This month we recognize Jennie Thai for her generous support of runaway and homeless youth.
Jennie, an HIV researcher living in Lakeview, Chicago, first heard about National Runaway Safeline (NRS) when she saw an ad for crisis line volunteers in Alderman Tom Tunney’s ward newsletter. “I really wanted to be able to do something to help kids who were potentially in a similar situation as I was.” Jennie felt moved to support NRS’ mission because of her experiences as a child.
“When I was much younger, I actually didn’t know about NRS, but I thought about running away so many times, because my parents were abusive.”
Jennie completed the 40 hour training and volunteered as a crisis liner in 2016 for five months. “I have PTSD, and it really upset me that I wasn’t able to finish my year-long commitment, because I really wanted to be able to do something to help kids who were potentially in a similar situation as I was. But I was getting really triggered by some of the calls, and it got me really down. Some of the kids did have similar stories to when I was a kid.”
“When my birthday came around, I remembered that this was an organization that I really wanted to support, so I just wanted to support it in a different way.”
Jennie set up a very successful fundraiser on Facebook for her birthday to raise money for runaway and homeless youth. We are proud of Jennie for her commitment to helping youth, and we are grateful for her generous support of NRS’ mission to keep America’s runaway, homeless and at-risk youth safe and off the streets.