Monthly Archives: April 2013

Changing the World Together

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This weekend more than a million youth all around the globe will be changing the world. They’ll serve in a thousand different ways—cleaning up trash at a local park, reading to a child, listening to a resident of a retirement home—but they’ll be doing it together.

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of Global Youth Service Day, an event coordinated by our long-time partner Youth Service America that’s the largest service event in the world. This year it also falls during National Volunteer Week so we have plenty to celebrate this week!

YVC volunteers are busy observing these special events this weekend all over the U.S. and Canada. Here’s what just a few of them are up to:

YVC of Yellowstone County has seven different projects going on throughout the city, including cleaning up a local lake and painting a public mural.

YVC of Nashville is hosting a service project where hundreds of Youth Volunteers will plant a community garden to raise fresh produce for those in need in their community.

YVC of Hampton Roads is hosting a Can Structure contest in their local mall where they take donated canned food items and create structures around a theme to raise awareness for hunger in their community.

YVC of Greater Kansas City is coordinating more than a dozen projects around the metro area, including several projects focused on creating craft kits to donate to a local children’s hospital.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who give their time, whether it’s for a one-time day of service or an everyday occurrence. Together, you’re changing the world.

Congrats YVC of Calgary!

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Congratulations to YVC of Calgary on being named the Leader in Volunteer Engagement in their community! This award is given annually by Volunteer Calgary to a local nonprofit that demonstrates strategic volunteer engagement and shows innovation in its contributions to the greater community.

More than 3,000 Youth Volunteers served with YVC of Calgary in the last year, and we’re proud of all they’ve accomplished for the Calgary community.

Congratulations and keep up the good work!

See the following video for more about YVC of Calgary and the award:

Thanks to the Helpers

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It’s a horrible irony that our world seems to be getting better at handling the complex emotions following awful tragedies. With the bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday, then the explosion of a Texas fertilizer plant just two days later, we have had to handle—one way or another—the thought of continuing our everyday lives knowing that friends and strangers far and near are mourning losses and overcoming terrors.

Have you noticed how through tragedies like these, people take to social media more and more not only to find out about news (the Boston Globe tweeted an announcement of the bombings long before posting an article to their website) but also to come together to cope as a community?

This shift has spurred a global support to focus on the positive rather than the obvious negatives of these tragedies through social media. A quote from the beloved Mr. Rogers has been floating around social media: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

Every day at YVC, we hear stories about the helpers. Not all of these helpers are in situations as dramatic as those who ran to help the injured after the bombs exploded in Boston on Monday instead of running to safety, but we believe in these helpers.

We believe that these helpers can change the world, whether they do so in the aftermath of a natural disaster or whether they do it every day by serving their neighbors.

Thank you to all the helpers—the citizens who rush to help the injured instead of running to safety, the first responders whose quick action saves lives, or even the teenager being spurred to action thousands of miles away that organizes a fundraiser to benefit victims.

Thanks for giving the rest of the world a positive story to tell amidst this challenging week.

Saturday of Service with YVCKC

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James Milam, YVC’s Marketing Intern and a sophomore at William Jewell College, got to serve a few volunteer hours in a Youth Volunteer’s shoes last Saturday. He spent the day serving with youth with YVC of Greater Kansas City. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:

What better activity is there to do on a rainy Saturday before Easter than to work a day of service with several YVC Youth Volunteers? This past Saturday I got the opportunity to serve at two projects coordinated by YVC of Greater Kansas City.

The first project I attended was at Kids TLC, a school and resource center for children who have been abused or are in crisis. Five Youth Volunteers organized Easter baskets that were filled with candy, toys and toiletries and also that were safe and fun, to distribute on Easter morning.

Like on many YVC projects, the Youth Volunteers worked so hard that the job that was projected to take us two hours only took us about forty minutes. So we then organized a closet used for supplies, a much-needed project that freed up the Kids TLC staff to more important jobs helping kids in crisis.

While we were working, a young girl who was a resident at the school came in and asked if she could pick out her own personal body wash to keep. We were all stunned to see how surprised and thankful she was to have earned that privilege—something we would all take for granted. This was the heartwarming moment, which helped us understand the difference we were making and also reminded us how much we take for granted in our own lives. We often reflect on and even sometimes understand how great we have it, but it is only through being in a true moment of service that we can really feel how blessed we all truly are!

After that project I headed to the Care for the Poor People project, a large-scale project that allowed struggling members of society to gain free clothing and a warm meal.

Soon after my arrival I met some young YVC beginners who weren’t so enthusiastic about service. However, it didn’t take long to notice that those Youth Volunteers ended up having the most fun! It was really cool to see the mental transition of the participating youth during the post-project discussion. Since we were interacting directly with homeless people on this project, the youth got to see how their preconceived notions were completely inaccurate. The ideas that people who are homeless are lazy or have lower moral values were proven to be wrong.

Ultimately, the moments of compassion and love that I encountered through helping YVC, put a meaningful exclamation point on an amazing Easter weekend!

Summit 2013 Logo Contest

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Do you doodle on your school work? Do you like graphic design? Are you the next Picasso? We need your help to design a logo specifically for YVC Summit 2013.

What: Design a logo that will be used in all Summit promotional materials, on YVC’s website and printed on Summit t-shirts. See below for more guidelines.

Who: Current YVC Youth Volunteers

When: Graphics must be submitted by 5/31.

Why: If your logo is chosen, you’ll see your artwork on the web, in our Summit promotional materials, and on t-shirts worn by youth all over the U.S. and Canada. But that’s not all—you’ll also get:

Your choice of free registration to the Summit ($100 value) or a $100 Amazon gift card

A free Summit t-shirt (with your design on it!) for both you and your Program Director

Recognition at the Summit

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

The details:

You must submit a graphic that speaks to the purpose of the YVC Summit: To bring YVC staff and Youth Volunteers together to learn from each other and rally behind the cause of YVC.

The Summit is the only time of the year that we gather the entire YVC family together to celebrate a year of changing the world through youth service. During the Summit, we celebrate the accomplishments of the year, share ideas about how to better serve our communities, and build a vision for the future of YVC.

This graphic will be used in a variety of ways to promote the Summit both before and during the event, so please keep your design simple. You must incorporate the words “Youth Volunteer Corps,” “Summit” and “2013” in some part of your design.

For more information about the Summit, see the Summit page of YVC’s website. Feel free to also explore the blog for more details on Summit 2013 and also see a glimpse of last year’s 25th Anniversary Summit.

Please submit your graphic digitally to Lacey Helmig at lhelmig@yvc.org by 5/31.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Lacey at 816-472-9822 x203 or lhelmig@yvc.org.

Youth Volunteer Corps, 1025 Jefferson St., Kansas City, MO 64105

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