StandUp for Kids – Orange County
StandUp for Kids is a non-profit that relies heavily on volunteers to support the mission to end the cycle of youth homelessness. We sincerely thank everyone who has volunteered and continues to work with us to help our youth. To that end, we want to put our volunteer spotlight this month on Ted Lundholm.
Ted has been a volunteer with StandUp for Kids for two years. He came to us through word of mouth and has shown that he is here to help whenever he is needed. Ted started volunteering as a mentor at our previous Fullerton site and eventually ran that site mostly on his own until we moved that programming to Anaheim.
Ted has always had a heart for helping the homeless. He volunteered for seven years with Food not Bums and even cooked food in Santa Ana with his wife for ten years feeding those in need. He decided that he wanted to help fight homelessness still, but this time in a different way through StandUp for Kids.
He has been mentoring youth one-on-one at our Huntington Beach center for the past two years, nearly every Tuesday night. The hardest part about being a mentor for him is the fact that once he mentors the youth they leave the organization because they are now self-sufficient (success!!!) but now the connection is lost and needs rebuilding with the next youth. A hard and necessary part of the mentoring role.
Ted advocates for StandUp for Kids no matter where he is. Recently, while on a trip to Boston with his wife, he spoke of StandUp for Kids to the Airbnb owner where he was staying. The man had never heard of us but the story of youth homelessness was one that he had personally lived through. Grateful to hear that we were out helping youth he wrote a $1000 check to StandUp for Kids. Ted is not only a mentor but someone who believes in our cause so much it has become a part of who he is.
Homelessness has always been a cause he wanted to help fight. We fight to end youth homelessness by working with at-risk youth to support good choices and lead by example to prevent the issue before it has a chance to develop. By training and mentoring, we are teaching life skills to provide our youth with the ability to be confident going out into the world prepared and able when it comes to getting a job, an apartment, paying for bills, applying to college, and eventually graduating.
Ted says to those who talk about helping and volunteering to “stop talking about it and just start doing it.” Calling on those who have been in the same position and have gone through the StandUp for Kids program or another program by asking to come to mentor other youth as, “The best mentors are the ones that went through the program.”
Our sincerest thank you Ted. The commitment from volunteers like you allow us to magnify our impact across Orange County. If you’d like to get involved please email [email protected] and get involved today!