Making a Difference: Inside The Box Cafe volunteer gives back

4:56 PM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Chely Figueroa is doing well these days, back on her feet after hitting rock bottom.

"I was staying with a friend and things were getting out of hand. I was working seasonal jobs here and there but things were getting short, money was getting tight. I didn't have anything to provide my son with," said Chely.

After living arrangements turned sour with a friend, Chely and her son were without food and shelter. So she turned her life around with the help of Metropolitan Ministries.

"I walked all the way from Riverview to Metro to find a refuge... I remember Metro from my mom receiving help when we were younger."

Overcoming hunger and homelessness, she was determined to be self-sufficient. She completed her GED and soon after secured two jobs.

"She had started coming back and actually volunteering in the kitchen and I got to talk to her then and I was like WOW, if we need someone to work in the front to get to talk to people and really represent what we do at Metropolitan Ministries she would be perfect," said Cliff Barsi, Senior Director.

Not only is Chely glad she can give back to Metropolitan Ministries but she's happy she can help her fellow co-workers make a positive change in their lives.

"They all came from Metro as well, so not only am I making a difference but they're helping me make a difference by spreading the word and telling people what Metro does and what we do here," said Chely.

Tampa Bay Lightning recently honored Chely as the third Lightning Community Hero of the Year. She received a $50,000 donation and donated the money to Metropolitan Ministries.

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