Sometimes our volunteers arrive alone and sometimes they show up with some of their close friends in tow.
The snowball effect essentially describes how one person’s volunteer experience results in dozens more volunteers through word of mouth and through individuals taking the time to encourage others to give their time and treasure to Trinity Cafe.
The most interesting thing about our volunteers by proxy is that it doesn’t seem to take them long to become committed regulars, that plate lunches, serve guests, clean tables, and share conversations with those in need.
In some cases it’s a parent or grandparent, in some cases it’s been friends, neighbors, or college classmates. Our volunteers have consistently been inspired to share their work at Trinity Cafe with so many other people in their lives. Even our staff has brought in their significant others and convinced their close friends that the time it takes to volunteer with us, just two hours a day, is extremely rewarding. One of our brightest and most cheerful volunteers named Peach, whom you’ve already met was first recruited by her friend Nina our former Volunteer Manager and friend, along with Jeremy a loyal volunteer and coordinator here at Trinity Cafe. Back in February when I interviewed Peach she explained, “Once everyone is served, then you can have a collaboration. I brought my friend today and it’s his birthday. I used to do this all of the time and I want to get back into it so last week I brought my grandma”. Jeremy on the other hand is a professional server and his work at Trinity Cafe fits his skills perfectly. But needless to say, one doesn’t have to have professional experience to sign up, come in, and put a smile. Our guests appreciate the work and time that everyone contributes to make sure things continue to run smoothly at our two locations.
Back in March, Jeremy also shared with me that in addition to his own regular volunteer work as a biweekly coordinator, he organizes his friends and coworkers to come in annually and serve our cafes in memory of a departed friend’s birthday each year. When I asked him what he does to invite others to join him he said that he doesn’t hesitate to show his friends what he’s doing on his Facebook page, even if some people interpret it as showing-off. But some of his close friends, including a young couple from Seminole Heights, have now become regular Monday volunteers, “My friends see I’m doing it and they ask ‘how can I help’. I just tell them it’s so easy, it’s just a couple of hours. I do it every other week. If you give four hours a month to something good, that’s nothing”. His friend Amanda said that it was good that Jeremy had been posting updates about his volunteerism on his Facebook. Speaking on behalf of her and her husband she said, “It’s been a tumultuous year and we wanted to get involved in the community and give back and he made it really easy. Because looking into volunteering was very difficult online and some non-profits even require a background check.”
So if you’ve taken the time to volunteer with us at one of our two locations, then consider telling a friend or loved one. Even if you have to tempt them with a delicious meal served by our very own Chef Benito and his kitchen team,we’re confident that once they come in, they’ll be a regular in no time!