The late Bob Holm shared his gifts of compassion and support for individuals and families impacted by HIV through his longtime volunteer service with EPIC (Empath Partners in Care), a member of Empath Health.
In recognition and celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week, we bring you the story of Holm, his favorite coffee shop and their outpouring of support for EPIC’s Brighter Seasons for Children program.
Holm gave a warm welcome and support to clients who visited EPIC’s St. Petersburg campus. He died last year.
“Bob sat at our front desk, answered phones and greeted clients for six years. He looked like Santa and had the heart to match. He was always a friendly face and so kind to everyone,” said Sheryl Hoolsema, EPIC’s director of Pinellas County.
At his favorite Brew D Licious local coffee shop, Holm held a special friendship with the shop owner, Brigitte. Each year the two coordinated a collection of toys and other items on the wish lists of children served by EPIC’s Brighter Seasons. The giving grew stronger after his death.
Hoolsema shared, “Brigitte put up an angel tree and gathered gifts for our kids. In the past they would take about 10 of our kids, but when Bob passed away, Brigitte contacted me to take extra kids as they wanted to do more in memory of Bob. He had been a loyal friend to her and was so well loved by the customers and other people who knew him. They were able to gather gifts for over 20 of our kids so that they would have a brighter holiday season.”
Grateful for Support
A big thanks to the community for your kindness and generosity to the many people we serve at EPIC and Empath Health. Click here to learn more about our volunteer opportunities. Click here to learn more about our giving opportunities.
What a wonderful way to remember Bob. Everyone loved BoB. I am grateful to have been able to have worked with Bob while I was a Volunteer Coordinator at EPIC. He was generous with his talents and a wealth of community resource information. He had an open, caring way about him. He loved what ever community board or project he was on and went about it with passion. I will miss Bob very much. He was such an advocate to EPIC clients and there was a” justice for all feeling about him” that I loved. He often checked in with me to make sure I was doing okay when he would witness how the job often took me in many different directions and would comment on how well I handled it all but was concerned for my health and mental well being. Bob lived the “spirit of Christmas” that means so much to me , we shared that spirit together. I loved Bob’s even keel as things sometimes got a little chaotic in the lobby. I will miss his big “Santa Hugs” as well. Rest in Peace my friend , you did an amazing job as you danced on this Earth among us. You inspired so many and your love will live in all of us. Knowing Bob has helped shape me into a better person.
Bob was a beautiful person who gave of his time and his love so freely. We all at EPIC miss his great smile and gentle way with everyone, and EPIC was only one small part of his big, noble life, touching everyone he met and leaving a fond memory with a large number of people. He performed random acts of kindness on a daily basis, I believe!
Bob has had a huge impact on everyone who came in contact with him and I was one of those very fortunate ones. He loved people fully and was very dialed-in to their needs. He was the first to encourage or give a hug if you’d had a hard day. He was the kind of person who always made you smile and truly loved well. We miss him deeply! Everyone here at EPIC is indebted to his beautiful service but more importantly for the impact he had on each and every one of us and the clients we serve. Bob, we love you very much and are so grateful to have known you!