15-year-old steps up to feed homeless in Spokane during pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. – We’re seeing people step up in so many ways during this pandemic. One of them is 15-year-old Jeslyn Cai.

A few months back we showed you how she raised money for face masks for first responders.  She’s still giving back, but in a different way.

“It’s just so fun. I’m just really thankful,” said Cai.

It may not be what most teenagers would describe as fun. For Cai, there’s no place she’d rather be.

“All the effort we put in, it doesn’t seem like labor to me. It just feels like fun work,” she said.

Back in April, the Chinese Association invited Cai to volunteer with Feed Thy Neighbor. The non-profit focuses on delivering food to those in need across Spokane.

It was supposed to just be a one time thing.

“I have a thing I say to people. I say give me two hours and I’ll change your life,” said Larry Barringer, Volunteer with Feed Thy Neighbor.

The rest is history.

Since then, she and her friends have spent Sunday mornings making lunches for the homeless living in Spokane.

“Even though they won’t give anything back to us, it’s okay, because we can give it to the community and help out,” Cai said.

“It actually makes you feel so much better when you do things and give things to other people,”  said Weiling Zhu, Jeslyn’s mom.

Cai and her friends have prepared thousands of meals for those in need since April.

“It’s just so nice to see that what we’re trying to do is something that is making an impact,” Cai said.
An impact stretching far beyond those they’re serving.

“They get to hangout together, social distance as much as they can, and give back to the community,” said Barringer.

“If we want to get through this, all of us need to give in to helping others out,” said Cai.