Coming Soon to Your Community – Free Tea Parties!

by Gayle Etcheverry

It really doesn’t take much effort to make a difference in your community. One can transform the lives of others with small gestures of compassion. It was Theodore Roosevelt who once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” One great example of such being is a man named Guisepi, who serves free tea to people he meets on the street.

The concept of “free tea parties” grew organically out of a lifestyle Guisepi was living. He always enjoyed a good cup of tea, but in early 2005, he started sharing his tea with others from the tailgate of the truck he was living in. By offering a little bit of food and tea with people on the street, great conversations and interactions took place that bridged the gap of so many stereotypes, colors of skin, and educational backgrounds that normally would never intermingle with each other.

Originally, he served tea while visiting new towns to meet locals in the community. This was something he could afford to do and he truly enjoyed it. Meanwhile, participants of these parties conveyed to Guisepi just how much it meant to them to be a part of something so special. They would leave the party with a feeling of oneness and inspired to share it with others in the world.

Nowadays, Guisepi provides tea from a small school bus he purchased that he named Special Edna. He always wanted a vehicle that was big enough to live in and host tea parties, but small enough that he could easily park on the street. Today, he calls this bus his home and happily shares it with those who will drink a cup of tea with him.

People around the globe have been offering free tea to others throughout history. Guisepi is continuing a tradition that spans cultures and generations world wide, and it is still welcomed by citizens as a warm gesture of the human spirit.

Guisepi has friends who throw their own versions of tea parties and he thinks it is great. One man he met in San Francisco was so thrilled with the idea that he decided to fulfill his longtime dream of serving free stew to people. “Not to be too cheesy, but it isn’t bout the tea or a school bus – it’s about real human connections, sharing ideas, self-expression and being free people” he explains.

If you want to be a part of a special, unique party such as this you can join Guisepi sometime, or even start your own! It doesn’t take much to get one going, and you’ll walk away from it changed for the better.

I am grateful to have been in attendance of a tea party hosted by Guisepi one summer night in Southern California. In a matter of minutes I was welcomed by strangers, enjoyed delicious tea, took part in delightful conversations and felt 100% present the entire time. I will never forget how alive I felt that evening and now strive to recreate that feeling everyday with new ‘strangers’ I meet on the street.

Guisepi is a wonderful example of someone who is making a difference in the lives of humanity, by serving peace one cup at a time.

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