“IT TAKES A VILLAGE, BABY”: LOCAL MOM, WIFE + BIG TIME VOLUNTEER
Wife, mother, full-time employee, volunteer and, of course, Asbury Park resident.
Seresa Grillo hit the ground running when she moved here with her husband in 2006 and continues to work hard volunteering much of her extra time for our community.
I spoke with Grillo last week to learn what inspires her to keep going… and going.
TBP: Where did you initially find your passion for giving back?
Grillo: I credit my mom and dad for my interest and involvement with the community. As a minister’s daughter, each season, I saw the positive impact that was made as the community was drawn together at events.
I really found my voice and community spirit through volunteering at Starbuck’s sponsored events with local organizations, especially when we moved to Asbury Park in 2006.
TBP: Today, what inspires you?
Grillo: We have a three year-old daughter, Leonora, whom we love taking to the boardwalk, city parks and library. I want this city to continue to be a great place for her and everyone.
I believe that, in volunteering my time and making a difference in the community, the results will inspire others to do the same.
TBP: You wear a number of hats here in town – more than most anyone I know.
Grillo: What I am really excited about right now is I am chairing the Mayor’s upcoming Health and Wellness initiative on Saturday, May 5. It is an event that promotes healthy living and an active lifestyle in our community for positive self-esteem and prevention of disease.
Everyone, from kids to seniors, is welcome at the event which will have food and fun and take place on the beach and boardwalk south of Convention Hall.
Beyond this event, which takes months to organize – volunteers are welcome – for three years I have been a member of the parking committee. I am also a member of the Asbury Park Planning Board as well as the Monmouth County Democrats.
TBP: What do you say to someone who says they do not have time to give back?
Grillo: I chose to live in Asbury Park because I love the ocean; what I found was that I love the people even more.
I was at Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Philly last week and he had a great quote: “To get done what we got to get done, it takes a village, baby!”
Find an organization that you care about or take issue with. Whether it’s the arts, music, mentoring, animals, or the environment, there is likely an opportunity to volunteer that will fit your schedule.
TBP: Speaking of Springsteen, you have a story.
Grillo: This was a couple of years ago. Patti was getting her hair done at Hot Mess, Bruce was lounging on a chair outside, catching some early May rays. I “welcomed” him to Cookman and let him know it was so great to see him in town.
We talked about Cookman Avenue and how much it’s changed. He told me he lived on the top story of a building on the 700 block of Cookman. He reminisced about sunbathing on the roof and playing at the Upstage.
Just another reason I love this city.