A new perspective
At significant times in our lives, we experience great triumphs or troubles that can be defined as truly life-changing. For University of Central Florida (UCF) student Tremayne Sirmons, being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes was one of those moments. At the age of 24, his aspiration to become a successful civil engineer became less important, and he began taking a serious look at his life.
“I went through this phase where I felt like life went downhill…I ended up taking two weeks off of work and in those two weeks I decided to do a lot of volunteer work,” Tremayne explains.
His new commitment to community service brought the aspiring volunteer to Coalition for the Homeless with Concord Street Church of Christ, which serves a meal once a month in the Center for Women and Families. Tremayne quickly became enthralled with the organization and knew that serving once a month was not enough to satisfy him. He began seeking ways to become more involved, the first step of which was attending a volunteer orientation.
“After the orientation, I was hooked,” Tremayne remembers. “I still had no idea what I could actually do here; I only have so much money and so much time…so I decided to just start coming on Saturdays.”
Tremayne quickly discovered that Saturdays at the Coalition are often bustling with activities, from monthly birthday parties for the children and a program called “Reading Buddies” (both of which are sponsored by Hands On Orlando), to pick-up games of basketball. This dedicated volunteer has been at the Coalition nearly every Saturday and has found ways to entertain the children even when no events are scheduled, such as bringing a movie and snacks.
“Sometimes we forget that homelessness is just a label…that it doesn’t define anyone…You can’t sit back and say ‘I will never be that person’ because there are just some things in life that will cause you to realize anything can happen,” he admonishes. “That’s how I look at my illness.”
Although Tremayne is modest about his involvement at the Coalition, he does express hope that the small acts of service he commits will help the lives of Coalition clients.
Tremayne’s story was first featured in the Coalition’s Fall 2009 newsletter. He remains one of our most dedicated volunteers. He diligently comes to the Coalition on Saturdays to entertain children, hosts a teen and family movie night two times a month, assists with Coalition events, and even serves as an ambassador for the Coalition at outside events. In addition to volunteering, Tremayne works full-time, attends UCF and is involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
We’re so proud to have Tremayne as a volunteer!