I volunteer one night a week at the Kaleidoscope Youth Center, an LGBTQ drop-in center across the street from the Wexner Center. I was raised to volunteer, my parents always did (my 85-year-old mom still does, despite severe mobility issues) and my sister and her family always do, too. Yeah, giving money is great and necessary, but in my book, face time with teens is the best gift for both of us and demands much much more of me. I have much affection and respect for teens and can remember how my own teen years severely lacked interesting, engaged, living (as opposed to zombie) adults who were accepting and fun to simply sit down and play Uno or work on an art project with. No judgements, no pressure. The few grown-ups like that within my orbit were creative types, and they were pivotal not only to my career and lifestyle choices but actually helped me to survive those years. I will always be grateful for those one or two individual adults who believed in me in key moments.
Here in my department we had a very dull looking black cart that was always getting â€œlostâ€ partially because it was so anonymous looking (or so I thought). It occurred to me that the teens at KYC might enjoy the opportunity to enhance/vandalize this cart with paint markers, so I brought it over for a week and put a sign on it: SHOW the LOVE: enhance the cart with lots of paint markers. Click here to see more photos.
Thank you, Kaleidoscope Youth Center. All of you are superstars!