The Jesuit High School baseball team served the community Thursday (Nov. 16) at Trinity Café in support of former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon's Thanksmas initiative.
The team members, along with head coach Miguel Menendez, served about 300 homeless and needy over the course of two hours, delivering meals and drinks, busing tables, and interacting with the guests, who were seated and served similar to dining in a restaurant.
"We were excited to be a part of Thanksmas, and also to help Trinity Café and their mission," Menendez said. "For us to be able to provide assistance was such a blessing. Our guys really got to experience what service is about."
Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14 before leaving for the Chicago Cubs. This year, he brought Thanksmas – his charitable effort to feed the homeless using his mother's recipes – back to the Tampa Bay area.
Representing Jesuit baseball and serving at Trinity Café were: Jack Anderson '18, Javi Baldor '18, Joel Brewer '18, Reid Clark '18, Robert Hales '18, Matt McDonald '18, Brett Nevitt '18, Connor Price '18, William Swantek '18, McGuire Weaver '18, Alex Bryant '20, Josh Mallitz '20, Malachi Woodside '20, Jalen Niles '20, Tyler Stack '20, Aiden Clark '21, Jackson Shembekar '21, and Miguel Menendez '21.
Maddon and his Respect 90 foundation held four Thanksmas events in four Tampa Bay locations over four days this week, coinciding with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. This holiday season, Thanksmas events also will take place in Chicago (January) and Hazleton, Pa. (December), Maddon's hometown.
Trinity Café, located at 2801 N. Nebraska Ave, serves hundreds of hot meals daily free of charge. Its mission is "to restore a sense of dignity to the homeless and hungry while serving nutritious meal. We faithfully treat all of God's children with dignity, compassion, love, and respect."
Respect 90 also partnered with CITYPAK to provide 1,300 backpacks, each with a pair of new cotton crew socks, at Thanksmas events this week.
Please view below a photo slideshow of Jesuit baseball serving Thanksmas at Trinity Café on Thursday: