Plus, This Mills 50 staple needs our help
By Katie Johnston
Hey there, it’s Tuesday — and an extremely cool one at that thanks to this cold front — but it’s no ordinary second day of the working week. Today is Giving Tuesday, a global movement that encourages folks to give their time, money, and talents to causes and organizations they care about.
2020 has been rough for everyone, and many of us have already been called to step up and share what we can. Today, we’re encouraging you to double down on those efforts and consider new ways to get involved and make a difference in your community — not just today, but throughout the month and into 2021. (It’s coming, we promise!)
We’re going to catch you up on the news first but then, we have a list of ways you can observe Giving Tuesday in Orlando. And if you have ideas of your own, you know we want to hear them. Just reply to this email. 😉
Let’s get to it, shall we?
According to our IG feed, everybody and their mama checked out Winter Park Biscuit Co. over the weekend. We even tried on Sunday, but being in a hurry and all, we settled for a Skyebird juice instead (still delicious but quite different!). Needless to say, we’ll be back. Thanks for the tag, @mindfulandfab. | Wanna see your photo here? Tag @pulptown to be featured in our IG of the day. (📸: @mindfulandfab)
Track Shack’s big annual race is the first in-person running event to be permitted since the pandemic began and it’s happening this Saturday. The event is limited to the first 2,500 participants who sign up, and a number of safety precautions have been implemented including temps checks and s and hand sanitizing stations. Tickets start at $42 and running virtually is still an option. (Bungalower)
Will Walker, owner of Will’s Pub, launched a crowdfunding campaign over the weekend and has so far raised $25,558 of his initial $24,000 goal. Walker’s beloved Mills 50 venue has seen its struggles since COVID-19 hit and is doing everything it can to stay afloat. Ever seen a show at Will’s? Shopped its community markets? Played a round of pool there? Consider donating to the cause. (Orlando Weekly)
Orlando Magic cofounder Jimmy Hewitt died on Sunday at the age of 79. The community responded with outpourings of love for the man who helped bring the NBA to the City Beautiful. (Orlando Sentinel)
Orlando City ended its run for the MLS Cup with a loss to NE Revolution in the semifinals over the weekend. However, the organization has further secured its place in our community’s heart and gave us hope in an otherwise hopeless time. (Orlando Sentinel)
In COVID-19 news…
Florida is closing in on 1 million cases of the novel coronavirus, but the numbers to watch are the state’s positivity rate, current hospitalizations and fatalities due to COVID-19. According to Monday’s reports, our positivity rate is hovering around 8 percent with 4,160 people currently hospitalized in Florida and 97 new fatalities reported statewide, increasing Central Florida’s death toll to 3,000 and Florida’s to 18,597. (Orlando Sentinel)
Gov. DeSantis said yesterday that there will be no lockdowns, no fines, no school closures, no matter the rising COVID-19 numbers, and that he’s personally against mandating these things. “I’m opposed to mandates, period,” he said. “I don’t think they work.” (Orlando Sentinel)
Here’s one cute way to celebrate Giving Tuesday: Donate to your favorite animal rescue. Take Pet Alliance for example — they’re currently hoping to find furrever homes for 338 animals here in Central Florida. They have a fundraising goal of $40,000. Wanna help ‘em get there? (📸: @petalliancego)
🛍️ Stock the shelves at our local shelters and food banks. Winter is a time when many service providers run low on basic necessities, like cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items. You can check directly with your favorite org, or search for local nonprofits to shop for on Amazon (and if you’re shopping on Amazon, make sure you’re signed up for Amazon Smile). Here in Orlando, we know that Orlando Union Rescue Mission, Second Harvest Food Bank, Pathlight Home, and Catholic Charities of Central Florida could use our donations, as could Pet Alliance and the Central Florida Animal Reserve.
💸 Put your money where your mouth is. COVID-19 hasn’t just been tough for local businesses; the resulting economic downturn has also hit nonprofits, arts organizations, and other groups that rely on the generosity of our community. If you’re able to donate money to a cause you care about, now is a great time to do so. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of orgs by the Orlando Sentinel or peruse the Central Florida Foundation site for an org that speaks to you. We know that Opera Orlando, Bros in Convo, New Image Youth Center, Rebuilding Together of Central Florida (thanks for the head’s up, Abby L.) and the Polis Institute could use a helping hand.
💪 Volunteer if you feel safe doing so. The pandemic has forced many orgs to cut back or modify their volunteer opportunities, but there are still lots of ways to help out — and keep your distance. A few opportunities we recently spotted on the United Against Poverty website: Stocking shelves, sorting through donated clothing and household items, and taking inventory of its food pantry.
🏘️ Look for the need in your own backyard. If there’s one silver lining to COVID-19, it’s that it’s brought our neighborhoods closer together. Maybe you have an immunocompromised neighbor who needs help grocery shopping, or an elderly relative who’s missing out on social interaction, or a friend who could use some cheering up. Many of the usual ways to show you care are still in play: Pick up the phone, send an encouraging message, or drop off a special treat.
📰 Support local journalists. Look, we’re not here to tell you how to spend your money, but we’d be remiss not to mention that this pandemic has hit local news outlets especially hard. If you don’t already pay for your news, now is a great time to start. Subscribe to a newspaper (digital counts!). Donate to public radio. And if you still have a little bit left over, consider becoming an Pulptown+ member.
Here at Pulptown, we’re all about supporting local. And this holiday shopping season, we want to help you find Orlando-made gifts for everyone on your list.
Our 2020 gift guide is rolling out to everyone next week, but Pulptown+ members will get a special sneak peek next week. Ready to get your shopping done early? Sign up today as a member, and keep an eye on your inbox next week.
☮️ Take your yoga practice outdoors then partake in a few cold brews (Ivanhoe)
☮️ Or head to Orlando Brewing for its weekly Yoga Under the Stars event or join virtually (SoDo)
🎟 Mask up and take the fam to see Dino in Lights at Orlando Science Center through Jan. 4 (Loch Haven Park)
☮️ Save the manatees at this outdoor yoga class (Belle Isle)
🍗 If you're in need of a warm meal this season, head to the Salvation Army (East Colonial)
🎄 Immerse yourself in the wonder of the holidays at Dazzling Nights happening now through Jan 3 (Leu Gardens )
👟 Go for a run and then grab some local brews at Persimmon Hollow after (Lake Eola)
🍗 Head to the East Altamonte Food Pantry for a home-cooked meal (Altamonte Springs)
🎄 Drive a little north to cut down your own Christmas tree through Dec. 13 (Eustis)
🍹 Take a holiday cocktail tour of Sanford through Dec. 31 (Sanford)
🎄 Head to Orlando Museum of Art for its Deck the Walls event (Loch Haven Park)
🍻 Meet some of Orlando's creatives at this socially distanced happy hour (Thornton Park)
🍷 Sit outside and wine down at Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux weekly (Audubon Park)
🗣 Got questions about evictions during the global pandemic? Tune in for this virtual discussion (Online)
⛄ Don't miss the annual holiday edition of What's Up Downtown including performances by Mad Cow Theatre, The Russian Ballet Orlando, and Opera Orlando (Lake Eola Park)
🍷 Join Kcuvée for an exciting holiday edition of Bubbles from Around the World and learn the differences between Prosecco, Cava, and Champagne (College Park)
🎵 Experience the thrilling, musical adaption of "A Christmas Carol" presented by the CFCArts Children & Youth Arts Programs through Saturday (Winter Park)
🎄 Come enjoy a classic holiday barbershop experience with The Humdingers! (College Park)
🎅 Grab the kids and tune in as Santa reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and local author Russell Troutman's book, "Ernie the Elf and the Special Gift" (Online)
☠️ Check out this giant citywide scavenger hunt coming to Orlando (Downtown)
🎄 Enjoy a classic holiday barbershop experience with The Humdingers! (College Park)
One more thing …
Here’s your friendly reminder that the Christmas spirit is alive and well at Lake Eola right now. The oversized holiday decorations were installed over the weekend, but it’s worth noting that the official tree lighting ceremony won’t happen until Saturday and will be taking place virtually this year.
‘Til tomorrow, friends,
– ✌️ Katie at Pulptown
P.S. Help us improve our new look. We’re testing a new design, and we want to make it great for you. Share your feedback.