Inspired by Nana’s Example

Krystal Stevenson says service snared her heart early, when she used to come into Potter’s House Community Kitchen and watch her grandmother, Thelma Stevenson, work.

Miss Thelma, as folks affectionately greet her grandma in the kitchen, has volunteered at GUM for more than 20 years, preparing lunch meals for a crowd. Krystal would come in on summer mornings and put cups on the dining tables or help Miss Thelma fold towels. “I loved watching Nana and how many people really appreciated her. I just wanted to be part of it, and help people feel loved.”

So when Krystal, a soon-to-be-graduate from Southeast Guilford High, started thinking about her senior service project, she says the decision to volunteer at GUM was easy. Serving lunch for sometimes 400 people in two hours is challenging, Krystal says, but exciting. “I learned so much during this process,” she shared in her reflection. “There are many people who need food, and many people who want to help the hunger cause and are devoted to working long hours to do so.”

One of those folks, of course, is her Nana, who says she’s really proud of Krystal for her time, energy and work to help others. When Krystal graduates this weekend, she will receive an exemplary honor for her service-learning contributions. This fall, she’ll begin her studies in music education at University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

And, we’re excited to know, she plans to keep volunteering. “GUM serves people lunch every day, as well as breakfast and dinner for those staying in the shelter. That’s just amazing. They offer shelter so folks can get back on their feet. It’s a really special place. I will still come back whenever I can.”