Conversations Ruth Shapovalov 051318

Tuesday, May 15th


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to conversations on your host Gregory thanks for spending some time with us this weekend joining me this segment is roots show probable love she's the youth program coordinator for volunteers of America western Washington chapter that is a mouthful good morning. The picture good morning guys thanks for letting me talk about my favorite topic today. Oh absolutely Jonas complicated issues that affect us here at home in our community. Constellation also. Weren't known around the country is the biggest hub for culture innovation and progress. But like any other region around the nation you can quickly escaped to act to find a recognizable experience in the surrounding area this. Without the problems a small community can face more always have the support financial or otherwise to respond to these issues so. But for someone like Ruth comes in to help out so. Ruth just are pretty basically here tell us what is volunteers of America. Not just America is an organization that IA. Lovingly refer to as the crowds filled the gap between what people have a what people needed and it connects them with the services that will help them drive and their tagline is helping America's most vulnerable. And so you can kind of figure out where the focuses usually elderly and children. Are too heavy areas where we focus and then. And everything in between so basically capped the mission to reach out to help America's most vulnerable and help them drive and not just survive. The metallic it's something new and we're talking about a hundred plus years of history. They don't get assisting absolutely which Tara look a little bit over that period of time but the marriage has always been the thing. Now you're in the youth coordinator. And a consultant I just. For me look at the Nolan about sold not about a bunch people around here have never had the chance to stop other than for a sweet traders who have done with the passing through Tulsa a little bit about the community of shall. The committee sultan is that took place that you find the bakery at pressure on your way to skated past the key. And you may not looked into what the community actually is but. Did that that's a very small community definitely qualifies as. Small town and I think a couple of things set us apart from other communities want it back that. This community put his arms around it community members in a way I have never seen we have a beautiful little town of knuckle down here in the sky valley with the sky commissioner Paul rivers. The rate here it's gorgeous and it's extremely friendly and has some of the best. Well hidden food and treat locations they'll ever find. The lovely little tunnel of the flow through the youth coordinator so to me how many kids are we talking about here. We see between 55. Five and 65 kids in this program I have kids that are heavier pretenders in the summer because they're here. And not necessarily during the school year that average about sixty. And and I see anywhere from eighteen to 25. Each time we get together sometimes as many as thirty. So it the numbers kind of go up and down that I deal with middle school at high schoolers only. How many of view or is there. There are one at least not expect as. And that can sometimes be a problem I have some volunteers that work with me I have one volunteer in particular who is faithful to cook for these kids which food and lopsided game in their vocabulary. And she also deters them in cookies skilled and she is a wonderful adult mentor for the candidates as far as staff however I am pop on my. Now it's you so you're saying a sixty kids taller and you're doing this for the most part all by yourself in terms of support you might have some extra people volunteering some time. That's a lot of work why you do it. I do it became how. It is what I'm compelled to do I've worked with subpoenas for about twenty years now started when my daughter was. Just becoming a teenager herself. And and IA found that that's where my heart is I don't know why I'm still relevant. To them but personally and I am maybe because I never grew up so. I find that they are the they are the valuable valuable place packet invest my time and every resource they have because they're the future. And and I feel that they need people to tell them how infinitely valuable they are so that they will become people who. An intern do the same later at the one of my kids recently told me that they are now motivated to become a child advocate because they've seen what this kind of interaction with kids can actually do to positively impact their lives. Teenagers and middle schools are often thought about a systemic snotty and brandy and like hard to get through to what's just a secret that may be you used to help communicate to bond with baskets. My secret is the conversation I had inside of my head when I'm dealing with that. And that is that this eight. It's called compassionate catch and so I look at that child that I say you are the most valuable human being in the world to be right this moment. And nothing else matters and if I convert that they would by itself rather than all of my gosh you smell like at a news. Asked him ten or any or Europe router you're allowed or yourself bishop I say those things that. Determines the kind of effect I have on that child and because I ate. Emit too down the fact that they're valuable they reflect back in the respect that kind of rare maybe. But if every adult implement a capital secret having a positive conversation inside themselves about the kid don't get the best back out of that. Ruth is the youth program coordinator for volunteers of America western Washington but specifically opened Salton Washington. Now when you get these kids to open up and trust you have to respect relationship what are the challenges that they're willing to tell you about that they're going through what are some of those. That's a look at very very deep. And that's probably what scares people away from dealing. With these kids in fact I just had a long conversation with several of them last night we have this large group chat. On FaceBook where all of us including. Myself my supervisor. And all the kids are in the conversation. And media after the talking about health harm depression and suicide last night. And these discussions get very deep. And a lot of times the kids feel that those things they're depression or. Nor their two that it self harm summer addicted self harm are looked at either apparently and not taken seriously by adults. Or they are stamped. Wanting attention you're doing this just for the attention medic again in these. They don't feel that these concerns are being. Looked at seriously by trusted adults. And in fact the one kid said to meet directly. All the teachers tell us. It to do is go to attracted adult and then we elect a spotter we have this thing died in this depression we don't want to bother adult. And so they're dealing with kind of a multitude of problems all of ones dealing with these things and yet feeling like if they do go and do what they're told. They're bothering somebody else and so the bottom. Lying is to have these trusted at all capitals. Who understands traumatized kids. Open up that showed kids that they are in fact welcome to bring all their stuff. And we could hear their staff and we're not going to seek left them. And really sometimes the best advice I give the kid is not what I at all just sitting there and hearing their stuff and they think I've told the great with them I haven't actually had they anything but just listen through I think being listened to would take it seriously are two of the major challenges that these kids and all kids in that age range he's just pretty much. Everywhere. That's fantastic. I think on a surface level to maybe there's some other things that kids go through that there's a basics that we take for granted to us but the food bank. That you hope to run. I don't well you know it's funny because the same kids to say we wanna be heard we wanna be the ballot daily planet were cared for have told me that. When they're hungry when they don't have. Have that very basic needs met having food on the table are so that they can prepare. They'd do not feel cared for they feel neglected they feel unimportant. And that that's what prompted these kids in my group Q among themselves decide they want solve at least the weekend how. Hunger issue among their peers by putting a food pantry in the middle school. And one in the high school that will hurt their peers. A. Back full six basically six meals. To breakfast lunches dinners for the weekend puffed snack and then at least that. That time the fairway from school where they're not getting school meals they have to that they can prepare themselves. And you know since we started at and we only started hand. Handing food out in April we have. Handed out over 15100. Deal. Tickets in the salt valley. And it had an interesting effect on the kids receiving the food obviously. But even more tickets giving the food I see. Them changing. Feeling like they're actually making a positive difference. Has lifted. Their own feelings. Maybe being sad because now they're doing something positively to impact their peers so when they feel like. They can open a covered in half of the that they need. That's the starting point and the rest of that they can deal with that are not on an empty stomach because now teens are bottomless pits right. I mean I still follow and I am welcome to manage yourself well how did they get to help out its. How did all these different characters that'll get to like to bond as one group and they get to actually help. I have a lot of different ways one of the most practical and the one that I think they enjoy the most is when we have a food drive that they absolutely love. To stay in the afternoon on a food drive explaining to people what it is they're doing and why an. Now I have a couple of kids that will do athletic tricks for the people that. This out there entertaining and it's just. Hilarious that they they kick it quite seriously that after we gather the food. Athletes are right they. They come back to the volunteers of America fit bake and they package goes into week impacts of their peers. And then one of our local business people opens up his. Home and backyard to and we have a bonfire and makes wars and talk about how the day when it's so they they have this. Concrete knowledge that they actually put together. Sustenance for their peers. That they can see and they can hold Decatur real pain that helped and you could see other faces. How that impacts and I asked. Because last night in what would you wanna say if we ask you about what you're able to do and one of the boy who goes by I'll probably grant date were all about the nicknames. Said that if that doesn't teens can make a difference why can't you. Have and I thought that that was tactical and my challenge adults to fill their issues. And the cheese man. Said that they are actually try to make a difference and not being bystanders. That. She's dance that it's gallons to the world. What it comes to raising money. Or when it comes to getting this through the courts a way that we can help. That would be a great way to help would be cute donates. Gift cards from pressured outlet. Pressure outlets specifically the Munro pressure outlet like Q. Partner with and double our spending power should look for every dollar that we receive with spit chew on the food and then the other way is simply to make a donation right volunteers of America western Washington. That is marked. Sky valley youth. Food pantry and that is coated with a project code I'm able to take that money and spend that. App stores when I putted good deal on Sunday that the kids like to eat so we maximize every dollar that comes and that way and it all goes straight to sit. People paid WW dot ORG that's the volunteers of America western Washington dot ORG to find out more Bruce say thank you so much for joining us today. You are welcome. Conversations as the public affairs program of the station.