Giving Back for Gratitude

My favorite afternoons are those spent at Trinity Cafe where their mission is to restore a sense of dignity to the homeless & hungry while serving a nutritious meal. We faithfully treat all of God’s children with dignity, compassion, love, and respect.

I get great satisfaction out of serving meals to the men, women and children who walk through those doors. On multiple occasions I had to choke back tears when someone stops and shows their gratitude before giving their seat to someone else who needs it. The program at Trinity is filled with love and respect for all human beings and the energy is contagious. As a guest or a volunteer, everyone leaves feeling better about the state of humanity within one another and the world around them. Hope for the future is evident.

For years I have been serving tables of yuppies who treat you like scum and are overly needy without any manners. It is amazing that those who have nothing actually say please and thank you when asking for something. Gratitude goes a long way. I look forward to the days when I attend and am happy to put my serving skills to use. With the opportunity to sit at the table and host our guests and the opportunity to hustle around and grab meals during every visit, the system is amazing.

The Trinity Cafe experience is like nothing I have ever witnessed before. When you walk in, a gentleman asks you how many are in your party and directs you to a table accordingly; they try to seat families, friends or couples together.

There are twelve tables that seat six at a time with a nice centerpiece. Silverware comes neatly rolled and when you sit there is a drink ready for you. You are greeted by the host at that table who asks how your day has been with a smile. The server comes by and says hello. She asks if you would like to start with your salad or take everything at once.

You are served a salad or soup to start, a hearty entree and given a dessert as well. After your first cup of lemonade or tea you are allowed as much water as you would like. When you leave, your spot is quickly cleaned by the bussers and reset by the server who then lets the doorman know how many available seats the table has.

Are there more places like this across the world? I would like to know about all of them. If you know of one similar comment below with the link.

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You Are Worth It

While driving around town today I couldn’t help but notice the amount of homeless on the streets. It hurts my heart to see so much pain. Recently I have been in pain myself as next week will be the anniversary of my father’s passing – again. Now I know everyone asks for money but I couldn’t help but think about how that can be ill spent so I decided to make some care packages. I had a jar of coins that were just waiting to be utilized so I found a purpose for them – and a great way to celebrate my father’s life. Eventually I decided to call it my You Are Worth It campaign.

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You see my father taught me very young not to judge a man by his appearance or current lifestyle because you never know what they have been through. In fact, my father was homeless himself for the last ten years of his life which is why I feel such a strong calling to help those in similar situations. See my dad was an addict and anytime I would give him money he would buy something he shouldn’t with it so instead I would go buy him some clothes and food and personal hygiene items. I took this into consideration after I exchanged the coins and made my list.

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With fifty dollars of what I like to call found money I went to the store and checked out the sales. I decided that I could easily make six nice packages with the deals I found and was impressed at how far I was able to spread my money.

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Each item was carefully selected.

  1. Toothbrush – Hygiene
  2. Toothpaste – Hygiene
  3. bar soap – Hygiene
  4. 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner – Hygiene/Convenience
  5. Water – Hydration in Florida Summer is imperative
  6. Emergen-C – Staying healthy is key to finding a job
  7. Slim Jim – protein/snacks
  8. Kashi Granola Bars – protein/snacks
  9. Mott’s Gummy Snacks – Morale Booster
  10. Double Bubble – Oral Fixation (helps keep the mind occupied)
  11. Mints – Oral Fixation (helps minimize hunger)

All six bags got one hygiene item a piece, one bottle of water, three packets of Emergen-C, two Slim Jims, two Mott’s, one pack of granola bars, four mints, and six pieces of gum.

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Now my wheels were really turning and I thought it would be great if I could send out a little inspiration to each person, after all the ultimate goal is to change lives. As I was setting everything up in my office, I posted a picture to social media and got some great response. It was touching because this is an issue I am passionate about. It was also interesting because it made me wonder how many lives we could all touch together. I created these little index cards to go in each bag and be the slogan of the project:

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My goal is to spread humanity and pay it forward by reminding everyone that You Are Worth It – no matter how bad the situation may be at the moment. Remind them that there are people out there that care about what becomes of them and give them the tools to succeed. The final product looks like this and will be handed out in my local community throughout the weekend:

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Interested in paying it forward?

Here is what I suggest: Save your change to change the world. Think necessities. Nonperishable food only. NO MOUTHWASH OR SANITIZER(these often have small amounts of alcohol in them)

If you want to contribute but don’t have the time to go through the coin exchange, shopping and  creation of the bags then shoot me a message. I’m glad to do all the hard work and hand out the bags, although it would be great to have people doing this all across the world. If enough people are interested I am thinking about creating a crowdfunding campaign or something so people could donate their spare change. Eventually I hope to make 100 bags a month but for now, 6 is a good start.

Also tag everything #YouAreWorthIt because every human life is worth it.