Cup of Compassion - What an Experience!
On February 25th, the 13th Annual Cup of Compassion Breakfast took place at the Tampa Convention Center. Over 500 members of the Tampa Bay community were in attendance to support the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and its mission to ensure that no one in our community has to face crisis alone
. This was my first Cup of Compassion, and I have to say, it was an incredible experience!
Emphasizing the Crisis Center's goal to bring help, hope, and healing to people facing serious life challenges were two powerful stories by speakers Lisa and Latasha, who both turned to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay when they faced a personal crisis. Asking for help is hard, and when you do, it is imperative that those you talk to be caring, knowledgeable, trained, and equipped to support. Lisa began her journey with the Crisis Center when her niece was sexually assaulted. She recounted how the Crisis Center's Sexual Assault Services provided her niece as well as her entire family with support and advocacy during a very traumatic time in their lives. Lisa's story continued when she herself had to ask for help after receiving a life altering diagnosis that plunged her into deep despair. She credited the Crisis Center for "saving" her life during this dark period.
Our second speaker, Latasha, graced us by bringing her young sons with her to address the attendees. A school bus driver on a limited contract, Latasha faced eviction last summer and was forced to send her sons to live with relatives while she struggled with homelessness. Thanks to the Family Stabilization Program, Latasha received the services and supports she needed to obtain permanent housing and reunite with her sons. Latasha and her family found their help, hope and healing and thanked the Crisis Center for being there for her. I invite you to listen to these incredible women's stories here
The Cup of Compassion also featured board member and community philanthropist, Fred Lay, as keynote speaker. Fred shared his compelling personal story of adoption and family economic struggles growing up. Recognizing his own journey, Fred noted how essential the Crisis Center's services are in our community for families struggling and in crisis. Fred's message touched us all and was a reminder that the Crisis Center truly is an essential part of the community.
On behalf of all of us at the Crisis Center, I extend my sincere thanks to everyone that attended and supported the Cup of Compassion. I especially want to thank all of the employees and volunteers at the Crisis Center who bring help, hope, and healing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to those in need. I am so proud and honored to be associated with such amazing people.
On a closing note, I'd encourage you or anyone who has not seen the work of the Crisis Center firsthand to join one of our tours. These one-hour tours are offered two to three times a month and provide the opportunity to meet key staff, interested community members, and board members. Come see how we change lives. More information is available here