TAMPA, Fla. — The hustle and bustle of the season is in full swing inside the Metropolitan Ministries holiday tent.
Leading the way is volunteer Joyce Keller.
"I love to be busy. I don’t want to stand around. There are things to do,” said Keller.
"I was just bagging eggplant and apples because we had a half hour in between," she went on to say.
What You Need To Know
- Metropolitan Ministries volunteers busy right until Christmas Eve
- Volunteer Joyce Keller has done it all in her 33 years of volunterring
- HOW TO HELP: Metropolitan Ministries
Volunteers are busy wherever you look.
From collecting and sorting toys and food, Keller, a volunteer for 33 years, has done it all.
"I was 'Volunteer of the Year' for 2000,” said Keller as she shows us a scrapbook that takes us through decades of donating time.
"I started volunteering with my church.”
Keeping a family tradition alive, she takes pride in giving back to her community.
"I look forward to it. I can’t wait for it to happen,” said Keller.
Keller kept busy checking in volunteers, the people-person says it's one of her favorite things to do in the tent.
"They’re gonna be helping the clients put food in their cars.”
That food is going to families in need over the holiday and Joyce has seen the difference it can make.
"I’ve seen the smiles of children that I think are most important,” said Keller.
Reflecting on years of volunteering, it's those children who really touched her heart.
"This was a good time for me because I love to talk to the children, so that’s my favorite memory is being able to be with the children in the shelter,” said Keller showing a picture from her scrapbook and reflecting on her personal life.
"I can probably remember way back when it was difficult for us growing up.”
Keller keeps coming back, with hopes she is is inspiring that hope.
"I hope I am. I hope I am. I really do. We want to give everybody hope, especially in this time,” said Keller.
Giving the gift of hope, 33 years and counting.
"Once you start, you’re always gonna be back because it’s good for your soul," said Keller.