Since last fall, Portland State University student athletes have been part of the solution to ending youth homelessness by serving weekly meals for homeless youth. Thanks to community members, like PSU athletes and others, volunteering to prep, serve, and clean up at our Drop-In Day Services kitchen, we were able to serve 32,463 meals last fiscal year!
We had a chance to ask Alex Kuresa, a student athlete at PSU, about their experience volunteering at New Avenues and why it’s important to give back:
What do you enjoy most about volunteering at New Avenues for Youth?
“I’m from Utah and spent time working in a juvenile detention center there, it was then that I first volunteered with youth. When our coaches at PSU gave us the opportunity to come volunteer with New Avenues for Youth I was excited to be able to have a way to get involved in my community. Serving a meal is a simple and enjoyable way to give back.”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about homeless youth?
“I think people often assume that homeless youth are on the streets because they made a bad decision, when in many cases they are there due to circumstances outside of their control like an unstable home life.”
How has volunteering impacted you?
“I enjoy getting involved in my community. Serving a meal is a simple thing, but I can see it impacting people and it makes me feel great to put a smile on their face and uplift their day. Volunteering here makes me want to get more involved in community service.”
Click here to learn how you can get involved in being part of the solution!