Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Random Conversation? I don't think so.

I was waiting to pick up my computer. Waited for three hours as they transferred files for me because my computer crashed. Sometimes I start talking to strangers who work in stores--ladies, of course. My children hate when I do this.

I noticed a young woman working in the phone department sorting through a box of phones. I was drawn to her. We had an amazing conversation. She volunteers through the Lilburn Co-op Young Parents' Group. I asked if she'd be open for an interview for the blog. She said sure. Her name is Kelsey.

1. Tell me about the organization where you volunteer.
Well, the group, as we call it, is a mommy class. It's a young parents group that acts as a support group. We get together the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month to relax and learn about ourselves inside and out. It helps build relationships with new people. A lot of the girls in the class now have a strong support group and good friends to turn to.

2. How long have you been serving?
Funny story, actually. I've been involved with this group for about a year and a half. When we first started it was just two other ladies and me. The group kind of sought me out as the main leader. I met one of the ladies when she came in the restaurant where I worked. We just started talking. We had similar issues and she gave me a lot of good pointers. Since then, our group has grown to reach between 20 and 30. It's a blessing to see that these girls come from all different backgrounds. We've formed a strong bond.

3. What are you duties?
I do a lot of networking and outreach to single young parents. Being a young person myself, it's easy to relate. Whether it's mental, physical, or emotional, I see a little part of myself in them.

4. How did you get interested in doing this?
Ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to help people. I never really acted on it until I became a mother. I realized how many people are struggling just to feed their kids and don't take a second for themselves. I had my daughter 12 days before I turned 19, but I had a tremendous support group. It's sad but a lot of girls and guys who have kids that young don't have friends or family to help them. It kills me. I still struggle with things but having my family makes it easier. I need to show others there is someone who cares, even if it's just an ear to listen.

5. Do you have a dream or goal that involves your volunteer work?
I do. I want to have a shelter for young parents. I would love to help give that to others--make little apartments for people who need financial and emotional help. Teach them better ways to survive in our economy. I would LOVE to help single parents and homeless people. Maybe they've made just one wrong choice and need help learning to live again.

6. Can you think of one particular girl whose story stands out?
Well, I do have one girl that gives me serious inspiration. Let's call her Lindsey. She's a single mother to 3 young boys. She and her husband divorced a little while ago. She takes of the boys by herself. The father goes in and out of their lives. She works three jobs to make sure the boys have food and clothes. She struggled with ovarian cancer after the birth of her third child. She doesn't let this get to her because she knows she has to take care of her boys. When she told me this, I just hugged her tight.

7. Any words you'd like to share with our readers?
There are people out there who do care. If you feel like there's nothing left or no one to listen, I assure you there is. young (dot) parents (at) yahoo.com

Thanks for reading. Thanks for letting me interview you, Kelsey. May you one day have your heart's desire.

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