Volunteer Appreciation Month: Jordan Treco
With a volunteer family more than 18,500 individuals strong, Coalition for the Homeless has a lot to be appreciative of. The support we receive from our amazing volunteers is priceless.
Help us celebrate these wonderful supporters this month by getting to know them a little better. This week, meet recent University of Central Florida graduate Jordan Treco.
How did you get involved with the Coalition? During my junior year at UCF, I was looking for an organization to get involved with. A friend of mine, Jennifer Grippin, had volunteered at the Coalition with a church group and told me about it.
How often and in what capacity do you volunteer? As consistently as I can… When I first started, I was mainly working with the children and families (birthday parties, reading, events) and also in the donation closets sorting through donations. Over the course of the years, I have become more involved with the children and teenagers (flag football, field trips, game/movie nights). I also assist with volunteer orientations, data entry, ops desk, fundraising events, and very recently, accounting work.
Why do you continue to support the Coalition? In a way, the Coalition has become my second home; I’ve gotten to build relationships with a number of people. I know, personally, how influential another’s investment in my life was and would like to be that influence for the generations behind me.
What has surprised you most? The array of people I’ve met. There’s always a new story, character, issue, or joke…it’s never boring.
What is your fondest memory of volunteering at the Coalition? Taking the teens to an Orlando Magic game. There were activities that day, including a live DJ and an open space to dance. Some of the Coalition’s teens went right out onto the dance floor, but some were a bit shy/embarrassed. I went on the dance floor with them to get them to relax and have a good time.
What do you wish other people knew about homelessness? That their mental image of homelessness is often incorrect. A lot of homeless people have full-time jobs, children, cars, education, and are hard-working and very caring, but can’t afford rent due to circumstances. Life can throw curve balls…don’t judge too quickly.
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while volunteering at the Coalition… Where to start? A few years ago, the Coalition had a number of kids whose idea of a good Saturday was going to the library. On Saturday afternoons, we’d take them down to the library and it was like going to a theme park to them. They would ask to stay longer, bring each other books, comics, and manga, and just make a day out of it. One girl would take a book, find a quiet spot, and read on her own until it was time to go.
Around that same time, there was also a family of artists staying at the Coalition. The kids loved to draw, paint, etc. They were very talented. The eldest daughter caught the eye of an art professor who wanted to make sure she would be set for college later in life. I got close to that particular family. It was a happy/sad day when they moved out.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering? Up until last December, I was a full-time student and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UCF. I’m part of Summit Church and was involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship throughout my college years and maintain a connection with them. I like to dance and am a part of Swing Knights at UCF and Orlando Blues and enjoy Latin dances and Hip-Hop. I enjoy Mixed Martial Arts and train at home. I enjoy sports, namely soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, racquetball, ultimate frisbee, track & field, and swimming. As of recent, my time is spent looking for work.
What might someone be surprised to know about you? I was born and raised in The Bahamas. I moved to the United States without my parents when I was 16 years old in order to further my education.