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Daily Inspiration: Meet Krystal Koons

Today we’d like to introduce you to Krystal Koons. Her story is shared below:

In June of 2011, Krystal Koons and her daughter Kaileigh Koons-Nall were cleaning out their closets when they had the idea of starting Teens’ Closet, (“TC”), a place where they could get these new or like new clothing into the hands of teens who really needed them. They transformed a small walk-in closet into Teens’ Closet. Teens (girls and guys) ages 13-19 may shop for free every other month. Many of the teens are in foster homes; some are homeless; and all are in financial need, receiving free or reduced breakfasts and lunches. The news spread quickly and the number of volunteers and teens visiting TC increased rapidly. Each year the teens are asked to write goals and volunteers discuss them each time they visit the closet. Volunteers continuously hear stories of how teens’ self-confidence increased; many securing jobs; making better friends and better choices. In 2012, they outgrew the space and moved into a small home donated by a community member. In the Fall of 2019, the owner informed TC that she had to sell the building. In January 2020, PUSD provided a building and North Star Youth Partnership took on TC as one of its programs. Thanks to PUSD, TC is now thriving in our its new building. In addition to clothing and goal setting, we TC also provides assistance/referrals for resume writing, college, jobs, etc. – anything to help the teens shape a bright future and break the cycle of poverty.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been a few challenges. Financial: Because we are having to constantly replenish our inventory, monetary donations and gift cards are always needed. TC no longer accepts used clothing donations from the public as 90% of the donations received were not suitable. Space:  TC outgrew three spaces before finding our its current home at Taylor Hicks School thanks to Prescott Unified School District (“PUSD”). Volunteers: Although TC currently has three solid volunteers that help with appointments, it is tough to find conscientious volunteers that are in it for the long haul.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Since North Star Youth Partnership took on Teens’ Closet as one of their programs in January 2020, Krystal has been the Supervisor at Teens’ Closet. Prior to that, from December 2006, she was the Health Education Supervisor at North Star where she enjoyed teaching teenage girls topics such as pregnancy and drug/alcohol prevention, setting boundaries, keeping themselves safe, and how to shape a bright future. Krystal has always had a love of helping youth in whatever ways she can. Among other things, she has been the PTSA president in schools in Prescott and Phoenix, even helping one Prescott school become an A+ school. She also helped to get the Character Counts! Program up and running in PUSD. But what she is most proud of in her professional career is starting and managing Teens’ Closet. “To empower young people to break the cycle of poverty through assistance with jobs, education, food, healthcare, is very exciting to me,” said Krystal.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I am at my happiest when I am with my husband of 31 years, our black lab Hunter, my two adult children, and son-in-law. I am also at my happiest when I am at Teens’ Closet helping youth. I love it when they realize that they can break the cycle of poverty they are living in. Having been one of six kids who lost my father at age 10, I know what it is like to live without adequate food, clothing, and healthcare. I am able to show these kids that I broke the cycle and they can too. Not only am I able to be that example for them, but I am able to help them! That brings me great happiness. Monetary donations are always needed and are the best way to help. We are able to give the school tax credits. Gift cards are also very helpful. These donations allow us to replenish our inventory. TC has a team of shoppers who know how to get the most of out a dollar, shopping on the off-season and purchasing items on sale or clearance. Krystal would like to remind everyone that these teens are the future. Empowering teens to break the cycle of poverty helps not only them, but our community as a whole. That is what TC is all about…helping teens learn to help themselves and shape a bright future.

If you have questions or would like to make a private appointment, please call: 

Krystal Koons, Teens’ Closet Supervisor at 928-379-1667 

For more information about our programs or to make a donation, please visit: 

www.northstaryouth.org

Contact Info:

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