Volunteer Spotlight: Kit T.

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It is our extreme pleasure to introduce you to our July Volunteer Spotlight, Kit! Kit brings her whole self to Teen Feed every Tuesday night as an Ally volunteer, providing a peer connections for youth while sharing the warmth and attentive kindness that you would expect from family. She grew up here in the Emerald City, will be a Senior this fall at Seattle Prep, and is hoping to stay on the West Coast for college.

When did you start at Teen Feed? What inspired you to volunteer with us?

I started in October of 2013.  I chose Teen Feed because I wanted to be connected to the people I was serving. The first day I volunteered, it struck me how there are people my age who have no homes, no food security, and no family to go to. For me it was mind blowing.  I realized that I live an incredibly privileged  life and that there is a huge universe of things outside the realm of my little life that needs attention.  This is my way of giving back.

What was your impression of Teen Feed when you started?

It was very welcoming!  Everyone made a great effort to show me that I was valued.  They were like “We are so excited that you’re here!”   It was relaxed enough that I could grow and change.

We love food here at Teen Feed. What did you eat today?

I had granola and yogurt for breakfast.  I haven’t had much.

How does volunteering at Teen Feed affect other parts of your life?

Teen Feed’s guests are out on the Ave, and I never used to notice them before.  They were invisible to me. Now I see them all the time.  As a volunteer, I get to know them, and I get to experience the incredible warmth, and sweetness, and smiles, and resilience of a lot of our guests.  I wish everyone could see this. You see something in another human being that you have never seen before!

What is your favorite meal you have at Teen Feed?

Sometimes I don’t eat at Teen Feed, because sharing a meal together is really important to my family.   I usually eat before I come, but last night I ate the spaghetti at Teen Feed, and it was really good.

What advice would you give to new volunteers?

Be yourself.  Let the guests see you for who you are. It’s about forming connections. Giving yourself to the experience.  And when you leave, don’t just leave the experience there, but bring it with you and let it affect you in a positive way.

Is there anything about your experience at Teen Feed that you want to tell me that you haven’t said already?

For me, it opens my eyes to a community that I didn’t know anything about before.  The way that people react to homeless youth is usually framed by stereotypes, and Teen Feed helps me break out of that. This has been really valuable experience for me, and if I had been at a different organization, I don’t know whether I would have learned this or not.

Thank you for your commitment to youth, Kit! To learn more about Teen Feed’s Advocate, Ally, and Meal Team volunteer programs, click here. To support Teen Feed’s work and the lives of homeless young people , click here.