As high school students to company CEOs, the National Runaway Safeline’s (NRS) volunteers bring a range of skills, expertise, and backgrounds to their role. And all bring generosity.
This generosity fuels volunteers to go above and beyond, ensuring NRS is available 24/7 for young people experiencing crisis and their loved ones. NRS volunteer Lauren L. has spent years leading with generosity, so it’s an honor to recognize her as the June Volunteer of the Month.
After graduating from DePaul University in Chicago, Lauren volunteered for a Chicago alderman’s political campaign. Shortly after, Lauren began volunteering with PAWS Chicago, an animal welfare organization working to end the unnecessary killing of helpless cats and dogs. And, she has partnered with American Needs Youth, where she participated in a mentorship program for first-generation college students. She keeps in contact with one of her mentees today.
Lauren currently works as a National Account Manager for Radio Flyer, a 106-year-old family- owned company that is committed to creating high-quality products that inspire family adventures. While Radio Flyer is well known for its iconic children’s products, including the Original Little Red Wagon(R), the company also designs innovative products geared toward adults, like scooters and e-bikes, aligning perfectly with Lauren’s active lifestyle.
Lauren has accomplished many milestones in her 12-year tenure with Radio Flyer, but has always made space in her life to volunteer with organizations that matter to her. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lauren found herself looking for ways to communicate directly with people experiencing crises. In her search, NRS stood out for its meaningful way its volunteers impact young people across the nation, so she signed up for one of NRS’s first virtual trainings. Throughout the training, she was impressed by the way volunteers were treated as valued partners in NRS’s efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness and support youth experiencing crises.
Lauren feels fulfilled when helping young people get to a safe, comfortable, and helpful place. She says that during each volunteer shift, she has at least one interaction that makes her feel deeply proud of her work. The friendly and personable staff are a bonus! Lauren shared that the staff offer guidance and supportive feedback while making sure she feels appreciated for helping young people and their loved ones at their most vulnerable times.
Lauren’s hobbies showcase her artistic side. She has a virtual store on Bonfire where she sells custom-printed t-shirts. Also, she’s a self-described, “lover of hand painting and drawing.” An avid reader, she manages to finish a book each month.
We appreciate Lauren’s dedication and commitment to NRS. If you feel inspired by Lauren and would like to learn more about NRS volunteer opportunities, visit 1800RUNAWAY.org/volunteer.