Athlete gives time to help those in need

She’s traveled across the United States and to different countries competing in the Special Olympics. But another favorite activity for 24-year-old Veronica Kostner? Volunteering at StreetWise. 

Veronica serves in the children’s ministry at 12Stone, and it was through her church that her friend Tina Weaver told her about StreetWise and some of the ways she could get involved. 

This was several years ago. 

“Veronica was very shy when she first came to StreetWise,” said Karen Cox, StreetWise’s executive assistant, “but after a few times volunteering and hundreds of hugs later – she LOVES giving hugs – she’s really broken out of her shell.”

Volunteering in the StreetWise market (aka, Heaven’s Grocery Store), doing admin for Bible Coloring Activity Books and managing inventory keeps Veronica busy during the week.

And outside of StreetWise, Veronica has participated in a number of Special Olympics events. Even placing first in bocce ball in Valdosta, Ga. last October.

“I started Special Olympics when I was eight,” Veronica said. “and I’ve done softball, spot shooting, bowling, bocce ball and volleyball. In 2018, I competed in Seattle and my volleyball team came in fourth place. And when I went to Panama for bocce, I placed first, second and fourth.”

Not to mention when StreetWise did a contest for which volunteer shared the most Facebook posts, Veronica won that, too.

That’s not all, though. Veronica has made friends at StreetWise. And her dream for StreetWise is that even more people would come in and volunteer along with them.

“People should know that we are friendly. We respect each other; and we are helpful,” she said.

And her very favorite part of volunteering at StreetWise? 

“Getting to meet the clients,” Veronica said. 

“Volunteering helps to get me out of the house, and I think other people should volunteer here because it’s fun, and it helps the community.”