Monthly Archives: June 2018

Volunteer Spotlight: Angelique Williams

Posted by Youth Volunteer Corps on

 

Angelique Williams is a youth volunteer who began participating in the Youth Volunteer Corps program when she lived in Danbury, CT. After moving to South Carolina, Angelique sought out more volunteer opportunities and found YVC of Charleston.

 

What motivates you to serve?

I am motivated to serve because I love meeting new people and learning new things while also making a positive impact on my community. While growing up, I volunteered with my family a few times a year but after the tragedy at Sandy Hook happened my family started heavily volunteering in different projects such as Ben’s Bells, 5k races, and different fundraisers which sparked a desire in me to do more on a regular basis. That desire brought me to Youth Volunteer Corps.

 

When did you start serving and how old are you now?

I joined YVC Danbury when I was 12; I’m 14 now. Before I joined YVC, I often volunteered with my family.

 

What’s been the most meaningful service project you’ve participated in? Why?

I have enjoyed all of the YVC service projects I have done, but the one that touches my heart the most is volunteering at the senior center. I have the best time there and I always leave with more knowledge than I walked in with. The people there are such fun to hang out with and play games with. They are so funny and they are the absolute sweetest.

 

What do you like about the Youth Volunteer Corps model?

I like that I am learning people skills and valuable life skills such as time management, responsibility, and altruism. Most of all though, I love the many connections I have made throughout the years. I hope to maintain these relationships for many years to come.

 

Why was it important for you to keep participating in YVC after you moved from Danbury?

I see it as a way for me to get to know my new home. I had such fun volunteering with the Danbury YVC that I wanted to continue the experience in Charleston. I’ve done some great projects in Charleston already; the special needs prom was awesome!

 

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned through your service with YVC?

I have learned to put things into perspective. Life is complicated and I’ve learned to not judge others so quickly and practice more understanding and empathy. I think mostly I’ve learned that even though I’m one person, I can always make a difference. What I do matters.

 

Do you plan on continuing to volunteer after you graduate from high school?

Yes, I plan to ultimately always volunteer in some capacity for the rest of my life. I look forward to doing some service projects abroad after high school.

 

Has your service with YVC inspired you to choose a career path?

I want to be a meteorologist and I have received great encouragement from many of the people I have met through YVC. Many well-known meteorologists volunteer at local schools and host learning sessions to teach kids about the weather, which I think is neat.

 

Why do you think others should volunteer and serve with Youth Volunteer Corps?

Honestly, serve because it’s fun! You meet new people, go to new places, and learn interesting things. It’s such a different experience when you are volunteering with friends.

Projects Against Plastics: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Posted by Youth Volunteer Corps on

The Youth Advisory Board of the YVC of Alpena, Michigan, is bringing plastic to the forefront attention of our community. We have been heading a series of projects that bring a focus on a very real threat to our future: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a wide area about 1000 miles north of Hawaii and located in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre that teams with humanity’s garbage and debris. This plastic-populated area of the Pacific Ocean is twice the size of Texas and home to an estimated 3.5 million tons of trash. The plastic we use and discard daily ends up here through ocean currents, where it accumulates- and has accumulated so much that within the last 40 years, it has increased to 100 times its original size. It poses a serious threat to the ecosystem, to us, and, eventually, to our future. Many organisms mistake plastics for food, which leads to the plastic, and toxins that come with, working its way up the food chain and into our own diets- that is, if the plastic doesn’t kill the organisms first. Debris leads to the deaths of about 100,000 marine mammals and millions of birds and fish annually.

This information and more is what we’ve been teaching our community and our volunteers through various projects centered around plastic recycling. YVC of Alpena has partnered with NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for various projects, bringing in speakers to our youth volunteers to lead and educate. Once the weather warms up, we plan on aiding NOAA with summer cleanups along various roads, beaches, and lakes.

One of the cool projects we’ve tackled is making a recycle cap art mural. This project involved collecting bottle caps and other plastic caps and creating a collage of color in an artful design. This project took a week of construction for our volunteers. Caps used for the project were also collected by volunteers for a month before construction started. The number of plastic caps on the project is estimated to be over 3,000. Our YAB developed a presentation to go along with the mural, and we showcased it at NOAA, local museums, and other locations to help bring plastic to people’s minds. During our presentation, we taught about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, something we discovered many of our residents were not aware of.

YVC of Alpena will continue to do projects focused on this issue and other recycling topics. We hope to develop new ideas and community support for recycling efforts. With YVC, we are giving youth a voice and helping to change the world!

 

 

This blog post was contributed by Brook Mainville, Program Director of YVC of Alpena.

YVC to Me

Posted by Youth Volunteer Corps on

 

To me, Youth Volunteer Corps is more than a nonprofit organization. YVC has served more as a home for me and a place I could grow and learn more about the needs of my community and the world. I am grateful I’ve served with YVC throughout all of middle school, and especially high school. YVC has taught me many valuable life lessons that I will take with me wherever I go. I’ve learned how to become a better leader, how to serve my community and address the needs of my community, become more patient and appreciative, and countless more life lessons.

Throughout my time volunteering in high school, I’ve developed into a stronger leader and someone who has the power to change my community for the better. I’ve learned how important it is to have a voice and acknowledge issues my community and the world faces and how to work towards change. Without the help of YVC, I would not have become aware of how easy change is if I’m passionate and willing to put the work in to make an impact. Through YVC, I have developed into the best volunteer and leader I could be. I’ve learned how big of an impact YVC has on so many people, and with one step at a time we can all support and improve our communities together.

Although my time with YVC is coming to an end, I will always look back and reflect the impact YVC has made on my life. YVC has helped me see the effect my service has on the people that I am helping. I love putting a smile on peoples faces and providing them with help they did not have before. It takes as little as a few minutes to make someone’s day, and I am so grateful YVC has given me that opportunity.

I have learned so much about helping my community throughout my life. I have always enjoyed going out of school and seeing what the community is doing for others, and I have YVC to thank for that. I plan on continuing my service in the future and extend my hand even more, because this is our world and we have to preserve it for the generations to come. I have YVC to thank for so many memories and learning more about how I can serve my community anywhere I am!

 

This was taken during YVC Hampton Roads 2016 Summer of Service Camp. For one of the days, we went to the Gardens of Warwick Forest and did crafts and played BINGO with the residents!

 

 

 

This photo was taken during an ongoing project to make dog toys out of old t-shirts that would be donated to the SPCA!

 

YVC Hampton Roads made an appearance on the Hampton Roads Show on April 6th, 2018  to promote our Annual Canstructure Contest which takes place on Global Youth Service Day!

 

 

Maya Patel is an active volunteer with YVC of Hampton Roads

and serves on the YVC International Youth Advisory Board.

.

 

Volunteering in Charleston, SC

Posted by Youth Volunteer Corps on

 

My name is Keory and I am an 8th grade student at Orange Grove Charter School. I joined YVC of Charleston in June 2016 and have volunteered a total of 74 hours since! My goal in volunteering is to enjoy giving back in service. I have attended two years of the Summer Service-Learning Institute and my favorite event is preparing food at the Ronald McDonald House where families of sick children come to stay. Doing volunteer work can be relaxing, meaningful, interesting, and energizing. It helps me to escape my Saturday chores but the opportunity to serve others also provides me renewed creativity, motivation, and a vision that I can carry over in my personal life.

I originally started volunteering with my mom. At first, I was convinced that I was not going to like anything about being a volunteer, but after I arrived at the project site and we started passing out school supplies, I questioned the reason why we had to do what we were doing. As my mom explained to me what it was like to not have the necessary things that some families can’t provide, I wanted to do more. Being able to volunteer and help others is a wonderful feeling.

 

 

Some of my favorite experiences volunteering with YVC of Charleston include:

Spending my Saturday at the Ronald McDonald House to prepare breakfast for families of children that are in the hospital, so they don’t have to worry about a meal.  Providing this type of comfort and caring for families helps me to sleep well at night.

 

 

I also love playing bingo with senior citizens in my community. I look forward to days that we do not have to go to school because I know I am going to spend time with my senior.

I enjoy face painting at our School Supply Drive in August. It’s great to see the kids coming out to celebrate the end of the summer and time for them to get ready and excited for the first day back to school.

 

 

Lastly, the Low Country Blessing Box Project was such a blessing to me and other YVC youth volunteers. These Blessing Boxes are anonymous donation sites for non-perishable food items, toiletries, and small baby care items. We refurbished a cabinet last summer and used it as a blessing box for Laundry Matters on Charleston’s Eastside. Laundry Matters is the only laundromat within walking distance for eastside residents so it is a staple in the community for residents to not only wash their clothes but to pick up a few nonperishable items while they are there. YVC of Charleston continues to stock the pantry each month with nonperishable foods.

 

Volunteering with YVC Charleston plays a big and important role in my life!

 

 

 

Keory was born and raised in Charleston, SC.

He is an active volunteer with YVC of Charleston

and serves as a YVC Brand Ambassador.

 

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

©2018 Youth Volunteer Corps