Thursday, December 10, 2015

Community Service Projects Organized By Young People

Many young people have organized community service projects on their own.

Community service occurs when an individual or group of individuals volunteers their time to address needs within the community without pay. It can address any need in the community, from hunger, to animal rescue, to disadvantaged youth. Past community service projects that have proven effective often involve young people. Young people can be engaged and productive in addressing community needs and designing projects.

Feeding the Hungry

Hunger is a problem in the community that needs to be addressed. Many young people who recognized hunger in their community and taken the initiative to alleviate it. Nchinda Nchinda was a 7th grade student in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, when he organized and implemented a school garden. Using funds from a Learn and Serve grant and donations from a letter writing campaign, he purchased seeds and supplies for the garden. He donated his time during recess and after school. Today, Nchinda's school hosts an annual harvest celebration dinner in which food from the garden is served to raise money for the local food pantry.

Challenging high school sophomores in her area, Kat Howland of Dover, New Hampshire began a campaign to collect canned food items. High school sophomores across New Hampshire participated in the project, donating items to a New Hampshire food bank.

Animal Rescue

Erika Sloan, an 8th grade student from Simsbury, Connecticut, formed a youth volunteer organization called Kids for Paws. Erika and her sister were moved after seeing a news report about animals in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They designed a paw logo and had it printed on specially designed T-shirts, bracelets, magnets and car stickers. They went on to recruit 50 youth volunteers to help sell the merchandise to family and friends in their community. Raising close to $10,000, they donated the funds to various animal welfare groups, including the Humane Society and Animal Friends of Connecticut. Their donations helped to pay for vet bills, food and maintenance of animal rescue facilities.

Natural Disasters

Many people are moved to action when a natural disaster strikes, including young people. Erica Alexander of North Miami Beach, Florida, was moved by the vast need after the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. Collecting hundreds of hygiene items, medications, toys and books, Alexander personally delivered them to Sri Lankan victims.

After Hurricane Katrina, Matthew Sabo of Salisbury, North Carolina collected thousands of bottled toiletries in addition to clothing, furniture, tools, cleaning supplies and other household items for the victims. (See Reference 4)

Disadvantaged Youth

In an example of youth helping youth, Anne Carter Haughton of Princeton, New Jersey, launched a project that collected new and used prom dresses for girls of low-income families in Appalachia. Danielle Manning of Meridian, Idaho, collected diapers to stock a store at a public high school for teen mothers and pregnant teens. Raeann Barks of St. Johns, Michigan, sought to help children removed from their home due to domestic violence, abuse and neglect. She collected backpacks filled with school supplies, hygiene products, books, toys and other items.

Tags: community service, grade student, Hurricane Katrina, Many young, Many young people, school sophomores