National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extrordinary things through service. Meet Tiffany Stephens, one of our incredible Zebra Coalition® volunteers.
I started volunteering at Zebra Coalition® not knowing what to expect or what my role would be, I just knew that I wanted the opportunity to support other young members of the LBGT+ community. I had no idea that almost a year later I would be a completely different person because of those I have met through this amazing organization. I learned that your education, references and social status mean nothing to these kids; when they walk through that door all they are looking for is a warm smile, encouragement and someone who will listen. Every teen I have met has come from a different background and had their own story for how they have ended up homeless or in need of services.
One young man stands out specifically to me, and I can truly say changed my outlook on life from the moment we met; he came in after meeting one of our other teens on the bus; he had barely eaten anything in days, had no money to his name and had spent the last three nights sleeping on the concrete behind a shopping center. I sat and listened to him for hours, we covered the gamet of topics but in all this conversation never once did he complain, get upset or put others down for his circumstances. In fact, he was so busy offering to help with maintenance around the Zebra Coalition® House, that I finally had to tell him “let us help you first”. Hungry, cold and sleep deprived and all he could think about was wanting to help others.
It’s moments like these and teens like him that remind you what is important in life and why no matter how heartbreaking at times or frustrating it can be you come in the next day ready to help as best you can. I absolutely love volunteering at Zebra Coalition® and can say that it has been a true honor not only meeting and having the opportunity to help all these young people but also to have met and worked side by side with Zebra Coalition’s® Director, Dexter Foxworth. He has been an inspiration and role model through this whole process.
It’s volunteers like Tiffany that truly make a difference in our community. Thank you Tiffany for giving your time and talent to our organization and being there for so many of our youth.