August HOPE Hero: Gregg
About our HOPE Hero:
Gregg lived in Annapolis, Maryland, and Pittsburgh before moving to Florida four years ago. He graduated from the University of Maryland and spent his career as a supply chain manager for the food and beverage industry before retiring to Florida. Gregg volunteers with HOPE by dedicating time on the weekends and holidays to pick up donations from Publix and deliver them to our Emergency Safe Shelter.
What have you learned while volunteering with HOPE?
What I have learned is that without a service like HOPE Family Services a lot of women in Manatee County who are abused would continue to fall victim to abuse with little or no option to escape. They would, along with their children, be stuck in a never-ending cycle of abuse.
What advice would you give to a future volunteer or employee?
Whatever you do to volunteer with HOPE, remember that you are doing good for people who need support in probably their darkest hours.
What motivates you to volunteer with this organization?
Every time I deliver food to the shelter, I see the dedicated shelter staff that supports and tends to the needs of survivors of domestic violence. I see a staff that works hard with the survivors to help them become independent from their abusers. I also see a lot of very young children who are continuously supported by the shelter staff. I always feel motivated when I get to talk to the shelter staff and witness their dedication to HOPE’s mission, especially with Dawn, Kathy, Letty, Uganda, and many others.
Tell us about your most memorable accomplishment with this organization.
Moving the food donations from Fresh Market to Publix opened up an opportunity to add meat and produce to the donation list along with baked goods. I got that started just out of blind luck by simply asking if Publix would donate meat and produce. Moving the donations to Publix introduced an opportunity for many more boxes of donations, this was a huge win for the shelter and continues to be a win for them every week.
Describe yourself using only film titles.
I love the movie Ben Hur, especially the line where the Roman Centurion says to Juda Ben Hur when he is a galley slave, "We keep you alive to serve this ship, so row well.....and live!" The Outlaw Josey Wales comes in a close second — Clint's the man! And last but not least, Vincent Price in the Last Man on Earth, Vincent saves the world from the Vampire Pandemic and it’s a great 60s Horror movie.
Is there something that excites you so much it keeps you awake the night before?
Driving a thousand miles from Maryland to Florida in one day. I've done it many times over 40 years before we moved down here permanently.
What’s your pizza order?
I like meat on my pizza. My wife likes veggies. I always say, "Hey! If I wanted veggies on my pizza I'd order a salad!" I want meat on my pizza: pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon......yummy! So what do we order every Friday.......veggies! (Mostly Greek Pizza)
We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our mission!