Volunteer Spotlight: Evangelyn Nkwopara
Evangelyn Nkwopara is more than a volunteer. Evangelyn brings a dependable, steadfast, and light-hearted disposition to Teen Feed every Wednesday night. As an Advocate, she provides a welcomed warmth to youth at Teen Feed on a weekly basis. It is our pleasure to feature her in our August Volunteer Spotlight.
When did you start at Teen Feed? What inspired you to volunteer with us?
October? Yeah, October of 2013. At the time I was looking for volunteer opportunities. I had met Katelyn Stickel, a Teen Feed employee at the time, and she recommended that I volunteer with Teen Feed. Not long after, I came in for orientation, and here I am to this day, almost a year later.
What was your impression of Teen Feed when you started?
The first night I volunteered as an advocate, I just started talking. A part of me worried at first that I might not be doing it right or might not be doing enough. It’s weird. As an advocate you’re not actively feeding anyone. Your not giving them advice. You’re not doing any of the things that we associate with giving to people in need. You’re simply having a normal conversation like you would with your friends, and that’s just as important as handing someone a meal.
We love food here at Teen Feed. What did you eat today?
This morning I ate an apple and a Ham and Cheese Hot Pocket.
How does volunteering at Teen Feed affect other parts of your life?
I recently moved to Capitol Hill, and I see a lot of the guests that we serve around my neighborhood. They say hi to me, and I say hi to them. Through Teen Feed, I am now more aware that homelessness is experienced in my community. Homelessness isn’t always visible, especially not in Seattle. Living in other cities you see poverty all around you, and here, it’s less visible and it’s harder to see the daily struggles that people face. Volunteering at Teen Feed has brought it to light for me.
What is your favorite meal you have at Teen Feed?
I really like the Kavamata Meal Team’s spaghetti night. It is both really filling meal and very tasty.
What advice would you give to new volunteers?
I guess I would tell them to get rid of any preconceived notions that they have of what it means to volunteer. At Teen Feed I have learned something new. The experience has opened up my mind to something that I have always known about, but never had the chance to participate in.
Thank you for your commitment to youth, Evangelyn!