#MyGivingStory begins overwhelmingly blessed.

My soul seeks to help others and from my very first day at Trinity Cafe I was overwhelmed with the desire to give, sometimes until in hurts. This is #MyGivingStory.

From the first time I sat down at a table as a host at Trinity Cafe I was moved to tears by the realization that everyone you meet has a story. Some may want to share their truths and some wish to share nothing at all, but they are there for one reason, they are hungry.

We assume it is hunger for a healthy meal, but from my experience it is that and more. Many of the guests I have come to know are hungry for someone who cares enough to listen to their story, give them a hug or recognize their face when they return. More than anything I feel most have the same sentiment in common, yearning to not be judged by choices or circumstance, if even for just an hour.

My favorite place besides around Trinity Cafe’s table is outside, where our guests wait to enter our dining room. Our entire property is an intentional community, a safe place for all. It is the space where partnering non-profits and support services address the additional needs of our guests and has become a comfort zone for me. I find it enlightening just sitting on the ground at times, listening to life stories like a mom speaking proudly of her son’s success, a veteran sharing his past adventures, or a homeless friend explaining with clarity why he chooses his freedom.

“Never judge someone by the way he looks or a book by the way it’s covered; for inside those tattered pages, there’s a lot to be discovered.”   Stephen Cosgrove

Not every story shared is hopeful, or echoes of what is perceived as normalcy. Not all share the same sentiments as we do in regards to supporting our neighbors in need, this can be frustrating and disheartening. What inspires me to continue on even the worst of days? Being part of a team of mentors and friends who do not allow such negativity to stray me from what’s important, serving those in need with dignity and respect. I firmly believe compassion brings hope, and an afternoon at Trinity Cafe leaves us all a little bit better than we were when we arrived.

I do work on the leadership team at Trinity Cafe as Director of Development & Communications but as most all of us driven to immerse ourselves in the non-profit world, I still give additional time, talent and treasures inspired by the people that we serve. What is more precious to me is what I have been given, I not only listen, my heart hears.

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I have shared and influenced my family, my friends and as many who will listen here in Tampa Bay. #MyGivingStory is that of advocacy for our neighbors in need. The simple truth is that everyone has a story…  we need to address the needs of our struggling neighbors with dignity, respect and compassion, regardless of where their life is leading them.

What is your Giving Story? I would love to hear it and most importantly share. Your story needs to be heard too.

Email: soliviero@trinitycafe.org

 

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