Terry Cole on Volunteering


Part of An Interview by Lael Weatherby, March 15, 2014

My name’s Terry Cole. I started Street Youth Ministry. I started volunteering eleven years ago [2003] to feed some homeless people. I didn’t know who they were. I didn’t know anything about them, but somebody said, “Come help feed some homeless people on a Tuesday afternoon.” And I said okay. 

I found out that they were these younger people, they looked college-age, and they were apparently hungry, and we fed them. That made me really wonder a whole lot more about them, and I ended up volunteering every single week, and I liked it a lot. That’s how it kind of all started.

One of the things that has to happen in order for this to work is there has to be enough money coming in that I could afford to quit my job and do this. We completely depend on volunteers. And I like that, when people volunteer because they love to. It’s very different than when you pay them because they need ten dollars an hour. 

But working with volunteers is very hard because volunteers are busy, and your thing isn’t the main thing. It’s only a little thing in their life. 

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