Dear Friends,

You never really know where inspiration will come from. Working at Tampa Jewish Family Services I’m lucky to be surrounded by inspiration more than most. Recently, however, I found inspiration from an interaction with two teenagers I encountered at the Community Food Bank Holiday Gift Distribution.

These boys walked into the Food Bank during the holiday distribution and, of course, we welcomed them as we do everyone. 

The holiday distribution was set up “store-like” so families could select what they needed in itemized areas, and I was able to spend a little time talking with the teens.

I came to discover they were brothers and had come to collect food and holiday gifts for their own family. They were concerned that they did this pickup correctly and took great time and effort in making good choices.

After offering them many gift options for teenage boys, they asked if they could get gifts for other members of their family instead.  I was so touched by this gesture that not only did we pick out gifts for their family, but I also insisted that they pick out something special for themselves too.

Now, this exemplifies what TJFS is all about! These boys represented the spirit of our work in a big way. Their walking into our food bank was a true gift of inspiration to me and our volunteers. 

We may not see them again, but we would want them to know that we are grateful to them and their loving generosity.

I hope each of you find inspiration in your daily lives as well.

Dr. Beth Ann Gemunder
Tampa Jewish Family Services CEO