First they started serving ice cream; now they’re serving hot meals and card games.
Local ice cream shop owner, Leslee, and her two boys, Liam, 9, and Eli, 10, have dubbed the second day of the week ‘Serving Tuesdays’. They deliver meals every Tuesday in the northeast Tampa neighborhood. Actually, the boys do the delivering. They have a system where one of them gets the hot food and the other gets the cold items to hand to their dozen or so recipients.
Leslee started volunteering in July 2017. She said she’s volunteered previously on different projects, but wanted to volunteer with her kids, as well. She said she had a hard time finding volunteer opportunities that were family friendly. Leslee wanted to instill the value of helping others and giving back to the community in her boys at an early age. “It’s a value we talk about in our family… and we can talk about how we love each other and how we love others, but it’s not enough to say it. We believe we have to show it and act it, also.” She home-schools the boys, which affords them the flexibility to volunteer as a family.
On their route, Leslee and the boys can be found chatting with some recipients on their front porch and petting their animals. Liam, who just turned nine, recently discovered that one of the recipients on their route has the same birthday as him and he now refers to his 90-year-old friend as ‘birthday twin’.
Yet there is one recipient who has invited them inside their home. “We started chatting on the porch and asking how things were going; now we hang out for a while and catch up with each other.” Leslee said they’ve become almost like family, “We enjoy chatting with them and hearing their stories, learning about their past, and finding the similarities in each other.” On occasion, they can also be found playing cards or dominos.
The Workman family, who owns Revolution Ice Cream in Seminole Heights, have a passion for serving others and feel compelled to do so, and feel it important to pass this on to their children. There’s a lot going on in the world today and it’s easy to get wrapped up in oneself. Leslee said she wanted to show her kids there was more to life than the world in front of them.
When Liam and Eli were asked about their favorite part of volunteering and delivering meals, they both agree that they like to see people smiling and being happy by their arrival.