If you’ve ever met me in person, read my blog, or follow me on social media you know that I am a HUGE proponent of volunteerism. I believe whole heartedly that civic engagement builds character, leadership, and confidence in youth. The right service opportunity can help youth develop compassion, responsibility, and critical thinking skills. I know firsthand that meaningful community service can also assist in career exploration as youth develop marketable skills.
Although we’re only in the second month of the New Year, there have been three opportunities to engage youth in volunteering and community service that I find significant. The first was the Youth Service America Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 16, 2012. We were encouraged serve our community and use the national holiday as a “day on not a day off”. I wrote a blog about it at http://theteentoolbox.com/how-will-your-youth-serve/) Second is the GOOD 30-Day Challenge: Become A GOOD Citizen which began on February 1, 2012. GOOD celebrates the diverse ways, both large and small, that we can give back to our community. Each day we are invited to perform a different task that will help us along the road of becoming a good citizen all year long. (You can read more at http://www.good.is/post/the-good-30-day-challenge-become-a-good-citizen/ ) February 13-19, 2012 was celebrated as Random Acts of Kindness Week. There is no mistaking the purpose of this week – show unexpected kindness to others. (You can read more at http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/RAK-Week/ ) I love and see the value in each of them!
Although these celebrations may add extra enthusiasm to volunteerism, there is no need to wait for a special holiday or commemorations to get your youth involved – and see the benefits. Today is February 23, 2012. Are your youth still volunteering?
Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer
The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic enrichment opportunities to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.