Service is a core value at ReEmployAbility, one that is represented every day. Whether it is the service of injured workers who participate in the Transition2Work® program or the service of the ReEmployAbility team, every bit of effort connects that person to a greater purpose and a chance to provide that to someone less fortunate. The management team at ReEmployAbility has always encouraged their team members to go out and give back at any opportunity available. Well, now it’s their turn to make a difference!
In November, the ReEmployAbility management team traveled to Trinity Cafe located right here in Tampa, FL. Each member of the ReEmployAbility management team was assigned a job either in the kitchen preparing meals, out in the dining room as a server and host, or at the side entry assisting with to-go meal distribution. On this day they were able to serve 92 individuals in the dining room and provided meals for an additional 90 people through the drive-thru option. Trinity Cafe is a nonprofit branch of Feeding Tampa Bay which acts as the organization’s “free, full-service restaurant for those in need of a healthy meal today.” Open all year round, their chef prepares fresh and nutritious meals for any person or family in need of a hot or cold meal. Patrons can enjoy a three-course meal at either of the three Hillsborough county locations or have the option to collect a meal to go at their Trinity 1 and Trinity 2 locations.
A Team That Serves Together, Sticks Together
Besides providing meals to the hungry people of Tampa, each volunteer gained an experience they will never forget. Nonprofit Relationship Manager Lindsey Bressi stated, “While volunteering, we were able to serve a wide range of people. Individuals, couples, and families. Young and elderly. People who visit the Cafe every day. People who experienced their first lunch service that afternoon. People who sought support, a prayer, someone with whom they could share their story. Those dining room walls allowed them a break from the outside world, and in there, their only focus was to enjoy the meal and company across from them.” Along the way, volunteers were able to share food and conversation while learning about the lives of the people who came through the doors.
ReEmployAbility Controller Michelle Nihoul explained, “Serving the patrons at Trinity Café was the best part of my day. They were polite and grateful that we were there taking time out of our day to help.” That day volunteers and hungry patrons shared a common experience that involved more than the nourishment of the body but of the soul. Nonprofit Relationship Manager Angela Fulgieri goes on to agree that, “While they came for a meal, they also enjoyed the fellowship.” One guest stood out, in particular, a man with great talent. National Sales Manager Todd Loomis described him as “classically trained and played beautiful renditions of Christmas songs on the piano one after the other, by memory.” A great surprise no one expected, but a great way to spread some holiday cheer this season.
The day was filled with laughter and comradery among volunteers, staff, and guests. Director of Service Operations Carlos Cordova stated, “It was also an extremely rewarding experience that we were able to volunteer as a team. We were all energized by one another and had a blast!” It is a beautiful thing to be able to share something so generous and meaningful among colleagues, especially when addressing one of our community’s biggest concerns, hunger. We encourage you to take the time and organize a trip to your local food bank and donate your services to those who may be less fortunate. What better way to represent the spirit of the holidays than by giving back to your local community?
To learn more about Trinity Cafe visit https://feedingtampabay.org/ways-we-serve/trinity-cafe.
To learn more about Feeding Tampa Bay or any of their affiliated nonprofits visit https://feedingtampabay.org/