Thanks for sharing citrus

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“Sun Lakes Citrus Sharers.” Say that five times in a row, fast!

Now entering into our 9th season, the Sun Lakes Citrus Sharers will be collecting spare fruit at homes in all Sun Lakes communities from February 7-March 9 and donate the harvest to St. Mary’s Food Bank.

We need volunteers: Several teams of five or six volunteers pick grapefruit, oranges, lemons and other citrus on Monday and Saturday mornings, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and finishing by noon, delivering their harvest to our collection bins. St. Mary’s Food Bank trucks pick up our bins weekly. Volunteers are needed to pick on both days, either day, regularly or only occasionally. You’ll love the fun we have!

If you’d like to join our team of volunteer pickers this year, we invite you to attend our annual Kickoff Koffee from 10:00-11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 2 at Sisk Park in Palo Verde. Refreshments will be served and we’ll explain our routine in detail. At that time you can give us your information, including which days you will be available to pick. You also may contact Linda Everett at 480-895-8325, or e-mail [email protected]

Homeowners who need assistance picking your fruit: If we picked at your residence last year, you are on our list and will be contacted by one of our captains a few days ahead of when we plan to pick your fruit this year. At that time, you may arrange for an alternate date if you choose.

If we did not pick at your residence last year but you would like to be on our waiting list for this year, please send a request to Linda Everett at 480-895-8325 or e-mail [email protected], including your name, address, phone number and number of trees. Those on the waiting list are contacted whenever we have an opening. However, we can only pick as many houses as our volunteer numbers permit.

We don’t charge for picking, but we suggest a donation of $5 per tree to cover our equipment and expenses.

Homeowners who can pick their own fruit and want to donate some: You have the option of having us pick it up or of delivering it directly to Citrus Central at one of our two locations: Jim and Arlene Thrower’s garage at 25825 Sherbrook Drive, or George and Christy Thomas’ garage at 25625 99th Dr., both in Cottonwood. We accept fruit only on Monday or Saturday mornings, so please plan to pick with those mornings in mind. In deference to neighbors’ wishes, please do not drop fruit off at any other time. Please bring us only fruit that you would eat. Fruit that is damaged or mainly full of seeds is not desirable.

For good information about growing citrus, go to

Last year, we gathered about 38 tons of fruit and helped nearly 25,000 people Please join us in this opportunity to help folks in need by donating time or fruit. Sun Lakes is truly full of generous people!