VISTA communications specialist, Chad Radwan reflects on diversity and gratitude found within Trinity Cafe’s volunteer force

As the newest Trinity Cafe team member, I now work as the VISTA communication specialist and have been a resident of the Tampa Bay area my entire life. Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting to know the volunteers who serve at both of our cafes. It has been my goal to understand what motivates such gracious behavior and what the experience of volunteering is like.

The first thing that you should know about our volunteers is the energy they bring to the cafes every day, it is awesome! Some of them come as part of a group, some of them invite their friends, and some ride solo. The second thing you should know about our volunteers are they come from everywhere; some raised from across the world in Far East Asia, some just miles across the state in Jacksonville and of course some from just a short walk to the cafe in which they serve.

What is most outstanding about all of the individuals who come to serve at our tables, host, bus or scrape plates, is their love for their community and the gratitude they feel while at Trinity Cafe. One first timer told me, “I was a nervous wreck at first, but I enjoyed that they put me with an experienced person. The guests were so nice. The entire experience really humbled me”. Another young woman volunteering alongside her coworkers for the day explained what motivated her, “What gives me satisfaction is being able to see people’s lives change, even if it’s just for a minute… That’s why you do the things you do and you serve the community. Whether you’re a Girl Scout leader, or are coming to be a volunteer at Trinity Cafe, maybe sing in the choir; and I’ve done all of those things, for me it’s all about seeing lives change”.

It was a pleasure to have so many great volunteers share their personal inspirations on why they roll up their sleeves and get hands-on with hunger in our community. The examples I’ve shared are just the tip of the iceberg and I sincerely look forward to meeting YOU when you volunteer to serve at our table!