Monthly Archives: June 2015

10 Simple Fundraising Ideas for Youth

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6.30.15 10 Simple Fundraising Ideas for Youth


Need some extra funds for a unique service project, leadership event or even attending the Youth Volunteer Corps Summit? No problem, we’ve got you covered! Try one (or a few!) of these tried and true methods:

  1. 1. Hold a bbq outside a local grocery store or popular spot in town. Sell hot dogs and hamburgers for a few dollars for a low-cost meal. Make sure to also have a donation jar out and encourage people to give a little extra for your cause.
  2. 2. Solicit sponsors from local businesses. Then, make sure to take a group photo when you hold your project or attend the event and share it with sponsors to share in their lobbies. Think creatively about how you can feature as many sponsors as possible for your project. If you’re driving to an event, ask businesses to sponsor a 60-mile stretch and hang a sign with their name in the window of your van for the distance they sponsored. If you’re volunteering over a few hours, encourage people to sponsor an hour of your project and make sure to celebrate them that hour!
  3. 3. Write a letter to friends and family explaining that you’re raising funds for a cause. You can even ask relatives for cash for your birthday instead of a gift to raise money for your cause.
  4. 4. Host a bake sale at a summer festival.
  5. 5. Organize a car wash(or a few!).
  6. 6. Connect with local restaurants to see if they may be willing to share a portion of their profits to your cause.
  7. 7. Auction off yourself and some fellow Youth Volunteers for a work day. Local families can pay to have the group do yard work for the day.
  8. 8. Host a group yard sale. Gather donated items from your family, and band with some other youth to throw an epic garage sale.
  9. 9. Sell concessions at a local sporting event. Many professional or semi-professional teams allow organizations to work concessions and keep a portion of the profits.
  10. 10. Host a backyard movie night. Find full details and how-to here.
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A Former Volunteer’s Continued Commitment to Service

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Aliza Pilisuk (YVC of Seattle alum) 2015When Aliza Pilisuk graduated from her local Youth Volunteer Corps program, she was far from done volunteering. Rather, it was only the beginning of her lifetime commitment to service, something YVC hopes each of our Youth Volunteers will discover.

Aliza Pilisuk, a former YVC Youth Volunteer is now serving the youth of Portland as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Boys & Girls Clubs.

First Volunteering Experience

Aliza grew up in Seattle and joined the local YVC when she was in middle school. Her mother signed up Aliza and her twin sister, Molly, for the summer volunteering program. They did projects with organizations such as the Seattle Children’s Museum and the National Eating Disorders Association, and enjoyed volunteering so much they decided to continue to serve with the program over the following summers.

“The project with the National Eating Disorders Association was probably the one that stuck with me the most,” Aliza says. “We were doing service work, and during the service-learning we talked about body image, self-esteem and media literacy. I learned a lot from it and was inspired to continue serving.”

Continued Dedication in College

Aliza chose to attend Portland State University and earn a Bachelor of Science in Social Science with a minor in Psychology. During her Grant Writing for Nonprofits elective course, she decided to write a grant proposal to launch a YVC for youth in the Portland metro area. (Update: Aliza’s proposal was successful! YVC launched in Portland just a few months after she completed her proposal.)

“I wanted there to be more service-learning opportunities for youth where they can work together as a team,” Aliza says. “I know a lot of people who have had negative first experiences volunteering, and I had such a positive time volunteering with YVC when I was younger. I want others to have that as well.”

Serving Others as a Family Affair

Following in the footsteps of her mother, who was an AmeriCorps VISTA member in the ‘70s and has a master’s degree in social work, Aliza began working as an AmeriCorps VISTA member after graduating in March 2015. Aliza, now 26, is working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to implement a visual computer coding program for youth ages 9-14. In partnership with Google, this pilot program called Computer Science First features interactive themes to help engage youth with a variety of interests. Additionally, Aliza is focusing on building capacity by developing a stronger volunteer program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area.

A Lifetime of Service

Volunteering with YVC allowed Aliza to experience working with youth younger than her, and led to many leadership opportunities. Her favorite volunteer experience with the National Eating Disorders Association inspired her goal to someday work with a similar organization that empowers young women.

We love to hear stories like this about our youth volunteers, as they maintain their enthusiasm for volunteering well beyond their time with YVC! They prove a testament to the YVC mission to “inspire youth for a lifetime commitment to service.”

“It’s just a vital part of being in society and contributing towards your community,” Aliza says about the importance of serving. “There’s a lot of positive change that can be made and a lot to learn by working with people who may have not had the same privileges as yourself”.

Thank you, Aliza, for being a glowing example of dedication to service!

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YVC Launches in Brooklyn

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Welcome Brooklyn!


Join us in welcoming Brooklyn to the Youth Volunteer Corps family! This is the first time in YVC’s 28-year history that we have had a program in New York City. YVC of Brooklyn is hosted by The World Is Your Oyster.

YVC of Brooklyn launched as one of our very first summer-only programs and will be offering five service projects this summer.

Be the first to hear about YVCs launching in new communities:

YVC Launches in Philadelphia

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Welcome Philadelphia!


Join us in welcoming Philadelphia to the Youth Volunteer Corps family! This is the first time in YVC’s 28-year history that we have had a program in Philadelphia. YVC of Philadelphia launched as an independent organization (only the second independent YVC in our history), meaning it’s not under the umbrella of another host organization.

Philadelphia May 2015 - 1YVC of Philadelphia has hit the ground running, with more than 60 youth who have already served on YVC projects.

Follow YVC of Philadelphia and hear about how they’re impacting their community through their Facebook page.

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6 Steps to the Best Summer Ever

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If you’re spending any part of your summer volunteering with Youth Volunteer Corps, it’s bound to be an amazing summer. The mix of hot sun, new friends, hard work, and making a difference will surely make this summer unforgettable. But we have a few tips to make sure that it’s even more incredible.

Follow our six steps to make this summer the best ever:

1. Volunteer on as many projects as possible.

Fill your summer with making a difference, and you’ll see that volunteering just might make a difference in you.

2. Step out of your comfort zone.

Try something new! This could be a new project, stepping into a new role on your project, or even just offering to go first in an icebreaker game.

3. Meet new people.

It’s always fun to volunteer with old friends, but make sure to take the opportunity to get to know some new people too. Split up from your friends sometimes to work on a task for a while, and you may meet a new best friend!

4. Challenge yourself.

Set a goal for yourself with each individual task. Serving at a nature sanctuary? Count how many wheelbarrows of bark mulch you can load in an hour. Working at an organic farm? Set a challenge to weed an entire row of crop in a certain amount of time. Compete against yourself and your friends to get even more done.

5. Share your experience.

Make sure to tell others about how you’re spending your summer! Share your story and connect with other Youth Volunteers serving throughout the U.S. and Canada using the hashtag #YVCsummer.

6. Relax and have fun.

Volunteering can be hard work, but it should also be fun! Make sure to take a step back and enjoy your time. You’re truly making a difference this summer, so enjoy that feeling of accomplishment and celebrate!

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