Archive for ‘volunteer update’

September 8, 2019

Volunteer with us, and take home a smile!



This is Outbound Engine’s second year to volunteer with us! They are a tech company out of Austin that does automated marketing for small businesses.  

They raised more than $500 around the office, then used the money to buy nonperishables for our food box program!

They brought enough food to make 22 bags of delicious-ness!

When they dropped off the donations, they stayed to help us organize our blanket room, which was a mess!


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September 7, 2019

Our Volunteers Have Impact


Our volunteers have impact!

In-kind donations for the summer were $42,000 compared to $48,000 the year before. However, we’re in record territory for 2019 thanks go amazing in-kind donors who keep thinking of us when they see food or items we could use that are no longer wanted! We’ve received $130,000 in items so far this year!Over the summer, our volunteers contributed 1,000 hours. That’s a bit down compared to the summer before. But how does it all add to impact? We got to serve 59 new clients this summer (up from the previous summer). Our clients hung out with us 5,000 hours this summer (much bigger than last summer)! All of this amazing stuff lead to 253 goals achieved by our clients over the summer to change their lives! Thank you for being part of our team to keep this going!
Here’s a one-person volunteer job!
Before …
… and after
We are getting the Drop-in Center organized. One of our best volunteer organizers, Lilian Seidel, (shown at right) recently whipped our art room into shape! We have oodles of opportunities for one person!

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September 7, 2019

Our Volunteers Have Impact


Our volunteers have impact!

In-kind donations for the summer were $42,000 compared to $48,000 the year before. However, we’re in record territory for 2019 thanks go amazing in-kind donors who keep thinking of us when they see food or items we could use that are no longer wanted! We’ve received $130,000 in items so far this year!Over the summer, our volunteers contributed 1,000 hours. That’s a bit down compared to the summer before. But how does it all add to impact? We got to serve 59 new clients this summer (up from the previous summer). Our clients hung out with us 5,000 hours this summer (much bigger than last summer)! All of this amazing stuff lead to 253 goals achieved by our clients over the summer to change their lives! Thank you for being part of our team to keep this going!
Here’s a one-person volunteer job!
Before …
… and after
We are getting the Drop-in Center organized. One of our best volunteer organizers, Lilian Seidel, (shown at right) recently whipped our art room into shape! We have oodles of opportunities for one person!

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August 26, 2019

Alan Martinez – A Street Youth Volunteer Story



Alan Martinez grew up in Bulverde, a town of 4,630 located north of San Antonio. When he moved to Austin to attend UT, what he saw near the campus gave him pause.

“There were street youths all around,” he recalled, “and this was shocking coming from a small city with no people living on the street at all.” He decided to see how he could help, so he did what his generation has been taught to do – he Googled!

Up in the list came Street Youth Ministry. Alan enrolled as a volunteer, and the rest, as they say, is history. “He became the rare volunteer who is an essential part of who we are and who we want to be,” said SYM staffer Suzanne Zucca.

Alan immersed himself in the organization. He joined group activities involving clients, and he did routine chores many volunteers do around the Drop-in Center, including scrubbing an occasional toilet. He organized a volunteer appreciation night featuring a Christmas karaoke event, and he got everyone to sing!

Next, he went a step further. Acting on a suggestion from Terry, he founded an organization of UT students called “Friends of Street Youth” that took things to another level.

Friends of Street Youth recently conducted a successful clothing drive, launched a pen pal program to benefit the small number of street youth who are incarcerated, and held a panel discussion on ways UT students can help the ministry.

This didn’t happen all at once. Alan started slowly, and he acknowledged some trepidation. His success serves as encouragement for any volunteer questioning his or her involvement.

“I was a bit shy coming to a place [the Drop-in] where everyone there knew each other, since most of the street youth that drop by are regulars, “he said. He approached cautiously, asking basic questions. “The way the clients lit up every time they spoke completely calmed all my fears. I realized that most of them love to talk to anyone about anything, like most people, although they were much more honest.”

Because they are societal outcasts, he realized, they’re less reluctant to reveal their silly sides when meeting people for the first time. That made it easier for Alan to tear down his own walls and talk with them. “The advice I would give to others starting out is to ask them anything about their lives, since most have amazing stories which they’d love to share if you’d lend an ear.”

Alan noticed something else. “I love seeing how happy they are to receive things we take for granted,” he said, like the day he was handing out pancakes and saw “goofy smiles” coming back at him. “Afterwards … I’d grab a few pancakes and sit by them. I’d return the goofy smiles as they welcomed me, and we’d talk about things that probably didn’t matter but made us happy either way. Granted, while the pancakes were great, the best part was how they continued being happy throughout the entirety of our breakfast talk, all of us together, at that one moment.”

By the time Terry approached him, Alan said, “I had gotten to know quite a few street youths and was starting to open up. I wanted to spread everything I knew about their extraordinary talents and stories to the student population.”

He said he especially wanted to eliminate the stigma against street youth around campus, because those he spoke with told him they felt looked down on or simply ignored, and they were hurt by it.

“This hurt me immensely,” he said, “so, I started the org and invited some of my friends to join me. We’ve only started up last semester, but we have a steady population of about a dozen people and are getting ready to recruit more through summer freshman orientation!”

Alan gets excited as he describes the SYM staff he has become to know so well:

Of the leader: “Terry is amazing at speaking to anyone, no matter who they are, and initiating a meaningful conversation that pierces their hearts. The way he cares about all the youths really shows as he tries to engage others into activities, and he genuinely wants to know about everyone that enters SYM.”

Of Suzanne: “She is probably the drop-in’s unofficial mom, what with all of the effort she puts into cooking for the clients and making sure they’ve got everything they need.”

Of Darvin: “His calm kindness is expressed towards every single person that walks through the door, no matter the situation.”

Of Billy: “His outgoing personality makes volunteers and the street youth feel comfortable and able to open up.”

Of Portia and Tondra: “They are both such hard-workers; both work a lot behind the scenes organizing a lot of the drop-in to have a welcoming environment, which I admire heavily about them.”

The compliments are returned. “He is not afraid to put himself out on a limb in order to help the clients, the staff, or so many volunteers that he has encouraged to get involved with our organization,” Suzanne said. “Alan Martinez is a force of good in the world.”

“Because of his vulnerability about his own challenges, clients have found freedom for themselves through his example. He is relaxed, he is humorous, he is always kind, and always ready to do things he has never done before.”

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July 6, 2019

In-kind donation bonanza!



Clients enjoy an odd donation

Alpaca Market delivers super healthy, locally sourced, organically grown salad bowls, breakfast bowls and more!
 
 Another Client gets a comforter to use in newly found apartment; 

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July 5, 2019

It began with pizza, and grew from there!



Bridge Investment Group, an organization of business executives who give back to the community, recently threw SYM a pizza party! They first planned to drop off the pizza and leave, but they were pleasantly surprised when they met our clients and engaged in meaningful conversation. They spent some time truly getting to know who they were serving, and that bridged a gap between two very different worlds. After they left, our clients were heard commenting about how cool it was for them to do that.


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July 4, 2019

Young Rotarians create ‘hygiene kits’ for SYM clients



Members of the Rotaract Club, UT’s chapter of Rotary International, helped assemble nearly 100 feminine hygiene kits that will be dispersed to SYM clients. The UT students were aided by a donation from the Rotary Club of Historic Brownsville. Rotary and Rotaract pride themselves in “service above self” at home and overseas.

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July 2, 2019

New Community Engagement Person


Meet Tondra, SYM’s new Outside
Community Engagement Person

We have an exciting announcement to share. A young woman whose face is familiar to clients and volunteers is transitioning from a client entrepreneur internship to the position of outside community engagement person.

She is Tondra Daily, a former client who is taking increasingly responsible roles at Street Youth Ministry. “Her new job is to build new relationships,” Terry explained, “so if people have never volunteered, Tondra is here to help make it easy for them. She’s also building new relationships to churches and businesses. There has never been a better time to engage with SYM!”

“I’m very excited,” Tondra said. “I’m really loving my new role. I like people and am a social butterfly, so it’s a huge blessing that I actually get PAID to get to go out into the community and talk to people about what I love: Street Youth Ministry! I DO love the ministry and know it from the inside out in a very personal way, and I feel uniquely equipped to do this. I myself was a homeless client years ago! I have since given my life to Jesus and discovered who I am in Him.”

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April 22, 2019

Fun at SYM


Game night fun!
Since it was started two years ago, Game Night has been a big hit with clients and volunteers alike.
Breakfast taco troupe
Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church thoroughly enjoy themselves as they make food for our freezer.

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April 22, 2019

Fun at SYM


Game night fun!
Since it was started two years ago, Game Night has been a big hit with clients and volunteers alike.
Breakfast taco troupe
Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church thoroughly enjoy themselves as they make food for our freezer.

via Blogger http://bit.ly/2GAfEyz