Volunteer Spotlight: Geneva
Starting their life journey in Bellevue, Washington, Geneva spent some time in West Palm Beach, Florida, before returning to the Pacific Northwest and becoming a valued member of the Teen Feed family.
Since day one, Geneva has been an upbeat, positive, and welcoming presence at Teen Feed and, on Tuesdays when they volunteer, they are often seen running to catch folks on their way out the door in an effort to connect with them before they leave.
Please join us in celebrating Geneva as our January Spotlight!
When did you start at Teen Feed? What inspired you to volunteer with us?
The first Thursday of July, I went to First Thursday art walk with Elena (an ally volunteer). Elena said she needed to be somewhere at 6:30pm to volunteer for an organization called Teen Feed. I said I could take her and would come back later to take her home when the meal was over. I walked Elena to the door and met the Meal Coordinator, Chris, who invited me to stay and check it out. So I did, and here I am.
Please note: Geneva’s first visit to Teen Feed coincided with the Meal Program’s summer “Bring a Buddy” program for advocates and allies. Under normal circumstances, unscheduled volunteer drop-ins are not permitted. Please email Chris Pearson, Meal Program Coordinator, for more information.
What was your impression of Teen Feed when you started?
It shared a lot of my values about being kind to people, and it was neat that there was a resource like this in the University District. I didn’t know organizations like this existed here.
We love food here at Teen Feed. What did you eat today?
I ate a gluten free waffle with a ton of what might have been almond butter, and a big cup of coffee. Then I had cream of broccoli soup which is not my normal lunch.
How does volunteering at Teen Feed affect other parts of your life?
It makes me want to bring other people to volunteer with Teen Feed, because it is a great program, and I think community service is important.
What is your favorite meal you have at Teen Feed?
The vegan meatball sub! It was so good. I remember thinking that it was the most delicious fake meat that I have ever had!
What advice would give to new volunteers?
Set boundaries, and be yourself. Don’t stress out. Just relax, but remember that boundaries are really important.
Is there anything else about your experience that you would like to share?
I really love the other advocates and allies. They are a great support network. When you volunteer at Teen Feed, you gain a group of friends who will care about you as adamantly as we care about the youth who come through the doors.