The Answer For Youth

Well, today ended a two day garage sale.  I don’t like garage sales.  I enjoy meeting and talking with new people, but I don’t like having people look around my garage at my stuff.  I know, isn’t that the point of a garage sale?  Well, as nice as it is to hear stories from people, my anxiety levels just go through the roof because I start wondering are any of these people going to come back and rob me?  I know, completely illogical, but I think that’s the point of anxiety.  It defies all reason.

Anyway, my point in telling you about this mundane life event is, if you will recall, I had sworn off all charities after the fiasco with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  I told myself that I was done volunteering my time, donating…  Well, apparently I do really like doing things for others.  I think it helps balances me out (sometimes).  There is this organization in my town (NOT a national organization) called T.A.F.Y (The Answer For Youth).  They help homeless and at-risk youth in our area.  I’ve donated several bags of hotel amenities for them in the past and then went on about my merry way with my volunteer work for the other organization.  So, today I decided to give them a call and see if they could use anything else besides clothes.  It turns out they help people find housing and help them get set up.  They were looking for household items like bedding, furniture,kitchen items, lamps, rugs, etc.  You know, the stuff that didn’t sell at the garage sale.  My hubby and I loaded up all that we had and brought it to them.  It turns out they had someone they were setting up in a home after the weekend and most of what we brought was on their wish list.

This volunteer was so incredibly appreciative of what we had brought.  I only wish we had more to give.  TAFY provides a hot meal 4 days a week and a “sack lunch” for the days they’re not open.  They provide counseling, housing help, job placement help.  I know there’s more, but I just don’t know it all yet.  They lost their state funding about 2 years ago and have been relying on donations to help pay for their rent ($1,000), food, and other expenses.  They serve about 85 youths per month.

They are very short on volunteers.  I’m debating about helping on certain days, but I just don’t know.  It may be too soon.  I know I can help out from an advocacy stand point to try get some state funding returned.  But do I want to invest my time, heart and soul like last time?  It didn’t end well with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (I still have had no response to my last email to their CEO, who does know me).  I’m just afraid to get involved again.  I’m afraid of being hurt again.  I like the idea of working with youth.  It’s what I do now for the schools.  It would be good to show these kids that there is someone else out there that cares and that they can trust.  Funny, my first thought today was that I could teach them about suicide prevention.  I’ve left the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, but it hasn’t left me.

I’d be interested to know what you think.  Do I just donate items as I come across them or should I jump back in?  One is comfortable and still helping others and the other option is a bit scary.

I wanted to add their website .  They also have a facebook page called The Answer for Youth.  Please check them out.

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