Global Youth Service Day 2011: Accomplishing More Together

“After the event, a child came up and told me that it was the best day of his life. It was the most amazing feeling to know that just by giving 4 hours of my time, I could make that big of an impact on him” ~ Global Youth Service Day Volunteer

For Global Youth Service Day, the Volunteer Center brought together 135 volunteers at 7 different sites on one day to positively impact our community and neighborhoods.

Occurring annually in April, Global Youth Service Day is a world-wide movement that celebrates and mobilizes children, youth and adults to improve their communities each day of the year through service.  GYSD is the largest service event in the world and part of the National Days of Service.

By partnering with the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, Friendship Village, Henderson Park, the Hispanic American Council, Eastside Neighborhood Association, Oakwood Neighborhood Association and Edison Neighborhood Association, we were able to put these volunteers to work on a variety of community needs.

At Friendship Village, volunteers helped remove invasive plants and brush from the wooded trail area that provides its senior residents a place to walk (or roll) and enjoy nature.  In addition to Friendship Village, the volunteers from the Hispanic American Council were also able to aid in senior home assistance.

Other volunteers assisted with a Spring Party for underprivileged and impoverished children at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, an agency that provides shelter, food, clothing, medical, and educational assistance to the homeless and poor in the Kalamazoo area. The volunteers took part in face painting, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, and egg hunts with over 30 children who live at the shelter.

The bad ice storms that hit Southwest Michigan this past winter left many Kalamazoo parks and community centers in disarray. At the Henderson & Jones Parks volunteers had the opportunity to assist in planting trees, park beautification, and branch pickup.  Volunteers helped to beautify the Edison Neighborhood by building and planting planters. The Eastside Neighborhood was able to receive some sprucing up of the community entrance way and there were also spring clean-up efforts in the Oakwood Neighborhood.

Check out all of the Global Youth Service Day photos here!

The Day of Service projects would not be possible without the help of community members.  We can accomplish so much more together! With a variety of other agency partners, the Volunteer Center seeks to improve the community and engage more citizens of all ages and backgrounds in volunteering. The 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance will be taking place on Saturday, September 10th 2011. We are currently in the planning stages of this upcoming Day of Service and we invite you to sign-up, show up and make a difference with us! Mark you calendars and continue to visit www.volunteerkalamazoo.org for more details, online registration and further updates.

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