MARYSVILLE — Through his Teriyaki Box restaurant on Third Street, owner Mike Youn is already known for feeding the masses, but recently, he's taken steps to reach out further into the community, to feed those who may need it most. Youn's compassion for others is why he was recently named the city of Marysville's Volunteer of the Month.
Last September, Youn launched a program that provides free meals to low-income individuals for one Saturday every month, starting at 11 a.m.
Youn began by contacting the Marysville Community Food Bank, and the Seeds of Grace Food Bank at Allen Creek Community Church, to get the word out.
On his first day, Youn drew more than 100 people, and since then, he's seen an average of 70 people come through his doors each Saturday morning for a bite to eat.
Of those 70, many are repeat visitors who are very appreciative of the service that Youn offers, a service which has inspired similar generosity in others, as many of his restaurant's regular patrons donate money in support of his program.
Youn, who is also a pastor at North Lynnwood Bible Chapel, is driven by his spirituality and desire to show compassion to others.
"He knows it's a way to pay forward warmth, love and caring, and maybe give a little hope and encouragement for people who need it, at what may be tough times in their lives," Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said of Youn's service, before presenting him the honor of Volunteer of the Month at the March 24 Marysville City Council meeting.
Youn's wife Angie, who also attended the award presentation, was very enthusiastic, as were their children, when Youn broached the idea to his family.