Monthly Archives: April 2014

Nashville Volunteer Receives National Award

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Lauren Levy - Daily Point of LIght 4.22.14Congratulations to Lauren of YVC of Nashville, who was named a Daily Point of Light earlier this week! This prestigious national award from Points of Light is given to individuals who work to spark change and improve the world.

Congrats, Lauren! Thank you for your service!

Do you know an awesome volunteer like Lauren? Nominate him or her for a Daily Point of Light.

Serving Affiliates to Serve Communities

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Here at YVC Headquarters, we focus on serving our Affiliates to the best of our abilities so that they can be free to serve Youth Volunteers and their communities. Everything we do is aimed to help our Affiliates so that they can do the important work of empowering youth to change the world through service.

With that in mind, we’re always looking for ways to improve our programming with the goal to change even just one more youth’s life through service. To do that, we asked our Affiliates to answer a few questions about how we can help them better engage youth in service.

Here’s what they said:

100% of those who responded marked that they are satisfied with their affiliation with YVC:

We asked Affiliates to mark their top five most valuable benefits of affiliation:

What do you value most about being part of the YVC network?

What do you value most about being part of the YVC network


What could YVC Headquarters offer to make your affiliation even more valuable?

What could YVC Headquarters offer to make your affiliation even more valuable

Any other comments?

ED quote

Do you have ideas on how we can improve YVC Headquarters’ programming to introduce more youth to the joy of volunteering? We’re always eager to hear your feedback. Let us know what ideas or suggestions you have in the comments below.

Four Ways to Engage At-Risk Youth in Community Service

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Greater Topeka - GYSD 2014 (4)

Here at YVC, we try to make sure that the youth who serve on every YVC project represent the diversity of the community they’re serving. This means that youth represent a variety of ethnicities, religions, socioeconomic statuses, neighborhoods and more. We want to ensure that all youth–no matter the situation they’re born in–have the opportunity to make a difference.

To ensure that we’re moving toward this goal with every project every day, we’re constantly evaluating how we can better serve different populations. So we were honored to share our perspective on the value of service for at-risk youth for the National Clearinghouse for Family & Youth blog.

Head over to hear four tips from YVC’s Founder and President David Battey along with longtime YVC partner Youth Service America: Four Ways to Engage At-Risk Youth in Community Service

Thanks to the National Clearinghouse for Family & Youth for helping us spread the word about youth service!

YVC’s Most Dedicated Volunteer: Don Sloan

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Don Sloan 1_croppedLast year, YVC lost one of our most passionate volunteers when longtime board member Don Sloan passed away. Founder and President David Battey, who was friends with Don for nearly 30 years, tells of his impact:

People often ask, “Who has volunteered the most hours with Youth Volunteer Corps?” I would then recount the several youth from various YVC programs who have tallied more than 1,000 hours of service. The other day, I realized that I was mistaken. There actually was a person I had overlooked. While this gentleman had never served as a Youth Volunteer, he had without a doubt volunteered more hours for YVC than anyone.

Don Sloan volunteered for YVC every single week from May of 1991 when he agreed to be a founding member of our national board until his passing in August of 2013. At just two hours per week (and that is conservative), Don volunteered at least 2,322 hours in support of YVC. That is a record that may never be broken.

With Don, it was never about the hours; it was about the impact. It was never about him; it was about moving the mission forward. Don was a retired accountant when he began his service with YVC. He could tell right away that this fledgling organization could use his help.  YVC was young and entrepreneurial; we were going to change the world.

Don bought into that vision very quickly; he also realized it would never happen without more robust management and financial systems in place. As our first treasurer, Don put those systems in place. He allowed YVC to reach for the stars while keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground.

Because of his skill and dedication, Don went on to become YVC’s second national Board Chairman. He served in that capacity from 1995 until 2011. He continued to serve on the national Board until his passing.

Celebration of Service - HQ and YVCKC 9.22.12 (15)

Don with former board chair Adele Hall at YVC’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of Service project in 2012.

True to his Iowa roots, Don was a workhorse. He was a man of the utmost integrity, a wonderful strategist, and very persistent. It was very hard to say no to Don Sloan. Don only asked if he truly believed in the impact and the integrity of the organization. Don’s more than two decades of service to YVC was the stamp of approval that people needed in order to say “Yes” to Don and “Yes” to the organization and Youth Volunteers he believed in so strongly.

Don always came to our national YVC conferences. His presence as our Board Chairman and chief volunteer was inspiring to the Youth Volunteers, Program Directors and national staff.

I’ll never forget the conference in Vero Beach, Florida, in September 1998. Not only did Don make the trek down to Florida, but he stayed for the entire three-day conference. We were so impressed at how hard Don worked at our physically demanding service project at a therapeutic riding school on what was a steamy late summer day in Florida. Don, in his unassuming way, was setting a wonderful example of servant leadership that all of us can only aspire to.

I miss his expert eye when reviewing business decisions and his unwavering dedication to YVC’s Youth Volunteers, but more than anything I miss his loyalty as a friend and mentor. Don’s impact to YVC will never be forgotten, and neither will his kindness and compassion as a friend.

Thanks to Don’s passion and dedication, more than 280,000 youth have made a difference through YVC since 1987, and countless more will continue living his legacy in years to come.

Written by David Battey, president and founder of YVC and longtime friend of Don Sloan

Every year Don’s legacy lives on through the Don and Jean Sloan Scholarship. Are you a YVC volunteer who is graduating from high school this year or a first-year college student? Apply for teh scholarship to carry on Don’s passion for youth service.

Youth Will Change the World This Weekend

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GYSD 2014Imagine…a world where youth set the example for how to change the world.

…A world where volunteering erases national borders and creates unity around the world.

…A world where youth choose to volunteer instead of a thousand other possible weekend activities.

This weekend—just like every year—this dream will be a reality. Youth all over the world will unite for Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world coordinated by YVC’s longtime partner Youth Service America.

This year, thanks to the coordination of YVC’s International Youth Advisory Board, the thousands of YVC youth throughout the U.S. and Canada are joining forces with youth around the world, with every YVC program offering projects as a part of GYSD.

While youth in Kyrgyzstan are playing games with orphans, youth in Nashville are preparing a dozen different community gardens for spring planting with YVC of Nashville.

While youth in Peru are cleaning a local beach, youth in Billings, MT, are learning how to prepare their families for a disaster and sharing this knowledge with their community with YVC of Yellowstone County.

While youth in Sierra Leone are coordinating an anti-drug campaign for local youth, youth in Danbury, CT, are preparing hiking trails for spring at a local park with YVC of Western Connecticut.

Thanks to the hard work of millions of youth, the world will be just a little different come Monday morning. Public parks will be a little cleaner, fewer people will go hungry as a result of food drives, seniors in retirement homes will feel a little more appreciated after playing bingo with youth.

Thanks to your work on Global Youth Service Day, the world will be changed.

2014 Gold Level Affiliates

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We know that YVC programs all over the U.S. and Canada are changing youth’s lives through volunteering every day. Some of these programs stand out as examples for the rest of the YVC network to follow in the way that their programs engage youth in service.

To honor these amazing YVC programs, we’ve launched the Gold Level rating to designate those special YVC programs that are serving their communities in inspiring ways.

Each year, YVC Headquarters evaluates Affiliates to discuss together how they can better serve their communities. A few of these Affiliates are going above and beyond and leading the way for the entire YVC network, and they’ve earned the new Gold Level rating.

Congratulations to the following 2014 Gold Level Affiliates:

Alpena - Gold Level 2014

Alpena, MI

Anderson County - Gold Level 2014
Anderson County, SC

Ann Arbor - Gold Level 2014
Ann Arbor, MI

Calgary - Gold Level 2014

Corvallis - Gold Level 2014
Corvallis, OR

Greater Kansas City - Gold Level 2014
Greater Kansas City

Hampton Roads - Gold Level 2014
Hampton Roads, VA

Muskogee - Gold Level 2014
Muskogee, OK

Nashville - Gold Level 2014

Spotlight on: YVC of Plymouth

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Plymouth Spotlight 4.2.14

Plymouth - MLK Day 2014 (2)April is here and spring is in full swing! It’s time for another installment of the YVC Spotlight! This month we are headed to Plymouth, Michigan where the Program Director, Josh Borg, will give us a quick overview of their awesome program and their super successful Martin Luther King Day of Service project.

YVC of Plymouth, hosted by Plymouth Family YMCA, has been a part of the YVC family since 2005, and they have been doing truly fantastic projects since the beginning!

Can you tell us about your MLK Day project?

We partnered with Davenport University to put together hygienic care packages for homeless veterans in the metro Detroit area. After putting together the packages we went to the Michigan Veterans Foundation in Detroit to personally deliver them to those in need.

What was the best part of the MLK Day project? What surprised/inspired/impressed you?

The best part of the project was allowing the Youth Volunteers to personally hand out the packages to the homeless veterans. It was eye-opening for the volunteers and for the veterans. The volunteers were so involved and loved learning that their service that day made such an impact.

What is your favorite part of being a Program Director?

I enjoy being able to look at our community and see where volunteers would best be utilized. The stories we get to hear from the organizations we work with are always great too.

Plymouth - MLK Day 2014 (1)What impact has YVC had on your life?

YVC has introduced me to some pretty amazing youth in our community. Teenagers tend to get a bad reputation nowadays, so it’s nice to see some of the youth out there volunteering their time on weekends and school breaks.

Tell us about the youth who volunteer for YVC of Plymouth:

A lot of our youth are doing hours to fulfill school needs. Once they finish their required hours, a good portion of them stick with the program since they enjoy the volunteer opportunities. We also have two former Youth Volunteers who started with YVC and are now YMCA staff members.

Thanks, Josh, for showing us around YVC of Plymouth!

As always don’t forget to check out the YVC Spotlight each month, the next one could be yours!

Ready to tour some other YVC programs? Check out our previous Spotlights on Yellowstone County and Calgary.

Don’t miss a single story of youth changing the world! Sign up for our monthly newsletter here:

Viral Video Contest

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Video Contest Graphic

With warmer days around the corner, we want to get youth across the U.S. and Canada pumped for spring and summer projects through YVC. What better way than to let you, our Youth Volunteers, tell your YVC story and get the word out to those who are missing out! So, we are launching our first ever Viral Video Contest:

Here’s how it works!

  1. 1. Shoot a short video about YVC.
  2. 2. Post the video to the Youth Volunteer Corps Facebook page.
  3. 3. The top three videos with the most likes will receive a prize!

It’s just that easy.

The most ‘Liked’ video as of April 30 at midnight (Central Standard Time) will receive a $75 Visa Gift Card, 2nd place will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card, and 3rd place gets a $25 Visa Gift Card. But the most important thing is to be creative and have fun!

You could film you and your friends on a YVC project, just you talking about your YVC experience, showing all that YVC has accomplished in your community, reliving a funny experience from a YVC project, just being silly, etc. It’s completely up to you! Here are some examples:

  • -Give us a 60-second tour of your favorite YVC project.
  • -Tell a story of why you think it’s important to volunteer.
  • -Interview a couple friends and ask them what they like most about volunteering with YVC.
  • -Teach us how to play your favorite icebreaker or teambuilder game.
  • -Make up a silly song about YVC.
  • -Interview the agency representative at your project about the impact YVC has there.
  • -Show us before and after of a single project to show all that you accomplished.
  • -Or so many other potential ideas! Have fun with it!

*Any submitted videos may be posted on YouTube and used to promote YVC.

**This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.


1. The video must be spearheaded by active YVC Youth Volunteer(s).

2. Videos should be limited to one minute maximum.

3. Videos may not contain licensed music. If you choose to incorporate music, YouTube offers some license-free music, or Free Music Archives offers a collection of music by artists who have chosen to offer their music for free use in videos legally.

4. Though the contest will take place on Facebook, we will request a copy of winning videos in the following formats in order to be uploaded to YouTube: .MOV, .MPEG4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP or WebM.

5. Videos must be posted on the YVC Headquarters Facebook page to qualify. Only Likes on the YVC Headquarters Facebook page will be counted. To share your post with your social network, you must hit “Share” on your video posted to YVC Headquarters’ page. Instruct your friends to click through to YVC’s page to like the video. Do not post your video more than once—only share it. This will ensure that all likes are on your original post.

6. The deadline to post your video is April 30th.

Questions? Contact Kirsten Overby at [email protected]g. Good luck!

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