05.19.2016

Why We Volunteer: Karisse & Jordyn

By Karisse Hendrick and Jordyn, Wearhouse Volunteers

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Karisse Hendrick

With how things are currently happening in our world and in our country, it’s easy to sometimes feel overwhelmed and helpless. Though I can’t personally save refugees in Syria or end violence in our country, I’ve found that it can be calming and empowering to help others in my community, even in the simplest of ways.

One of my favorite parts about volunteering is interacting with shoppers in the Treehouse Wearhouse. I love helping kids and teens find new clothes or the toy they’ve always wanted. Once, I helped a teen find the right clothes according to the dress code for her first day of work at Starbucks. Another time I got to talk to an older teen who had many obstacles thrown his way, but was determined to make good choices to follow his dream of being in the music business.

I have tremendous admiration for caregivers who take foster kids into their home. Raising kids is expensive and the compensation caregivers receive from the state is not enough for new clothes every time the kids grow, school supplies or the special gift the kids ask Santa for. It’s humbling to be a part of relieving even just a little bit of the stress they face when raising these kids.

I love volunteering with my daughter and can see how it’s made an impact on her and shaped who she is as a person. There’s something about helping others that empowers kids to feel like they are important and can make an impact. She becomes more confident when she’s playing with younger children while their parents shop or helping with the check-out process (which in retail, is an adult’s job). She’s developed more compassion and understanding for kids with tough circumstances, which has made her more grateful for what she has. I would really like to challenge more parents to get their kids involved in volunteering. They learn how to keep a commitment and get to find out how good it feels to help others. Everyone has a few hours a month to help others, and the lessons your child will learn and the impact it will have on both of your lives will be immeasurable.

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Jordyn

I’ve been volunteering at Treehouse for a year & a half. I chose to volunteer at Treehouse because I think it’s a really good cause to help foster kids get things they need. When I volunteer, I mostly interact with kids and foster parents by helping them find what they need, straightening the Wearhouse and by checking them out in the computer as a cashier. And sometimes I play with younger kids and babies so their parents can shop for them (we mostly play with the toys or dance).

As a middle schooler, I know that I like to feel normal and included and the things at the Wearhouse help other kids feel that way. I don’t want anyone else to feel that awkwardness of being different because they don’t have nice clothes or don’t get to do interesting activities. I like to help foster kids feel like they’re treated normal and not treated like they’re different. Also, helping people makes me feel good about myself and makes me feel like I can make a difference.

I also support Treehouse in other ways. Last summer I had a lemonade stand to raise money for Treehouse. I raised over $100 in one day. Also, I convinced my Girl Scout troop to donate 10% of our Girl Scout cookie profits to Treehouse. I like to raise money for Treehouse because I know it goes to kids.

Learn more about volunteering with Treehouse.

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About the Author

Each year, thousands of committed volunteers like Karisse and Jordyn contribute to making the Wearhouse, our free store for youth and families, a clean, organized, and pleasant place to shop for youth in foster care and their families.


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