Global Youth Service Day 2013: Choose From Over 2,000 Volunteer Projects

The weekend of April 26-April 28 marks the largest service event in the world, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), where youth are involved in service projects to help their community. Originally known as National Youth Service Day in the United States, Global Youth Service Day is part of the Youth Service America campaign and shows the importance of youth becoming involved in their communities.

GYSD 2013 has more than 2,045 registered projects in 96 countries worldwide! The top 5 countries are Puerto Rico, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Tanzania, and Canada. The top five states are Virginia, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan (GO MICHIGAN!) and California. Based on these stats, youth are participating worldwide and shows how dedicated youth are to changing the world. Youth can be involved in numerous projects ranging from cleaning up parks, volunteering at a local homeless shelter, cleaning up rivers, building community gardens, mentoring youth, and numerous other ideas.

Volunteering amongst youth teaches them important life skills. Colleges seek out volunteer experiences on applications and are more likely to accept students with a wide variety of experiences. Volunteering also helps gain the necessary experience to attain a job and can give youth an advantage in college. For the younger children involved in service projects, it helps gain new skills and make new friends. If they are interested in working with a particular population, volunteering provides an easy way to cater to their interests. Younger children are shown the importance of civic engagement and can see how helping the community not only positively effects the population they are serving, but themselves, as well. Youth are able to feel as if they are making a big impact, despite their young age.

Some may argue that people volunteer to boost their own self-esteem and not for altruistic reasons. While volunteers serve for many different reasons, youth will learn how much of an impact they can have on a community and hopefully continue volunteering. I started volunteering at a young age and it lead me to the non-profit career path.

GSYD 2012 had 570,0192 youth served, with 4,467 registered projects in 2,700 communities in 106 different countries. It equated to $71,057,516 worth of time for 3,261,015 hours! Obviously GSYD and youth volunteerism has a huge impact globally so volunteer.

If you are interested in volunteering, visit www.gsyd.org for a project near you. I’m going to volunteer on Saturday in Detroit and in Lansing on Sunday.

Leave me a comment @usha88 if you plan on volunteering and about your experience.

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Michelle Adams

Currently serving as an AmeriCorps member at the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness with the Campaign to End Homelessness program, Michelle is passionate about ending homelessness. She graduated with a B.A. in Communication and a specialization in public relations and a minor in sexuality and conflict/management from Michigan State University. Her interests lie in writing about culture, sexuality/gender and homelessness. Offline she enjoys quoting How I Met Your Mother, volunteering, swinging at parks and stargazing.

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