Volunteer Spotlight: Madeline Macomber
There’s something magic about Madeline.
Every Tuesday for the last six months, from 7-8pm there is a young person sitting with Madeline. As an Advocate volunteer, Madeline sits with young people over the Teen Feed meal to listen, connect and build trust that is essential to building a foundation of support. Staff have joked that there’s something magic about Madeline – guests tell her stories that they’ve never shared with anyone else and inviting her to see their most vulnerable selves. But of course, there’s no magic to it. Madeline brings her life, experiences, humor, open heart, and growing knowledge to the Teen Feed meal and guests respond in kind. Teen Feed is delighted to count Madeline as an Advocate Volunteer and is thrilled to honor her in our Volunteer Spotlight!
How long have you been volunteering with Teen Feed?
Six months! Can you believe it?
Why/ how did you get involved with Teen Feed?
Initially I decided to check out Teen Feed to see if I could work with a Meal Team since I am very interested in nutrition. At the orientation Alexis encouraged me to consider becoming an Advocate. It took me a bit to get over my own insecurities, but the idea really stuck with me. As a queer person, it seemed really important to reach out and provide support for younger members of the community, so I went for it, and I’m so, so glad that I did!
What is your favorite thing about volunteering at Teen Feed?
My favorite thing about volunteering at Teen Feed are all the amazing folks I get to meet. Some of the most forward-thinking, creative, and inspiring conversations I have in my week happen at Teen Feed. Some of the deepest, too. I feel honored that some guests feel safe enough around me to use me as a sounding board. Oh, did I mention I LOVE going to trainings? Teen Feed provides so many amazing opportunities to learn and grow not just as a volunteer but as a human. It’s pretty rad.r.”
What do you like to do outside of Teen Feed?
I love pretty much anything to do with food. I forage for mushrooms and wild greens whenever I can with my partner and our dog. I’m hoping to train her to hunt truffles in the future! I also like to ferment and pickle things. I’m working on fire cider and sauerkraut right now.
What did you eat today?
Chameleon cold-brew coffee and raspberries.
What have you learned from volunteering at Teen Feed?
SO MUCH. I’m constantly learning at Teen Feed, and a lot of that is about myself. Teen Feed has made me much more confident in who I am and where I want to go in life. Not something I was anticipating but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am also obsessed with researching just about anything I can so I really appreciate when guests like to share their deep knowledge on subjects that they are passionate about like politics, gender and sexuality in pop culture, urban planning, artificial intelligence, music theory, just to name a few.
Teen Feed is a richer place for your presence, Madeline! 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.