rd Annual Encanterra Christmas Stroll this year.   On the evening of December 2nd, they will gather together to take a sunset stroll – complete with caroling – through the neighborhood and up to their community club, La Casa.  All members are encouraged to bring a festive mood, a favorite beverage – and most importantly, an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.  When the strollers arrive at La Casa, they’ll be met by a uniformed Marine who will gladly accept the community’s generous donations for children in need. After making their donations, members are welcome to warm up in the Grand Living Room with a festive performance by the Campo Verde High School Orchestra.  Many happy memories will be made – for the children who receive gifts from Santa, and for the members of this community, as they celebrate an annual holiday tradition with their neighbors.  If you live at Encanterra and would like to participate in the Community Christmas Stroll, please sign up through the Events page of, throw on a festive sweater, and meet your neighbors at the corner of Neroli and Encanterra to spread some holiday cheer!

Playing Santa at the Vineyards
Members of Trilogy at the Vineyards will have an extra chance to play Santa this year.  Those who would like to put smiles on the faces of needy children in Contra Costa County are asked to bring unwrapped toys to the mailroom, where collection boxes have been placed.   All donated toys will be placed under the Christmas tree for the Holiday Happy Hour on December 7th.  Uniformed Marines will come to the party to pick up the toys, and they’ll then distribute them to local children who might otherwise not receive a gift this holiday season.  If you have any questions, please contact Trilogy at the Vineyards member Suzanne Kaylor, whose contact information can be found in the Member Directory of MTL.  Toys will also be accepted after December 7th, as Suzanne is happy to collect these and deliver them personally to the Marines.  Thank you for doing your part to spread holiday cheer!

Gather for a Few Great Causes at Trilogy at Redmond Ridge
The members of Trilogy at Redmond Ridge are gathering together to make a difference this holiday season.  On Saturday, December 8th, the Pat Harris Trilogy Guild will once again host the HO-HO Holiday Brunch at the Cascade Club.  There will be tasty food and festive fun for the whole family.  Roger the Elf will entertain grandchildren and grandparents alike…and what holiday brunch would be complete without a visit from Santa?  (Pictures with Santa will begin at 10:15am.)  All proceeds from this wonderful event will support children’s cancer research at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Full details are posted on the Events page of MTL.  Trilogy Redmond Ridge members, please sign up at the Member Services Desk by December 5th.

You’ll have another opportunity to have fun and give back with your grandkids on December 12th at the Gingerbread House Decorating Party.  While you and your family have fun decking the halls with icing, Santa and his elves (along with the Redmond Ridge Fire Department) will be swinging by to pick up your food donations for Hopelink.  The box for this food drive will be in the Grand Living Room beginning December 1st.  For full event details, see the Events page of MTL.

Last, but far from least, the women of Trilogy at Redmond Ridge will have the opportunity to support an incredible organization, Hope Alliance, through the Annual Ladies Christmas Luncheon.  Hope Alliance provides services and support to foster children and their families, building on the positive experience of their camping programs. Please pick up a flyer in the kiosk to view Hope Alliance’s wish list, and see the Events page of MTL for further details.  Thank you, as always, for your generosity!

Is there a holiday outreach program that’s close to your heart?  If so, feel free to let us know about it by adding a comment below.  Have a happy and healthy holiday season!