Most of us take for granted that we know where we’re going to get our next meal- lunch at our favorite café, pick up some groceries at QFC or meet friends for a dinner out. Hundreds of teens and young people in Seattle- and as many as a thousand- are not this lucky. They wake up each day not knowing where or if they’re going to eat. That’s where Youth Care comes in.
YouthCare is one of the League’s nonprofit partners. It helps homeless young people between 12 and 24 find a place to stay, get a hot meal and continue their education. The center provides 20 futon beds a night for those who would likely otherwise be on the streets or in an unsafe home environment. Teens and young people can also work on a GED, get training as a barista and get help with resume writing; and these are just a few of the opportunities YouthCare provides. Lunch and dinner are served Monday-Friday- and that’s where the Junior League helps out.
In October I joined a great group of ladies and spent part of the afternoon fixing and serving lunch at the Orion Center. First, we went on a quick tour of the facility and learned about the amazing work their staff does as well as the many opportunities and services provided. Then we went to work- chopping onions, slicing tomatoes, and grilling burgers. We even washed dishes and scrubbed the grill! Everyone pitched in right away and in no time we had lunch ready. Homeless teens were elated with a lunch of cheeseburgers with all the fixings, mac and cheese, brownies and satsumas. We started serving promptly at 12:30. I’d say about 20-25 kids came through, although we had prepared for as many as 75. Earlier that week the JLS prepared lunch for near 75, so we needed to be prepared. They were all so appreciative of what we’d done- most thanked us several times. It was such a simple way to really impact a group of people. I think we all left feeling pretty great about or efforts and glad to have been able to provide a meal.
Be sure to look for more opportunities to participate in a nonprofit meeting. I highly recommend it!
If you’d like to learn more about YouthCare, check out the website: http://www.youthcare.org/