The Teen Resource Center in Tempe runs mostly on donations and volunteer work. But unfortunately they are lacking in both at the moment and looking for outside help.
In a room smaller than the average classroom, which looks more like the inside of a retail store, there sits racks of clothing, toiletries, and more, that are available to the thousands of students in the Tempe Union High School District. The items also benefit teenagers in Kyrene and Tempe Elementary middle schools.
Last year the Teen Resource Center, which is housed at the Evans-Compadre Academy in Tempe, saw more than 600 kids come through the doors for help with clothing and toiletries. The center is operated on donations and is a program through Commitment to Schools, part of the Tempe Community Council.
Originally what sparked the idea four years ago was the fact that there was an abundance of kids not coming to school, Commitment to Schools project director Lynette Stonefeld said, and one of the reasons they suspected was because the kids did not have the proper clothing or were too embarrassed by what they did have.
They found a home at Evans-Compadre Academy and assistant principal George Barnes said they couldn’t be happier to house the center.
“Before kids first come in, they are expecting maybe just a few boxes to pick things out,” he said. “But when they walk in, the first reaction is always ‘wow.’”
The Teen Resource Center is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. It is open to teenagers who can visit once per month to pick out any reasonable amount of items.
“They are very appreciative,” Stonefeld said. “The parents are very gracious as well.”
Stonefeld said ever since those calls they have worked directly with local social workers to make sure they know about the resource center and make it available to their kids.
Nancy Berg, volunteer director of the Teen Resource Center, said they also work closely with the Kyrene Family Resource Center and the resource center for Tempe Elementary and often trade goods depending on what is donated.
“We are here to fill the gap for local teens,” Berg said. “We have mostly adult-sized clothes but we receive all kinds, and thus the necessity for trading.”
Donations are accepted during normal offices hours at the campus, 4525 S. College Ave. in Tempe. Volunteers are needed to help around the resource center and interested candidates can call Stonefeld for more information at (480) 858-2300.
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