Since August of 2015, YVCKC has been busy with over 186 projects and 600 volunteers, reaching our volunteer goal. So far in 2016 we have had multiple activities, including the many projects offered on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year we had 182 youth participating in our special MLK day projects. The project that my friend Aislinn and I did that day was at Kaleidoscope down by Crown Center. Kaleidoscope has free sessions open to all members of the community to create arts and crafts projects. "It's a place where children are invited to be creative, have fun, and feel good about their own ideas" (Kaleidoscope). This is an awesome way for kids to have a creative opportunity not normally available to them. We spent most of the day managing different art stations and restocking different areas. We were able to go behind the scenes and see how they brainstorm new projects for the kids to participate in, and we also helped them go through the donated art supplies from Hallmark. This was a great experience that helped expose us to an organization that helps the community in the new way. I hope to experience many new fun projects throughout the rest of the 2016 year.
Written by: Elizabeth Potterf
Over the summer I decided to get service hours for my school. At first I was skeptical about volunteering by myself, but when I showed up to the project YVC welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to make new friends. I now volunteer on a regular basis and I have amazing experience and opportunities every time I volunteer. While volunteering for summer of service, a team leader recommended me for the youth advisory board. I am now a leader at YAB and am striving to change and better our amazing community. YVC has changed life, helping me to develop life skills, new friendships and leadership abilities. YVC for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What is YVC?
YVC stands for the Youth Volunteer Corp and is a collaboration of youth ages 11-18 that's main goal is to benefit the community.
What is YAB?
YAB stands for Youth Advisory Board, which helps to plan and fundraise for YVC while also thinking of ways to benefit the community.
Tell me something about yourself.
I love to volunteer and help others.
Do you have any volunteer stories?
After YVC's one homeless night, I helped to serve the homeless breakfast. I could see smiles on everyone's faces and it warmed my heart when they thanked me for my service.
We have gotten a slow start to updating our blog this year, and for that we apologize! However, we are starting a new series here at YVCKC! Spotlight of the Week will feature our Team Leader and Service Learning Coordinator Jennifer Betz! Jennifer wrote a blurb on one of her favorite experiences so far as a Team Leader, and it highlights her After-School program, Homestead Assisted Living!
Home Away from Homestead...
Every Monday evening, I serve at Homestead Assisted Living along with seven youth volunteers of YVCKC. For two hours each week, we have the opportunity to reach out to a populace that is generally ignored and forgotten. Even though several of the elderly tenants have grown up children, few have children who live close enough to regularly visit. That’s where I feel like we come in.
Everyone needs human interaction if not by family then by friends. I am thankful that we have been given the opportunity to volunteer frequently enough to become more than mere acquaintances to the residents at Homestead. Our conversations, games, crafts and special meals shared have developed into friendships that have transcended challenges and generational differences.
Whenever a youth takes the time to listen to a resident suffering from dementia or alzheimers, I can’t begin to describe how honored I am to have played a part in bringing them together. Because of the time spent volunteering at places like Homestead, I have witnessed youth develop empathy and display maturity far beyond their years. Every time I attempt to lead by example in service, their service inspires me.
Over the past several years that YVCKC has been serving at Homestead, we have built a reputation based upon congenial interactions. The volunteer coordinator, Tricia Yates, is always thrilled to see us and is wonderful about scheduling activities that both the youth and residents love. Whether we are knocking down pins in a neck-to-neck bowling competition, hitting the high notes in karaoke, pantomiming for charades, creating foam snowflakes, or playing Upwords Scrabble, everyone knows they can come expecting to have a good time.
I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to volunteer in such a laid back, welcoming environment every week. That being said, I know this kind of special, positive relationship with an agency is hard to come by simply because it takes everyone involved to make it so. I am happy to say I had a part in that and will do everything in my power to keep it that way! Thank you Youth Volunteer Corps for funding the difference that is being made at Homestead and every other agency we have had the honor of serving!
Jennifer Betz, Youth Volunteer Team Leader
During my time with YVCKC I have accomplished many things, from the first week to now, I have noticed a difference in myself. I’ve had to do some growing up to work with mainly college students. The memories that I have with this program will be with me forever. I had the great opportunity to meet YMCA Kansas City CEO, David Byrd. Also, I got to lead a project with the two most experienced leaders that I know: Amanda Myer and Chelsea Mann. I even got to express my intermediate talent at video making which I didn’t know I was proficient in. This summer was a blast; I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend it with YVCKC and work with the amazing team and student leaders who are so dedicated to their work!
Startup Scholar, YVC Student Leader
-Edited by Derrick Parker
YVCKC's Summer of Service is quickly approaching! Just a few more weeks until youth across Kansas City spend 8 intensive weeks helping out local non-profits. We still have some spots open for youth who are looking to make a difference in their community this summer. Check out some of the descriptions below then click here to sign up and get involved!
The numbers are in from Global Youth Service Day! We had 1375 volunteers serving 1408 hours with 12 agencies on 35 projects. Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities each day of the year through service. Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world, and the only day of service dedicated to children and youth.
GYSD is celebrated each year in more than 135 countries, with young people working together--and with schools, youth organizations, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, national service programs, government agencies, and adult mentors-- to address the world’s most critical issues and change their communities.
As part of GYSD this year, we had schools and organizations across the Kansas City area make craft kits for the patients at Children's Mercy Hospital. These kits include all the supplies that a child will need to put together a craft, which is a great way to pass the time and relax during a hospital stay. Our volunteers were able to make 1174 craft kits, 212 bookmarks, and 260 cards for these patients. It's so exciting to see the difference youth have made in Kansas City this year!
Here is what some of the volunteers had to say about the experience:
A few of our after-school volunteers at Head Start took some time to reflect on their experience with YVCKC this year. Our "After-School Projects" require the same group of volunteers to serve at a particular agency each week. This offers a unique experience for volunteers where they are able to connect and build a deeper relationship with the people they serve. Read the stories below to see the impact these projects have on our volunteers.
Our Volunteer of the Day for April 11 is Jose Marquez!
Jose first got involved with YVCKC last fall as a student in the service-learning class at Wyandotte High School. Through this in-school program, Jose has helped care for animals at the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, taught art lessons at M.E. Pearson Elementary School, and repaired bicycles at Revolve KC. He has also served on weekend projects at St. Paul's Food Pantry, the USC Literacy Project and Refugee Binders, recording over 61 hours of volunteering and service-learning in the course of a school year.
Through service, Jose hopes to "help build a community where apathy is not accepted." He is most passionate about alleviating hunger in Wyandotte County, because he loves his community and wants to make it a better place for everyone.
"Jose not only participates in our in-school program, but also on several of our Saturday projects. He isn't afraid to challenge himself and go above and beyond. He sets a great example for all of our other volunteers," says Amanda Metzler, YVCKC Team Leader.
National Volunteer Week (April 6-12) is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It’s about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.
In honor of National Volunteer Week, YVCKC is recognizing an outstanding youth volunteer each day. These volunteers have demonstrated active citizenship and a commitment to community service. Each Volunteer of the Day will also be nominated for the Daily Point of Light award.
Join the conversation about National Volunteer Week with @YVCKC and #NVW.
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