ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A warm smile and a hot meal is enough to brighten the day of St. Pete's less fortunate. But a special guest made Monday morning a whole different ballgame.
Former Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon returned to the Bay Area for his annual "Thanksmas" event at St. Vincent de Paul shelter, where he served meals to the homeless.
“It’s to really recognize the situation that does exist, continually trying to seek out answers. But for me, it’s just a simple meal or you get to break bread and sit with somebody and talk with somebody,” Maddon said.
It's been four years since Maddon left Tampa Bay to manage the Chicago Cubs. But he's been back every single year since.
Steve Erickson, whose company PDQ partnered with Maddon on the effort, is glad to see the former Rays manager return.
“Even though he may not spend most of his time here in St. Pete or in Tampa, for him to come back and come this distance, this is just huge for us,” Erickson said.
After lunch, socks and soap were handed out to those in need. Maddon says for those who want to step up to the plate, all they need to do is volunteer.
"This is a wonderful way to come out and volunteer at different shelters throughout the area, and I promise you, perspective will slap you in the face really quickly," he added.