Encompass Blog

Teen Volunteers Find Job Skills and Community Through Volunteering at Encompass

January 6, 2015  |  Volunteers  |  By Encompass

by Lisa Yeager, Volunteer Program Manager at Encompass

Encompass has three young men who volunteer so consistently that they need very little direction or support. They can just take over and do it! They set up, interact with the kids and help with the clean-up at the end. These extraordinary young men are Ben Gutenberg, Trystan Cannon and Kenon Jeffers. They’ve been helping us for a few years, so I asked these three amigos why they volunteer.

Ben said, “I volunteer for Encompass because it’s always a lot of fun. Even if it’s just setting out chairs or something, you can always find some way to enjoy yourself. Both the encompass staff and the people who volunteer are some of the nicest people you’ll be able to find. Plus, it’s always nice to see your hard work come together. I would definitely recommend it to others as it’s a fun and rewarding few hours that will make your week!”

Trystan had similar thoughts when he shared, “I personally like to volunteer for Encompass because of the friendly atmosphere and the cause as a whole. I really enjoy helping out other people so that their day may, perhaps, be better because of what I did. In terms of what I enjoy most about volunteering, I think that I like knowing that what I am doing is making someone’s evening that much better. The staff and other volunteers are always great as well as the families who come to the events.”

Kenon had a different take. He said, “What I like most about volunteering is being able to be part of the kids’ lives. The kids are usually excited, happy, and just curious about the world. Their positivity and unique ideas about the world help to break the tedium and pressure that school can put on me. In addition to this, when the kids are happy and in good spirits, it’s hard not to be as well!”

When I asked if the boys would recommend volunteering at Encompass to others, Kenon said he would but he had some good advice. He said, “I would recommend it, but only if the volunteers-to-be are able to release their inner child when applicable, and then be responsible at a moment’s notice. Volunteers should join in with the kids in their games and just have fun with it, but when someone’s feelings get hurt, someone is misbehaving, or a knee is scraped they have to quickly switch to a role of responsibility to take the correct course of action. If this is doable, then it can be very rewarding.” Very wise advice indeed.

Tystan and Ben would definitely recommend volunteering for Encompass to others because of the wonderful staff, the relaxed atmosphere, and the events as a whole. Trystan added, “They are fantastically organized and always manage to put a smile on the faces of those who attend, making the experience as fulfilling as could be. Also, the volunteers who are involved always manage to have fun as they are constantly involved with the events, making volunteering an excellent way to spend an evening.”

Thank you boys for all you do to fulfill our mission to “nurture children, enrich families, and inspire community.” You make it happen!

If you are interested in joining our fantastic volunteer corps, contact Lisa Yeager at lisa.yeager@encompassnw.org or call 425-888-2777.

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