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.

Let The Festivals Begin!

Welcome to film festival season 2015! This year I will be working the Gasparilla International Film Festival as a volunteer which is very exciting because not only do I get to help continue a beloved Tampa film community tradition nine years in the running and learn more about how festivals come together, I also get to attend a plethora of screenings, Industry panels, and maybe even a party or two over the weekend. Festivals are great because it brings people from all over to a local community who are all like minded to network for new opportunities; festivals are also great learning experiences with workshops and conversations analysing films and what works in today’s market.

The last day of April marks the first day of the four day Sunscreen Film Festival for the tenth year. This festival is very special to me because it was the first festival that I had a film premiere at. In an effort to give back and reconnect with the film community in the Tampa/St. Pete area I will also volunteer to help with this festival as well, and in turn get a day pass to attend workshops and screenings. Festivals are such an exciting time it is easy to forget all the year round work that goes into them to create the magical experience (and economy boost) we have. I think that it would be such a dream to work on a festival every single year – even all year round. My goal in these next few months is to learn as much as possible about putting together a festival, who knows maybe I’ll be hosting one of my own one day!