Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) has become an annual demonstration of world-wide commitment of youth to the betterment of their communities. Started in 1988 as a nation-wide campaign, this celebration of community service has become international in participation and in scope.
Each year, on this selected day, youths work within their individual communities in order to create a better world.
“It allows youth to become more familiar with the issues that impact the area where they live,” said Megan Morgenson, a member of the Global Youth Service Day Committee. “It helps organizations and individuals to recognize the value of youth and youth involvement and it helps to get things done for the community as a whole.”
This coming Saturday will be Meadville’s third year participating in this day of service and community-building.
The GYSD, co-sponsored and organized by the United Way and Allegheny College, will take place between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will be a great chance for students here at Allegheny to get involved in the community.
Discussing the different activities and projects for this year’s event in the Meadville area, GYSD Coordinator Amy Davin mentioned some of the options.
“AmeriCorps*VISTA Emily Burnett will be working with some of the younger volunteers at CHAPS doing a craft project making blankets for animals at the humane society,” Davin said. “Bonner Leader Keisha Scarlett will be organizing a book drive as part of GYSD to help support the Meadville Public Library. We will also be sending some of the older youth volunteers to places like Fresh from the Vines and Hog Heaven to do some farm work and work with animals. GYSD will also be collaborating with Relay for Life to get youth involved in the walk.”
Opportunities like GYSD allow the whole community- high school students, college students and other members of the com it is easy to get involved. As T.J Bean, ’11, said, “You don’t really need any experience for most of these events, just a willingness to take some time from your schedule to give to the community”.
This Saturday will be Jenna Gathmann, ’10, first experience with GYSD. For her, this service day seems special because of its specific focus on youth and the importance of their positive involvement in the community.
“It’s a neat way for college students to connect with the youth in the area and for the college students and youth to be inspired by each other in working for something bigger than themselves,” Gathman said.
She makes a good point: the betterment of our communities and of the world is much bigger than us as individuals.
This weekend, all over the world-from Bangladesh to Brazil, Russia to Rwanda and here in Meadville, Pennsylvania-youth and community members will unite to answer the question posed by the GYSD: “How are you going to change your world?”
For more information on Global Youth Service Day and what it is all about, check-out http://gysd.org.
By SAMANTHA SCHULZ