Michigan Youth Make a Difference on Global Youth Service Day
Michigan's youth found a variety of ways to help others for Global Youth Service Day in April.
Nearly 5,000 youth volunteers participated in 58 volunteer projects supported by the Michigan Community Service Commission. The Commission awarded $24,800 in grants to organizations ranging from $100 to $1,000. Projects include providing child-size masks to youth, planting community gardens and meeting other community needs.
"It is really important that young people contribute to the community they live in. Volunteering helps foster a lifelong passion for helping others," Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II said. "Global Youth Service Day is a great time to celebrate youth who are not only serving, but leading volunteer efforts and using their voice to support community needs."
Twenty-two youth volunteered with DetroitPAL to create greeting cards and no-sew fleece blankets for a local senior citizen home.
"Our kids really enjoyed this project, some were shocked about how easy it was to create the blankets," said project organizer Kira Borum.
Kent Intermediate School District students created care packages and cards for residents of a local Veteran's Home.
"It actually has shown me the need to be compassionate and a lot more caring to anyone, and actually help people," junior volunteer Breanna Zachary said
Students from Reid Elementary completed service projects for various community organizations.
"As teachers we tell our students that they can be the change in the world, no matter how young they are. We need to give them the opportunity to experience what it feels like to make a difference," said one teach involved in the project. "My students were able to do hands-on activities that directly affected organizations in our community. They took pride and ownership over knowing they were able to help someone else."
Through The Newaygo County Conservation District and Volunteer Resource Center of Newaygo County 1,000 trees were distributed and planted by local youth.
"Youth volunteerism is one of the critical pillars for the state to support community efforts and impact change. Youth voice needs to be part of the equation in solving the challenges of our communities," said Michigan Community Service Commission Executive Director Ginna Holmes.