-written by Chad Radwan – Communications VISTA
-appears courtesy of TrinityCafe.org
Jeremy Gloff enjoys serving people, bringing joy through a delicious meal each day as the manager at Cappy’s Pizza in New Tampa and giving of his time as Volunteer Coordinator at Trinity Cafe.
We are thankful he began giving of his energy and talents as a server at Trinity Cafe a few years back and now enthusiastically coordinates volunteers Mondays at our Busch Boulevard location. Jeremy’s love of interacting with people, dedication to his job and to Trinity Cafe makes it apparent that he embodies the principals of serving and of service to one’s community.Jeremy is also a musician and is a skilled guitarist and keyboardist and can always call upon a large circle of friends to support his volunteerism. Last September, Jeremy even organized a fundraising effort donating a portion of sales at Cappy’s Pizza, as well as a portion of his own tips, to Trinity Cafe providing 225 meals! He is particularly proud to have been a part of the first meals served at our second Trinity Cafe location and has seen our capacity to serve guests expand in response to the needs of the local community.
I asked Jeremy why he first decided to give his time and energy to our efforts and he explained that he was inspired a few years ago while working at the Hard Rock Casino. Watching the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, he decided to make something good of it and was inspired wanting to make a small change in the world, “I went home and Googled ‘volunteer Tampa’ and it listed different opportunities and since I’m a server Trinity Cafe stood out to me. I just signed up and went by myself. So it’s kind of scary going the first time and not knowing anyone”. Jeremy helps others get over the potentially intimidating experience of volunteering for the first time by sharing what he does on Facebook. In fact, that day Jeremy was accompanied by two of his friends who had seen his social media posts and decided to volunteer for themselves. He was even accompanied by his mother, who is also a long-time volunteer whose background as a social worker makes her an excellent hostess who is always ready to lend an open ear when our guests need one.
As a coordinator Jeremy describes himself as relaxed and easy going. About our younger volunteers, he explained, “if they’re intimidated, they won’t come back. I’d rather create a comfortable environment that people want to come back and volunteer again because it’s easy for kids to sit in front of their computer and TV and not want to do anything”. He says that he has similar thoughts on his days off of work, explaining that he’d love to lay in bed but knows that it’s important to make the effort to give back. He says that there’s no reason he can’t spend two hours every couple of weeks trying to make someone’s life a little bit better.
Jeremy is certainly a valuable member of our Trinity Cafe team and the volunteers that he helps coordinate are similarly fond of him. After telling one of the volunteers that he would be away the following week, they responded, “Oh my Gosh. Oh I’m telling you, we need more of you here. Lord have mercy we do. He’s such a joy to work for. You’re a keeper. Two weeks; I’ll be counting the days”. So take the time to click on the ‘Volunteer’ tab and sign up for a Monday shift. Hopefully you’ll get to meet our friend Jeremy and feel similarly inspired.