Click on the names of the Clubs below to read more about their accomplishments.
- April | GUTS (Girls Using Their Strengths) Service Club
- March | Frosty Forest Frog generationOn Service Club
- January | Knights in Need Service Club
- November | Cougars Care generationOn Club
- October | Suffern Green Team Service Club
- September | Pintando Sonrisas y Alegrando Corazones Service Club
- August | CLASS generationOn Club
- July | High School for Language and Diplomacy generationOn Service Club
- June | G-Squared Great Girls generationOn Club
- May | GAVE generationOn Club
April | TechnoBots generationOn Club
March | MCS generationOn Club
February | Teen Volunteer Captains generationOn Club
January | 8th Grade Civics generationOn Club
- December | TRAC generationOn Club
- October | Givetochange generationOn Club
- September | Youth for Literacy generationOn Club
- August | KHS generationOn Service Club
- July | FPA Student Goverment generationOn Club
- June | NY Cares Youth Service generationOn club
- May | Field Upstanders generationOn Club
- April | PAL generationOn Club
- March | Fleming Island High School generationOn Club
- February | Youth for Literacy generationOn Club
- January | Torch generationOn Club
- December | Westlane Middle School generationOn Club
- November | Carpe Diem Students in Action generationOn Club
- October | Girl Scout Troop 13779 generationOn Club
- September | Y.E.L.L. (Youth Executive League at the Library) generationOn Club
- August | Fairview Net Zero Environmental Club
- July | Students for Safe Water generationOn Club
- June | Erie County generationOn Clubs
- May | Any Body Can (ABC) generationOn Club
- April | Castle North Middle School generationOn Club
- March | The Leadership Project generationOn Club
- February | Pitman High School generationOn Club
- January | Accelerate Academy generationOn Club
- December | Cadette Troop 01972 generationOn Club
Congratulations to the GUTS (Girls Using Their Strengths) Service Club from Missoula, Montana for being selected as Club of the Month for April. GUTS serves as a leadership program for girls between the ages of 9 and 18. Their Club members come from various after-school programs and lunch action groups at 18 different schools. The Club has a community activism and mentorship component to help participants implement and explore projects of their choosing at their schools. During the past month, this Club completed 3 service projects and 159 hours of service.
During the month of January, the GUTS Club organized a Dakota Access Pipeline awareness day. The Dakota Access is a pipeline currently being built across North Dakota to transport crude oil to Illinois. Native indigenous tribes are opposing the pipeline construction as it represents a threat to the clean drinking water of the Missouri River. For the GUTS Club, this was an important social issue to address and educate students at their schools. For the awareness day, Club participants made and distributed posters across their schools to inform students about the issue and how they can support the cause.
The GUTS Service Club has also organized food drives and fundraisers to give back to the community. Last Halloween, Club members went door to door around their neighborhood and collected food items to donate to a local food pantry. Also, last December they raised $140 through a bake sale at a local basketball game for the Giving Tree Christmas program.
The passion and leadership of these young minds are helping make the world a better place. generationOn is proud of the positive changes the Club members are making in their community. Remember to keep submitting your trackers for a chance to become the next Club of the Month. We love hearing from you and seeing pictures of your service projects.
Congratulations to Frosty Forest Frog generationOn Service Club from Menasha, Wisconsin for being selected as Club of the Month for March. For the Frosty Forest Frogs, service is an opportunity to have fun, create friendships and help the community. This group of changemakers organized service projects to address issues including animal welfare, peace and kindness. They completed 4 projects and a total of 98 hours of service.
The Club members celebrated peace during the month of January and made origami peace cranes. Club members folded paper cranes with the intention of sharing symbols of strength and inner peace with their community. In total, members distributed 54 origami cranes to family and friends at a local community church. Club facilitator, Angela Krause shared that this project helped Club members realized that maintaining inner peace is part of making the world a better place.
Clubs members also focused on caring for animals and the environment. For example, they created feeding habitats for hummingbirds which are listed as vulnerable and endangered species. Members used recycled materials like lids, plastic bottles and wire to make bird feeders. Then, the group donated them to people in the community to use in gardens, outdoor areas and public spaces. This project helped members learn about how to use recycled materials to help animals in danger of extinction. Lastly, this Club wanted to fundraise to support the Heartland Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization that cares for homeless farm animals. They also have programs to connections between vulnerable youth and animals. Club members created 54 piggy banks from plastic bottles and collected donations for 3 months to support programs at the sanctuary.
Frosty Forest Frogs Service Club is a great example of how kids and youth can make a difference by taking small steps.
Congratulations to the Knights in Need Service Club from Hagerstown, Maryland for been selected as January's Club of the Month. The Knights in Need Service Club aspires to become an outlet of inspiration for other youth at their school to get involved and serve the residents of Hagerstown. The Club focuses on creating a sense of community and family among volunteers while alleviating hunger. Recently, this Club has completed two amazing service projects and served 1452 hours.
First, Club members were eager to support their school's food pantry. The students learned about how the pantry operates, who it supports and what they need assistance with. Following, the Club decided to organize a Knights In Need Walk-A-Thon to raise funds to purchase a new refrigerator and freezer to help the food pantry store meats and dairy products. Club members helped organize the whole event, and in the process became aware of the services provided at their school and learned that those services were available to the whole community, including club members!
Additionally, the Knights in Need Service Club volunteered at their school's annual Thanksgiving dinner. They provided handmade decorations, crafted favors to give away to participants and served dinner to students. The Thanksgiving dinner at Norther Middle School is very special for their community as they get to share a meal and show appreciation for each other during this annual event.
Congratulations to the Suffern Green Team Service Club from Suffren, New York for being selected as the Club of the Month for October. This fantastic groupcreated the Suffern Green Team Service Club with the goal of alleviating hunger and promoting healthy lifestyles in their community. The Club has completed 2 service projects and 321 hours of service thus far.
The Club put their compassion into action through the service projects they planned and executed. In response to the numerous police-related shootings and terrorist indicents this summer, the Suffern Greem Team organized the Seeds of Awareness project to demonstrate how youth can heal together and show compassion during tragedies. As part of this project, youth identified their fears and buried them as seeds in a garden.The project transformed their fears about themseleves and the world into beautiful flowers and nurturing food. The project included 28 youth and will yield approximately 50 pounds of vegetables.
Also, the Suffern Green Team volunteered and took care of their local middle school garden. They actively harvested produce, watered the garden, collected donations and distributed food to the Catholic Charity of Rockland County. The Club's productive summer benefited 60 community members and further inspired Club members to continue working on their mission of alleviating hunger in their community.
The Club is working closely with the Suffern Middle School Green Team Garden, Montebello Community Garden, Girl Scout Heart of the Hudson Troop 40718, Suffern Farmers Market and Catholic Charity of Rockland County to alleviate hunger in their community. The Suffren Green Team shared that community partnerships are important when creating service projects because "it takes a village to feed community needs."
generationOn is excited to see more projects from the Suffern Green Team Service Club. Keep up the amazing work!
Congratulations to the Accelere Aquatic Society SC from Omaha, NE for being chosen as the Club of the Month! Over this past school year, the club has started some innovative service projects to help their local environment while also servicing underprivileged members of their community!
There has been a decline recently of native pollinators in this club's town, which has resulted in a decline in certain plant species. Club members have been growing flowers and plants that will provide food and shelter to native pollinators in the area such as butterflies and honey bees. The students have been working on Nebraska Academy of Science and the Nebraska Environmental Trust Plant Laboratory for this project. Another goal of this project is to provide free plants and affordable landscaping for the less economically developed areas of their community. Furthermore, the club has also been working on growing the biodiversity of the wildlife. Their goal is to build up a program successful enough to provide $10,000 worth of plants for the area!
Their next service project is developing a sustainable initiative to provide fresh produce and fish protein year round to a local shelter that serves over 2,000 meals a day! In order to do this, the club is in the process of creating and planning a hydroponic laboratory.
We are very excited about the smart and inventive projects this club has been working on! The skills the club members are developing are impressive and the impact that their projects will have on their local region is amazing! Keep up the awesome work!
Shannon Hudson is the all-star advisor of this middle school Service Club in Indiana and her group tracked 15 service projects this year, for a total of 112 hours of volunteering!
They were our March 2015 generationOn Service Club of the Month and their group is our most active adult-led generationOn Club of 2014-15.
We loved hearing about how this Club made service fun! Here are a couple of our favorites from this year:
- Superhero Challenge: Involved the whole school in fundraising to support the American Cancer Society; administrators dressed up as superheroes as a prize.
- Heritage Quilt: Created a quilt to commemorate a former middle school that is being replaced in the town.
- Gear Going Global: Collected athletic gear to send abroad as part of a fellow student's service initiative.
Keep up the great work, C.L.A.S.S.! We can't get enough of your stories from Indiana.
Congratulations to the High School for Language and Diplomacy generationOn Service Club from New York, New York! This year the students in the Club wanted to focus their service projects on NYC students with disabilities. Throughout the year, they participated in two major events. In January,Students volunteered with an organization called Blissful Bedrooms which is a non-profit that provides bedroom makeovers to kids with disabilities. Since many kids with disabilities spend a lot of time in their bedrooms, Blissful Bedrooms strives to make these rooms a sanctuary where the often wheelchair-bound recipient feels comfortable and happy. The Service Club helped to plan a New Year's Eve bowling party for these recipients where they created beautiful decorations following the theme of "winter wonderland". The event provided a unique opportunity for the Service Club to embrace individuals with a wide range of disabilities, including those in wheelchairs, and those with autism, Down's Syndrome, and other disability classifications. These kids are in strong need of occasions to socialize and enjoy leisure time outside of their home with people who understand and support them. Needless to say, the Blissful Bedroom recipients and the Service Club members had an amazing time ringing in the new year together! Most recently,the Club participated in a Field Day event with a school of students who have severe disabilities in the Bronx. Through collaboration and brainstorming, Club members organized fun field day activities and a luncheon for the students and staff. Students were invited to participate in a series of stations ranging from cookie decorating to egg spoon races to an obstacle course. Everyone had an amazing time and the Club looks forward to collaborating with the school again in the future! The students in the Service Club said they had never done anything like this before and got a whole new perspective from the day's activities.
Congratulations to the G-Squared Great Girls generationOn Club from Reading, PA! This year, Club members learned that 27,000 children in their county are food insecure, and that 10,600 receive emergency food assistance every week from their local food bank. Club members thought it was important to inform their community about hunger issues and offer people a way to participate in service. The Club decided to support the local food bank with a Get a Bag, Give a Bag Food Drive. Club members taught people about hunger in their community, then gave out grocery bags and encouraged people to fill them with non-perishable food items to donate. The drive was a huge success, with hundreds of items donated!
The G-Squared girls also participated in Heifer International's Read to Feed program recently. The Club members got community sponsors for every book that they read, raising money to purchase animals and gift them to impoverished families abroad through Heifer International. The girls raised $447 -- enough money to provide a llama, a goat, 2 bee hives, 3 rabbits, a flock of geese, and two peeps of chicks to impoverished families abroad.
Thanks to G-Squared generationOn Club for sharing their inspiring stories with us! We can't wait to see what meaningful service projects they will tackle next!
Congratulations to the TechnoBots generationOn Club fromFranklinville, NJ! Every year, this STEM group develops a research question that addresses a different issue. This year, the Club considered how to equip communities to effectively respond to emergency or disaster situations, with specific emphasis on better meeting the needs of children during such times. As a solution, the group launched The Busy Box, a crisis intervention tool kit for children traumatized by the effects of an emergency or disaster.
The Busy Box includes a towel, a soft pair of socks, a safety glow stick, collapsible cups, a stress ball, a notebook, pencils, and small toys that provide anxiety relief. The Club has equipped all American Red Cross first responders in three New Jersey counties with Busy Boxes. They recently met with managers of American Red Cross Disaster Relief, who requested Busy Boxes for all 64 Red Cross chapters across the nation!
In the past, this Club built an insulator cap prototype that can be used to help power companies prevent outages during major storms. They also invented the Grip Bar after studying the limited mobility of senior citizens. The Grip Bar is a removable stabilization handle that attaches to the outside of most motor vehicles to aid seniors in safely exiting a vehicle. No matter what the project, this Club is always working together to provide solutions to real concerns in their community and beyond. We are so proud of their impact!
Congratulations to the Club of the Month, the MCS generationOn Service Club from Wakefield, RI! This Club of about 30 middle school students has collected and delivered over 300 hygiene and food items to their local food pantry. They also prepared and served an "Empty Bowls" meal and participated in a Holy Week Walk for Hunger. In addition, the Club spends time visiting and entertaining residents of a local nursing home and has participated in several community clean-up projects, including a beach clean-up during which they collected over 500 pounds of garbage.
Congratulations to the Teen Volunteer Captains generationOn Club from New York, NY! Time and time again, this group of high school students exhibits their dedication and appreciation of the environment through their impactful projects. This Club often volunteers at Prospect Park, clearing pathways of leaves and debris, weeding flower gardens, and picking up litter. They have completed several projects at the Children's Corner on the East side of the park, which sees a lot of foot traffic from families visiting the Prospect Park Zoo, the Lefferts Historic House, and the Carousel.
The Club has also volunteered at the Zucker Natural Play area--a newly built playground featuring re-purposed trees that fell during Hurricane Sandy. The teens cleared away litter, debris, and rocks that were preventing grass from growing, raked leaves, and leveled surrounding ground for planting.
One of the strengths of the Teen Volunteer Captains generationOn Club is their ability to engage community members in service. One of their recent park clean-ups saw a total of 88 local volunteers, in addition to the 11 members of the Club and 4 park staff members. The Teen Captains hone their leadership skills as they often divide the project areas into zones for each member to supervise. They guide and assist community members during the work, providing not only the necessary tools and methods for the work, but answering questions as well
The 8th Grade Civics generationOn Club from Middlebury, IN is comprised of the Northridge Middle School 8th grade Civics classes. Civics teacher, Judith Mantyla, has been advising the Club for 6 years and has activated over 360 students in service this year alone!
Through multiple partnerships, this Club continuously shows their dedication to serving the hungry. One of the Club's favorite projects this year was in collaboration with Feed the Children. About 150 students helped box food, books, and hygiene products to help those in need. This Club also has an ongoing partnership with their local food pantry, where students volunteer every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning throughout the school year. As part of this partnership, they recently held their annual Feed-a-Family drive and collected canned and boxed food items for donation. They also helped prepare a Thanksgiving meal at the pantry for 40 local families.
In addition, this Club cares for their community's environment. They recently completed one of their Pretty Up the Park! Days, during which students work with the Parks and Recreation Department to clean and beautify a selected local park. Students rake leaves, transplanted bulbs, weeded flower beds, moved rocks and sticks, and laid mulch.
As part of their holiday Civics class projects, students are also ringing the bell for the Salvation Army every Saturday from Thanksgiving through Christmas. And in January, the Club will hold their annual dance marathon event to benefit the Riley Hospital for Children. It is amazing to hear about these 8th graders learning to become active participants in their community. The generationOn Clubs team could not be prouder!
Congratulations to our Club of the Month, the TRAC generationOn Club from Alexandria, VA! This Club made their mark on health and wellness by designing a pest-control project and completing it over a three-month period. The students administered a pre-survey evaluating the pest-control problems of 650 community residents.
Based upon their responses, the teens distributed bi-weekly educational material, informing participating community members about effective pest-control practices. The Club also organized two in-person community meetings to discuss issues of pest-control and workshop potential solutions. In addition, the teens handed out free pest-control supplies to those in attendance.
At the end of the project, the post-survey results showed a nearly 20% decrease in complaints relating to pest-control within the community. Not only did the efforts of the TRAC generationOn Club make a difference within the lives of Alexandria residents, it also taught Club members about a specific problem in their community, how to clearly present information to others verbally and in writing, and how to track the success of their endeavor.
Kudos to the TRAC generationOn Club for their service accomplishments! We can't wait to see what they do next!
Congratulations to the October Club of the Month, the Givetochange generationOn Club from Mount Sterling, KY! This Club of about 30 members has been serving their community and beyond in incredible ways since 2010. One of their favorite projects has been "The Shoebox Ministry," for which the Club collected basic hygiene supplies and sent them to homeless shelters throughout the United States. The Club was excited that they could extend their service to those who lived hundreds of miles away from them.
Another of the Club's favorite experiences was an opportunity to serve their global community by travelling to Haiti! Before they left, the students raised money to buy shoes for Haitians in need, while also holding a drive to collect unwanted shoes from local community members. In the end, they were able to donate 200 pairs of shoes to those without footwear.
The Givetochange generationOn Club's other projects have included planting and maintaining a community garden from which they donate fresh vegetables to local soup kitchens, a Hunger Games Food Drive that fed 132 families across Montgomery County, KY and a Cell Phones for Survivors campaign that entailed scrapping and recycling old cell phones to raise money for domestic violence survivors.
Check out the Givetochange Club's Facebook page to learn more about their projects and campaigns and see inspiring videos about their service. We can't wait to see what they accomplish next!
Congratulations to the September Service Club of the Month, the Youth for Literacy Club from Redwood, CA! Within the past year, this club has addressed education, literacy, homelessness, and citizenship through a completion of seven different projects--a total of 580 service hours. They were also successful in engaging nearly 700 non-members within the Redwood community.
The Youth for Literacy collected and donated over 20,000 books to local charities and library programs. They also held successful clothing drives for the homeless and collected supplies such as colanders, beakers, and test tubes and donated them to nearby libraries that conduct STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) classes. After receiving a grant from Disney Friends for Change, this club was able to coordinate their own STEM courses at the Redwood Public Library. Parents of children who participated in this STEM program were very appreciative of the educational offering as well as the teen volunteers who became great role models for their young children.
One of these wonderful role models is the student president of Youth for Literacy, who was honored with the Red Cross Hero Award last year for his impactful volunteerism. He also received the Mayor's Commendation for exceptional volunteer service, recognizing him for the significant improvements that have occurred in Redwood due to the actions of Youth for Literacy. At 12 members, this club is a reminder that meaningful service and powerful change is not dependant on the size of a club, but on the care and dedication that exists among club members and leaders.
Congratulations to the KHS generationOn Service Club from King High School in Tampa, Florida for being our August Club of the Month! This Club has been very active since its start in 2013 with projects benefiting many issue areas, including veterans, animal welfare, education, literacy and more. The Club's twenty-one members completed projects serving their local and national communities, and international causes as well.
Internationally, the Club brightened the days of many children suffering from life threatening illnesses around the world. Through Send Kids the World, the Club sent post cards to sick children to cheer them up and give them encouragement during difficult times.
"It's been so much fun being part of a group that makes a difference," stated one Club member. Another described the Club as "a tightly-knit club always trying to find ways to serve the community while having fun!" The KHS generationOn Club's leader, Sudha Dhulipala, shares that being a part of the Club is eye-opening to the importance of teamwork in successful projects, as well as the large impact a single small action can have on a community, a phenomenon the Club has seen firsthand. The Club plans to continue their inspiring service work as they increase their membership and participate in more walks, fundraisers and partnerships with other clubs to increase their mark on the community.
Congratulations to the Student Government generationOn Club from Francis Perkins Academy in Brooklyn, NY for being our generationOn Service Club of the Month! This Club was started in 2012 and has done many great things throughout the past year to benefit the community and involve their school's student body. Earlier this year, members partnered with their school's creative writing club to write letters to the troops. They wrote over twenty letters to include in care packages that were being sent to our nation's troops to thank and put a smile on the faces of those who are serving our country.
The Student Government generationOn Club got many Francis Perkins students involved with their next project, Feed the Kids. They had classes compete against each other for a month to see who could collect the most canned goods to be donated to feed the homeless. The winning classes got a pizza party to celebrate their victory and good deeds! The event was a great success as they collected around 200 pounds of food for City Harvest, a New York City-based organization that feeds the city's hungry.
The Club's favorite project was the film they wrote and produced to raise awareness for bullying and to promote tolerance, kindness and acceptance. The Club partnered with the Blackmoon Theater Group to create a film titled 'Choices, Decisions and Consequences.' The video was shared with the Francis Perkins Academy school community to allow all students to watch and reflect on the stories written by their classmates. Each week while working on this project, Club members became more excited and eager to participate in production and share their ideas for the film. Check out their final product.
The Club is already planning future projects and will be volunteering with Reading Partners to work with local children in the community, helping them learn to read and promoting literacy. As one of the Club members said, "I can't wait until next year so that we are able to complete more projects!" We can't wait to see what wonderful work this Club will do in the future!
This month, we are recognizing NY Cares Youth Service generationOn Club in the Bronx, NY. The Club partners with NY Cares Youth Service Clubs, and recently became a generationOn service clubs. The Club includes 22 male and female high school students between the ages 14 to 18. From February to May, the Club worked on five different service projects and completed 356 hours throughout the school year! Their service themes include civic engagement, homelessness and poverty, hunger, military and veterans, and senior citizens.
In February, the Club celebrated Black history month by encouraging students to research historical figures in the African-American community for an "intergenerational discussion" with senior citizens at the Bronx River Community Center. Throughout the event, a staff member noted, "The interaction between the seniors and student volunteers was very positive and insightful. The discussions during the bingo games were rich with powerful storytelling and general effort to bridge the general gap." The goal was to show students that commitment to service is a critical part in making successful social impacts.
In March, the Club completed two service projects supporting both veterans and senior citizens. Student volunteers wrote cards and made crafts for servicemen and women overseas and for seniors in Arch-Care Senior life. One student remarked, "Every man or woman who wears the uniform is a hero!" Clearly the student volunteers' are appreciative of those who have served and protected our country.
In April, volunteers created a mural that featured Gandhi's famous words, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." This project encouraged students to reflect upon their sentiments toward service. One student shared, "To serve is to care." By giving back to the community, students felt that they were sending care to others. The canvas is now hanging on the school wall in Frederick Douglass Academy III, reminding students of the importance of giving back to their community.
In May, the Club volunteered at Potts Soup Kitchen. Students assisted the soup kitchen staff with cleaning dishes and pots, and serving food to the homeless. The service leader reported that students did an extraordinary job. This event concluded a phenomenal year of service for the Club.
After the projects ended, one of the staff workers reported, "Our school, Frederick Douglass Academy III is located in a high-need area of the Bronx. We have an amazing population of students, who are hard workers and committed to excellence. We salute them and all young people who understand the importance of education, but also the need to give back to their community." Service is critical part of youth development. A school in need that serves others and learns through experience demonstrates a commitment to education and service.
Congratulations to Field Upstanders generationOn club from Minneapolis, MN for being our generationOn Service Club of the Month! They have gone above and beyond to help the homeless in their community.
The Club was inspired to tackle the issue of homelessness after hearing from a guest speaker: a representative from a community partner serving homeless youth in the neighborhood came and spoke to the Club about the issue of homelessness, particularly as it affects youth 16-21 years old. The Club decided to start with a project called "Go Packs". Inside the Go Packs were healthy snacks and a list of community resources that could help recipients with housing, food, medical and job training. The students handed out the packs to people holding signs to solicit help. Throughout the project, Club members videotaped their experience to share with others to inspire them to take action. Check out the Club's video on YouTube!
After seeing the positive impact their first 25 Go Packs had, Club members decided to make their project into a school-wide event. During lunch, the Field Upstanders generationOn Club set up tables with the snacks, bags and resource list and invited students to come up and make a Go Pack, assembly line style. Their inspirational video played in the background while the students were packing! By the end of the day they made 500 Go Packs, which they passed out to students as they left school, encouraging them to put it in their car to give to someone in need in the community.
Through this project, the Club members were introduced to the reality of homelessness and hunger in their community and learned more about what they can do to help strengthen their community. One Club member reflected, "Most importantly we challenged our whole school community to "see" homelessness as our issue... not someone else's problem."
The next project for the Field Upstanders generationOn Club is a bike drive to support their community partner, Full Cycle, as they employ homeless youth in their bike shop and train them and empower them with job skills and self-confidence.
Way to go, Field Upstanders generationOn Club! We can't wait to see what you do next!
The Police Athletic League of New York (PAL) joined generationOn in 2012. The Club has a core group of 30 members from programs located in Brooklyn and Queens, New York.
The Service PALs have participated in a host of volunteer projects and days of service to revitalize and empower New York City's neediest communities. In 2013 Service PALs participated in Family Volunteer Day. Together with family members and PAL community partners, the Club collected non-perishable food to benefit families in need post-hurricane Sandy. There are still many families and communities rebuilding from the devastation and PAL kids made a tremendous difference by collecting 1,155 pounds of food.
2014 kicked-off with the "I Lead So, I AM..." service learning day. 100 middle school and high school aged youth came together for a day of service learning, fun and hip hop at PAL's Youth Empowerment Day. This service day held on February 21st modeled after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's beloved community included interactive and thought-provoking workshops with a hip hop theme. The service event educated and encouraged PAL youth to get involved in their local communities through volunteer service.
Club members agree that all their service projects have been fun and rewarding but the "I Lead So, I AM..." event is a unanimous favorite. Not only did it highlight the power of youth service, it received a lot of attention from local media outlets.
When asked about the event, a parent volunteer responded: 'I thought the event was great! Thank you PAL for having us to serve. I really enjoy activities that involve the youth. I'm always ready to give back or help out when it comes to youth.'
Club leader, Alexandria Sumpter-Delves had this to say about serving as the Club's facilitator: 'It has been truly great to watch PAL youth grow and celebrate their successes, as well as contribute greatly to communities throughout New York City.
The Clubs future plans are to increase our membership citywide and connect with another generationOn chapter for a service day.
This month we're recognizing the Fleming Island High School generationOn Club in Fleming Island, FL. Despite only forming recently, in January 2014, the Club already has over 75 active high school student members and has completed a number of successful service projects.
The Fleming Island High School generationOn Club's first project came about after talks with the University of Florida Neuroscience Institute. After securing the university group as a partner, the Club held the First Coast Parkinson 5K Walk/Run on January 26th. The race was a huge success, drawing massive support from the community! Club members set up tents, booths, tables, and chairs and ran water booths for runners/walkers. In sum, 400 people participated in the event. All proceeds were donated to Parkinson's research.
The Club's favorite project so far was a Band-Aid Drive for a local children's hospital. Club members were surprised by the amount of participation they received. Club members collected over 390 boxes of Latex-Free fun/colorful Band-Aids - that's over 10,500 individual Band-Aids! The reaction of the hospital workers was also unforgettable. Club leader Piper Lucek delivered the Band-Aids, which were received at the hospital with "utter thankfulness and genuine happiness." Overall the Club was happy to know that patients will be a little less frightened with the fun, colorful Band-Aids they donated.
Currently, the Club is working on a Care Package Drive for Servicemen deployed overseas. They plan to collect novelty items, food, toiletries and home-made cards. These items will be sent as care packages next month.
Piper describes her experience as Club leader: "Being the leader of the Club has been so rewarding. It has inspired me to continue to be a role model and serve others. It has helped me see that there is more to life than just my surroundings. I was completely shocked by the amount of participation we have received in each of our service projects. It is truly amazing to see the number of people who are willing to volunteer their time and money to help others in need."
Going forward, the Fleming Island High School generationOn Club plans to continue with more service projects and keep recruiting to boost membership so they can help even more people in need. The Club is currently in talks with a local Safe Animal Shelter as well as the Green Cove Food Pantry.
The Youth for Literacy generationOn Service Club in Emerald Hills, CA has existed since May, 2013. The Club has eleven members: nine teenagers from six different high schools and two adult advisers. Since its origination, these volunteers have donated over 550 volunteer hours aimed at improving literacy in their community. The have set up many events that pull in numerous volunteers. Their Book Drive in October recruited over 110 volunteers and collected over 17,000 books.
The Club has had the following projects this year: Kindercard, Summer Brain Drain, North Fair Oaks, Volunteer Drive, Book Drive Tool Kit and a Festival Book Drive.
The Club's favorite project (so far) was their Book Drive. From conception to completion, the Book Drive was completely member driven. Due to its success, the Club was able to provide ongoing book support for many literacy programs offered through nonprofits across the county. It has allowed the Club to get to know other nonprofit groups and to see how their efforts are directly affecting local community members. Club member all agree on the most rewarding part of the project: seeing the joy in the eyes of the children as they receive their own books.
When asked about her motives for joining the Club one member, Amanda said: "Every one of us hopes that our Youth for Literacy club and our activities in the community will provide a foundation for improving literacy rates. We all joined to make an impact. Now we stay because we are having fun while helping others."
When asked about her experiences as a club leader, Martha Traynor had this to say: "I am so thrilled that I have been able to find people to work in the club with me that have the same passion for literacy. Being together, we have been able to generate very creative ideas and prompt each other to work even harder towards our goals. In addition to being a leader, sometimes I find myself being a coach, referee, and negotiator. It has helped me develop leadership skills that I know I will use all my life.'
The Club has three more fairs are planned in the next 12 months where they will be handing out free books to the community and encouraging them to use library resources. Every person who receives a book will be informed of the need for improvement in our local schools and the programs available to do this. The Club hopes to generate more excitement about reading by giving the initial push by providing the children with a book of their own. They will continue to provide books to various nonprofits in the county that provide literacy programs for their participants.
This month we're recognizing newly formed Torch generationOn Club from Stevenson Ranch, CA. Founded in late September, this Club is already making waves!
They hit the ground running, working on several projects right away. For their first event, they put together a
The Club's favorite project so far was volunteering for an organization called Bow Wows & Meows because the members all really like working with animals. Club members helped with an event that brought together animal shelters and vendors to promote
The Torch generationOn Club is youth-led, with support from an adult advisor. Teen leader Kristen Romeis is thrilled with the group's early success. When asked about her experience she responded positively, saying, "being a leader is a lot of work, but I enjoy hanging out with my friends and helping others at the same time."
The Westlane Middle School generationOn Club in Indianapolis, IN was recognized for its service after only a few months. The Club has two teacher leaders and up to 20 members attend any given meeting, which are held Wednesday mornings. They're off to a fantastic start!
The Club's first project was called "Macaroni Madness" and was based on a news article they saw just as the school year started about a local nonprofit organization called Second Helpings. The article specifically mentioned the organization's need for elbow macaroni, as mac and cheese is an effective way to get kids to eat some vegetables as well. The Club collected 79 pounds of macaroni in just a few weeks! This was their favorite project so far, as it showed the group what an impact they can have with a short amount of time, some creative marketing, and a little hard work.
The Club's current project is totally student-driven. Members decided that they wanted to help children in need by providing cold weather gear. All through the month of December, they are hosting a coat, hat, and glove drive called "Coats of Arms," a name chosen by the students, playing off the recent 6th grade Social Studies unit on the Middle Ages.
Club advisor Adam Goodman says, "It was neat to see the students run the selection process as a true democracy. Students let each other speak about why we should choose the topic they wanted and then they held a heads-down (secret ballot) vote. These were all concepts they learned about in their academic classes."
The Club is off to a great start, with members showing positive attitudes and achieving significant results. However, the Club advisors have been even more impressed when students talk about what they've done with the Club in an academic class. On a few occasions, students have specifically cited statistics about homelessness in a class discussion that they got while researching for a Westlane Middle School generationOn Club project. Because the Club advisors are teachers at the school, they also get to see how exciting it is that some of students' ideas for the Club have come from what they have learned in their classes.
Students have really come together and appreciate being part of the generationOn network. They're looking into getting Club t-shirts to show their pride!
Future plans for the Club include increasing the number of older members to the current foundation of 6th graders. As far as future projects go, that is all up to the students! With each project, the Club advisors will become more hands-off to encourage student leadership. We can't wait to see what else they accomplish!
The Carpe Diem Meridian Charter School in Indianapolis, IN opened in August 2012. A group of students decided that they wanted to do community service and volunteering as an extracurricular activity at their new school. Alyssa Starinsky, a school staff member and avid service volunteer, stepped forward to act as their guide and advisor. The first meeting of Carpe Diem Students in Action generationOn Club was held in September 2012. Since then, the program has flourished into an energy-charged, student-led organization.
"If we aren't working, we're slacking - there are always people to help!" says one Students in Action Club member.
With Thanksgiving ahead, the Club is organizing its annual Julian Center Thanksgiving event. The Club partners with the Julian Center, a local shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Club members aim to create a special Thanksgiving event that not only provides food, but also creates precious memories for attendees who are facing difficult situations.
The Club is also involved with the Lil Leaders Project. Lil Leaders focuses on engaging at-risk youth in positive mentoring relationships as well as motivational teambuilding exercises. This project is actually the culmination of a year-long project, in which Carpe Diem students learn about what it means to be an "at-risk youth," as well as the negative outcomes that are associated with this label and living in poverty. Carpe Diem students plan teambuilding, positive communication and anger management activities as well as homework help. Their goal is to use mentoring and service to empower other youth. Watch the Lil Leaders video.
Other Carpe Diem Students in Action Club projects include:
- Shred Day - During fall break, students woke up early to work with Channel 6 to help people be green and recycle old papers, televisions, and other electronics. They spent 5 hours helping people haul their recyclables to secure dumpsters in order to avoid identity theft.
- Canned Food Drive - A homeroom competition took place to see which grade could bring in the most cans. Cans contained items for the Thanksgiving menu to help with the Julian Center Thanksgiving project.
- What Will You Bring to the Table Event - To educate the students about the issue of childhood hunger, the group participated last spring in the national GenerationOn child hunger project event.
- Million Meal Marathon - November is National Philanthropy Month and what better way to celebrate than to help at the Kids Against Hunger 2nd Annual Million Meal Marathon! The Club was part of a group that packed almost one million life-saving meals that were then distributed locally and globally through non-governmental organizations to feed the hungry at home and abroad.
- Christmas Cookies for Circles Group - Partnering with the Julian Center, the Club members worked with members of the Circles group, which focuses on helping women that have left abusive situations to become financially independent. While the mothers attend special seminars and classes to empower and educate themselves, the Club members play with the children. One activity they especially enjoyed was making and decorating Christmas Cookies and ornaments with the Circles Group children.
- Valentine's Day for Vets -The Club is planning to make Valentine's Day care packages for Indianapolis veterans at The Marion County VA Hospital, a non-profit hospital that provides medical service to injured veterans.
Visit the Club's website to learn more about their fantastic work and future plans!
"We intend to end hunger in our community at its root, by equipping and empowering our brothers and sisters to feed themselves." - Girl Scout Troop 13779 generationOn Club member
Girl Scout Troop 13779 generationOn Club of Minneapolis, MN is our Club of the Month for October, the "harvest month". A group of 4 Cadette Girl Scouts wanted to impact their community by addressing the increasing numbers of hungry and food insecure individuals, particularly in the under-served demographic of North Minneapolis. They called their idea Project 5000 and were determined to grow enough produce to feed 5000 people. The girls began working on the project in the winter of 2012 and are still working on it today.
The Club was awarded an educational grant to learn about urban farming and took a 5-week vegetable growing course, learning how todesign, grow and harvest a sustainable garden that would supply a healthy food source for members of the community. They shared their knowledge with other children and adults in the community on how to grow your own food.
"My favorite part of the project is planting the vegetables." - Dee Dee, Club member
"My favorite part of the project was when I finally got all of my seedlings into my raised bed." - Jasmine, Club member
The girls rolled out the next two phases of the project over the summer months. They focused on education and developed a curriculum for third grade students to teach them how to grow various vegetables in containers (5 gallon buckets) so they could in turn teach their families and neighbors to grow their own food. The girls brought in a bountiful harvest after the summer and donated many pounds of food to the local food shelf through the Salvation Army.
Club Facilitator, Lisa Chatman says, "Leading this group was a very rewarding experience. We learned a lot about each other in the process and what it means to work as a team."
Looking ahead, the Club will explore setting up a vegetable stand to sell the extra produce. The proceeds will go back into the troop to fund scholarships for girls who cannot afford girl scout programming in their community. Ultimately, the Club hopes to do Project 5000 annually, and attract more members to grow vegetables in their own backyards!
Who says that you have to be quiet at the library?
At the El Dorado Hills Library in El Dorado Hills, CA., the Y.E.L.L. (Youth Executive League at the Library) generationOn Club is what's happening! Y.E.L.L generationOn Club members are high school students who believe in the Y.E.L.L. mission: To facilitate an environment that not only maximizes intellectual potential, but also inspires successful lifestyles for the teenage community of El Dorado Hills. Y.E.L.L. was started in 2011 by a group of local teens who were looking to do more community-based programs at the library. The students lead service projects within the community and also host fun, youth-oriented events at the library. In the past they have done a number of community service projects such as Japanese tsunami relief, a clothing drive for needy children in Africa, dressmaking for girls around the world, and a school supplies donation drive for students in need in Peru.
The Club is responsible for planning and executing all of the Teen programs at the library, some of the children's programs and all of the community outreach projects.
They put on a minimum of one event every month - and often more - that vary in nature. Y.E.L.L. Club members prefer community outreach programs, such as the Snuggles for Animals project that they completed last January. They raised funds to buy polar fleece fabric and held an event where community members of all ages could come to the library and make easy, no-sew blankets for animals in local shelters. They made about 100 blankets for homeless cats and dogs in the area and had around 40 people show up to participate! Many of the people who came to participate asked to do the event again, so they are planning on hosting another Snuggles event this winter.
During the summer they hosted weekly, free Teen Tuesday events for middle and high school teens to come and have something fun to do over the summer.
When asked what her favorite part of Y.E.L.L. is, member Alex replied, "I love being able to come to a group where my ideas aren't judged and I'm always welcome."
One of the highlights of the past year was when they joined in to help a local teen who travels to Peru every winter break to work with children in need. The traveling teen observed a lack of books, paper, pencils, and school supplies in general when she was visited a local Peruvian school. Y.E.L.L. partnered with her and held a school supply donation drive. They collected 5 boxes of school supplies and donated 5 boxes of books.
"Who says teens can't be selfless and globally-minded? What a wonderful group of people!" - Frankie, teen partner for Project Mariposa, Peru
Y.E.L.L. is currently engaged in several local projects, including creating a homework and tutoring center at the El Dorado Hills Library and providing monthly art workshops for students aged 12 to 18. Over the summer, they provided reading activities for over 1,400 children.
"This is a great group of enthusiastic and energetic teens, led by teens, where all members' voices are heard equally," says Youth Services Librarian, Deanna Blesso, who mentors the group.
Future plans for the Y.E.L.L generationOn Club include:
- Expanding and recruiting new members.
- Planning a family carnival around Halloween where families can come out and have a great, inexpensive time together.
- Putting together some events around books that have been made into movies.
- Having more fun collaborating with community partners and always being on the look-out for new outreach opportunities.
The Fairview Net Zero Environmental generationOn Club at Fairview HS, Boulder, CO is an environmental club whose mission is to make the school and community greener for all. They hope to set an example for other schools that are striving to make their schools more environmentally friendly. The Club was inspired by a middle school teacher and started by four middle school students and expanded two years later at Fairview High School to become the Fairview Net Zero Environmental Club with over 30 active members.
Some of the things they have accomplished so far:
- They persuaded Boulder City Council to put fees on paper and plastic shopping bags, eliminating as many as 10,000,000 bags from being created each year. Since passing the ordinance last year, Breckenridge passed an identical ordinance and Denver is considering doing the same.
- They raised money to purchase and plant 59 trees on their school campus to reduce carbon.
- They improved recycling at Fairview HS and drastically reduced junk mail.
"The club is a beacon, leading youth to stand for the welfare of the Earth that surrounds us." -Daniel Ho, Fairview Net Zero Environmental Club member
How can a Club impact an entire city?
One of the most notable projects the club was involved in over the past year was getting a fee on disposable bags passed in the Boulder, CO city council.
"Our club delivered many passionate, well-researched, and well-articulated speeches before the Boulder City Council and other city groups, seizing every opportunity we could to drill city legislators with the idea that disposable bags are wasteful, destructive, and unnecessary-- pressuring them to push this issue up and up on their agenda. We made the argument that eliminating bags, while producing tangible environmental gains, would also serve as a powerful symbolic gesture: It would establish Boulder, CO as an environmental leader.
We hoped that the bag fee would push people to embrace reusable bags... that they would realize that they have the power to make better choices, rather than simply accept a dysfunctional tradition of mindless waste." -Dustin MIchels, Co-President
Eventually, the City of Boulder passed a 10 cent fee on plastic and paper bags. This year, the Club received their second Presidential Environmental Youth Award (one of 10 awarded in the US). Members spoke to 350 EPA staff members live and streamed to another 250 about their achievements and goals.
"While it may seem unbelievable that such a small group of young people could impact an entire city of nearly 100,000, global change always starts at a local level. Our impact is also spreading, as Denver is now thinking of adopting their own ordinance on paper and plastic bags. Instigators of change are necessary to save the world. " -Katie Li, Club member
How do thirty high school students get involved with a global issue?
The Bee Project is the Club's most recent project. The Fairview Net Zero Club knew that today's honeybee die-offs were an issue that needed to be addressed. The documentary Queen of the Sun last summer inspired a few in the group to take action on this issue. The film details the perils of colony collapse disorder and the theory that new pesticides are killing off honeybees, which pollinate a large portion of the world food supply. After seeing the documentary, they shared the Bee Project issue with the rest of the club and resolved to take action. Becoming beekeepers themselves was the next step for the Club to take.
The members started researching how to prepare for the honey bees, how to create a sustainable environment for them, and how to maintain their health. After attending a local Bee Keeper's Association meeting, they chose the species of honey bee that they would be farming. The Club began preparing the hive and ordered other materials. The book Bee Keeping for Dummies turned out to be an great resource for this new group of beekeepers.
After they gained an adequate knowledge of bees and the beekeeping process, they wrote and were awarded a mini-grant from generationOn, which they used to help purchase supplies for the project. They received enormous amounts of guidance from the Boulder County Beekeeper's Association (BCBA) and began attending their meetings. The BCBA aided them in purchasing the bees. The president Miles McGaughey helped them through the process of putting the bees in the hive and taking care of them. After months of hard work, Fairview Net Zero has successfully built and installed their beehive at a local farm. The Club is now responsible for the live of tens of thousands of honey producing honey bees.
"Becoming beekeepers has been a life-changing experience. For me personally, I have learned to view nature in a completely different light and can see how beautiful yet delicate the balance is. Without our constant care, our entire colony could be dead in a week. And if they are exposed to hazardous pesticides, they will die within days." -Lizzy Dresselhaus, Net Zero Co-President
You will get emotionally attached to your honey bees, I guarantee it." - Bee keeping expert, Miles Mcgaughey, BCBA President
"There's a brief moment when it's a little scary to be surrounded by the humming of the honey bees, but after about 5 minutes, you find that they're quite peaceful and surprisingly pleasant to be around." -Jaimie, Net Zero V.P.
This March, Fairview Net Zero members spoke at the EPA Region 8 Headquarters and urged the agency to take action to end bee die-offs by re-evaluating the toxicity of current pesticides such as clothianodin.
What other issues does the Club plan to tackle?
Future plans for the Fairview Net Zero Environmental generationOn Club hopes to
relieve the bees of their plight with neonicotinoids and other harmful pesticides being used by large-scale agricultural corporations, by lobbying local and municipal policymakers to implement changes on the small-scale and hopefully inspire the rest of the world to follow suit. They are also teaming up with Fairview's Garden Club to maintain Fairview's very own new organic garden. By doing this, they hope to show that pesticides really are unnecessary. The group wants to continue to produce incisive, yet youthfully optimistic, blogs, articles, short films, presentations, and more-- everything they can do to flood the public consciousness with the necessity of change. They also are working to put solar panels on Fairview HS.
How are they getting the whole school involved?
As far as expanding the Net Zero Club's message and goals within the school, Dustin Michels, the co-president, says that they hope to put a greater emphasis on education.
"By organizing film screenings, guest speakers, peer presentations, and other events I hope Net Zero will be able to foster a greater interest in environmental issues within our school. Beyond that, I want to involve even more students in our work by reaching out and partnering with various students groups. We want the art kids to help us with posters, and the film kids to help us with films. The public speaking class could proofread our speeches. Student bands could play at events we put on."
Students For Safe Water (SFSW) was started about three years ago. The group is now a registered nonprofit and in 2012 became a generationOn Service Club. Carter Jenkins, the teen coordinator, says of his experience with SFSW, "It has been incredible and inspires me to do even more. There are so many kids who want to help. It is great to be able to provide opportunities to make a difference. I have learned so much through this experience and I look forward to doing even more in the years to come."
The Students For Safe Water generationOn Club's primary objective is to build water and sanitation projects for those in need in the developing world. Over the last 9 months, they have focused on raising funds to construct an electric pump water system in Petaquilla, Nicaragua. They achieved their goals through various fundraising efforts, including a Superhero Drive, beverage and bake sales, dine-out events, grants and a matching gift program.
Their latest big event was the Kids Run for Water in May. It was a great fundraising project, and they gained over 200 new volunteers at the event while raising awareness about and funds for the world water crisis. The Students For Safe Water generationOn Club reached thousands of kids as over one hundred student volunteers came out to walk in support of those who spend hours everyday in search of water. By having a booth with face painting and other activities, they drew in students to inform them about the issue and supplied information and ideas about how they and their friends could get involved to help end the world water crisis. They gained additional support by reaching out to existing volunteers, speaking to youth, church and community groups and becoming involved in a larger World Water Day event.
"I felt really good about participating in the Kids Run for Students For Safe Water. I helped a lot of people and had fun talking to other kids about the water crisis. I realized I can make an impact in the world. I helped recruit new volunteers and raise money for a cause I really care about," said Grace, age 12, volunteer with SFSW.
Looking forward, the Students For Safe Water generationOn Club members will be returning to Nicaragua the first week in August. They will install the electric pump water system that they funded, construct a hand-washing station at a village school, and teach a soccer clinic for local kids. The Club has coordinated with Futbol4Dreams to collect 30 decorated soccer balls, equipment and uniforms that Club members will bring with them to give to the kids. Considering that in the past, they played soccer with rocks in one of the villages they visited, this will be an incredible surprise!
Erie County generationOn Clubs
"Teaching students to give has been more rewarding than I ever imagined." - Linda Kerst, Club facilitator
Linda Kerst is the new facilitator for the generationOn Clubs program at the Volunteer Center of Erie County, OH. This month, we recognize two of her 30 active clubs in the Erie County area as our amazing June Clubs of the Month!
The Huron High School Tigers generationOn Club books Service Connections 'tours' with The Volunteer Center of Erie County. These tours bring students to volunteer with six collaborating agencies; each 'tour' involves 13-34 students. The idea is that once the students try a 'tour of service' at one of the agencies, they will go back and independently volunteer at an agency of their choice. One of the favorite organizations to volunteer for was Nehemiah Partners, an afterschool program that offers many different volunteer opportunities to Tiger teens, including tutoring, cooking for kids, and helping in the art class, computer station, library, basketball and Cinderella's closet (free prom dresses for girls). To date five HHS students have signed on to be volunteers at Nehemiah Partners.
"I never knew this place existed! This is so great!" said a Huron High School Tiger.
The Perkins Pirate generationOn Club boasts lots of eager volunteers. In December, twenty-five students threw a Craft and Cookie Decorating Christmas Party for parents and children at the Crossroads Homeless Shelter and brought stuffed socks and books as gifts.
In January, the Pirates became involved in the Martin Luther King Jr. Peacemakers Mural Project. The subject matter arose out of their Spanish lesson on immigration. The lesson was taught about equality, peace, and rights in the US. The subject of each 11 x 14 canvas remained a mystery to each student until it was later assembled to create the huge mural called " Fences...Over and Under" based on a poem written by a student. The unveiling was attended by school personnel and students and the poem and discussion was presented in Spanish by students. The total mural, once put together and revealed, amazed the students and everyone there. Each of the students "signed" the mural with their fingerprint as a "seal" or promise that they would continue to learn more about and work toward equality in our nation.
"The kids were very pleased with the result of their efforts and so were the teachers. Thanks so much for your AWESOME effort!" said a school administrator.
Any Body Can (ABC) generationOn Club
The Any Body Can Youth Foundation (ABC), which is now a new generationOn Service Club, was founded over 50 years ago in San Diego, CA by legendary heavyweight boxer, Archie Moore. Archie's mission for ABC was, "to empower San Diego's inner city youth to face life's challenges with courage and dignity." All these decades later Billy Moore, Archie's son, carries the mantel forward helping more than 200 children every year.ABC provides a complete afterschool program in a safe, inviting environment for children in underserved areas. Their unique concept involves a boxing gym built within the confines of a learning center/ library. Programs include a "Bridging the Gap" school break enrichment program, afterschool tutoring from credentialed teachers and volunteers, adult mentoring, nutrition classes, boxing instruction and physical education from world class coaches. Southeast San Diego is plagued by a gang epidemic. In 2010, more than half of all the homicides in San Diego County were committed in Southeast San Diego. In fact, of the 88 gangs in San Diego County, over 50 are operating in Southeast San Diego. Children and young adults are caught in the crossfire of gang activity every day in these neighborhoods.
For decades, ABC has been a safe haven for children to escape the dangers of gang violence and the lure of drugs and drug dealing. ABC kids are taught self-dignity and self-respect and gain a self-confidence that they otherwise may not possess. This is not merely a boxing gym but a home away from home. ABC kids join academic clubs instead of gangs, they spar in the ring instead of fighting in the streets, they get high school diplomas instead of getting pregnant and they go to college or start careers instead of going to jail. "I thank you for giving me a place to blow off some steam because there are a lot of things going on in my life. I am really glad that there are people on this earth that have such big hearts." -Donovan, ABC Participant Volunteering and service is an important part of the ABC Foundation program. Members are inspired by their own coaches and mentor to give back. The Club members give back to their community through community clean-up days, drug and alcohol advocacy through youth presentations at city and town council meetings, tutoring and homework help in the learning center, assistant boxing coaching in the ABC gym, self defense and on site mentoring and local schools, volunteer youth leadership positions during our school break program.
"The participants of ABC's youth programs and projects are sincerely dedicated in creating positive experiences during their time at the facility and out in the community. With the help from outside donors, sponsors, and partners, our participants have a variety of opportunities that keeps them engaged and excited to come back to ABC each day." - Andrea Maresca, Director of Operations and Club Leader
The members loved the "Families in the Kitchen" Program where they were able to participate with their families and cook healthy meals on site at ABC. Another favorite project are the recurring community clean-up days where participants spend time cleaning up the streets, alleyways and green spaces of their community. They also take part in an "Adopt-a-Family" Program during the holiday time where families sponsor meals and gifts for those in need. Most importantly, the youth love their time every day after school when they spend time at ABC, interacting with their fellow peers, interacting with the volunteer tutors, coaches and ABC Staff and "family". In 2013, the Club won a "What Will You Bring to the Table?" mini-grant from generationOn and did a project in early April where the youth members made Recipe Books that highlighted healthy and affordable recipes that could be made at home and then distributed them to members of ABC and the community. Future plans for ABC include community-based projects such as more clean-up days and volunteer opportunities, including the internal tutoring and boxing programs. They are also looking forward to a greater variety of enrichment classes and more service opportunities for ABC youth in the near future.
Castle North Middle School generationOn Club
The Castle North Middle School generationOn Club in Newburgh, IN is up and running! In the past, service projects were led by several teachers at CNMS. Students used their time, talent, and resources to help children in Warrick County and the Evansville, IN area. Some of the organizations helped in the past include the Warrick County Humane Society, the Evansville Girls and Boys Club, House of Hope, the Ark Crisis Center and the Chandler Elementary Clothing Bank.
In July 2012, a team of teachers from Castle North Middle School attended the generationOn Coaches Training in Indianapolis. Teachers Sara Killebrew, Kristen Riddle, Ginger Schaperjohn, Amy Walton and Darlene Short were inspired to sponsor the first generationOn Club at Castle North MS following this training. An invitation to be a Charter CNMS GenerationOn Club member was extended to the students at CNMS. Students met and shared ideas for ways to make a difference in the lives of others. The Club now meets as an afte school club and provides all students with the opportunity to make a difference in their community. It has been well received in the first months of existence. Approximately 30 students attended the 1st meeting in November. At that meeting, the students decided to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy with their first fundraiser, "Nickels for the Needy." GenerationOn Club members visited homerooms daily for two weeks and provided facts about the destruction in announcements. At the end of the campaign over $600 was collected and sent to the Helping Hands Foundation.
The next event planned was the Evansville Canstruction Contest which took place in November. The contest theme was "Games People Play" and the Club decided to participate. The task of designing a structure or structures built with cans that would later be donated to the Tri-State Food Bank began. The contest required the use of cans with the labels unaltered. The best way to ensure the collection of the correct cans was to raise the funds to buy the supplies and canned goods. The CNMS GenerationOn Club sponsored a"Dodge2Help" fundraising event during homeroom. Students paid $1 to play Dodgeball on their homeroom team. The 27 homerooms donated $836. The winning homeroom of the Dodgeball Tournament received a traveling trophy and donuts. All remaining funds were used to purchase the cans and supplies needed to build two four foot cubes. "Diced Veggies" was a die made of cans of vegetables. "Cans3" represented the Mystery Cube in the Mario Brothers game.
Business partnerships were formed as the plans for the project came together. Discounted food products were purchased from Buehler's IGA in Evansville IN and Rulers in Newburgh, IN. SABIC plastics provided sheets of lexan to use for the supporting structure. 20 students spent the week prior to the event practicing the construction of their structures each consisting of over 1000 cans. These students worked as a team and problem solved to make the idea a reality. The two groups went to the contest with the intention of winning. Both earned Honorable Mention. Beyond that, they learned the power of one. One can at a time; the structures were built over a 2 1/2 hour period on Saturday, March 9, 2013. One can makes all the difference in tackling hunger in our area. Parents spent the morning watching the structures come together. More than one parent was impressed with the students' efforts and commented on the benefits of a club designed to help children help others. The cans used to build the structures were larger than the cans used in the original plans drawn on AutoCad. The extra cans were used to build the CNMS table for the "What Will You Bring to the Table?" campaign which began in March.
The organizers kept reminding the students that we help stamp out hunger "one can at a time". The morning before the event, Mrs. Short saw on VanCamp's Pork-n-Beans can in her pantry at home and decided to throw it in her car... just in case one can was needed. Sure enough, at the end of the build, one team realized they were missing one red can (VanCamp's Pork-n-Beans). One trip to the car and the problem was solved. That "one can at a time" slogan had new meaning for team CNMS generationOn.
Evansville Canstruction at Casino Aztar was the most involved CNMS generationOn project this year. Once all of the materials had arrived, the task of building the structures was in the students' hands. Several students agreed that the most memorable moment in the beginning was when one student knocked one can over and the whole structure collapsed. Many cans were dented and the end to the project looked bleak, but with team work and perseverance the students experienced success the day of the contest.
- "It was worth it in the end because we got to help other people. Building the construction at Aztar and looking at other creations was fun." -Brison, team member
- "I would do Canstruction again because it was a fun reason to stay after school with friends." -Madison, team member
- "Canstruction was really fun it was a great way to help the community and raise food for the community. It was nice to know we donated over 2000 cans to the community. It was an educational way to help others and have fun with friends." -Elizabeth, team member
The Club was recently approached to help with a campaign to earn funds for snacks for children who go to the Evansville Boys and Girls Club afterschool. The idea of sponsoring a fundraiser in August, 2013 in the form of a Cornhole Tourney has been presented to the sponsors and will be shared with the students at the next meeting.
The direction this club will go is up to the students involved. The fact that the CNMS generationOn Club will go is evidenced by the success of this first year.
The Leadership Project generationOn Club
The Leadership Project generationOn Club of Perkin, IN is composed of 20 Eastern High School students each year from various social groups that show leadership promise. Students create and give presentations to area schools on bullying, labeling, conflict management, etc. They also develop leadership skills through small group projects that focus on bettering the school and community. Students participate in volunteering activities and in raising money/items for causes they believe in. Students also promote community service throughout the school. TLP students have learned and continue to learn they CAN make a difference in the world, and the group teaches them how to make it happen.
The Leadership Project was started in 2010 by school counselor, Kate Jones. She says, "I wanted to make a bigger impact with our students. I felt that I could do that by teaching them leadership skills and how to think outside of themselves. Volunteering was a good way to teach leadership, compassion, how to get along with others, etc. and ultimately to change our school climate."
The group develops, writes and performs an original play in the first part of the year. The productions address issues such as bullying, labeling, social issues, etc. The group then performs the presentation at area schools. One of their favorites was called "The Labelmaker". It reminded the audience that we all hide our struggles and even the "perfect" person has something that they are dealing with, including problems with parents, drugs, pregnancy, diet issues, etc.
The second part of the project is when the kids create an activity for something they are passionate about. This year they did the Triple Crown Challenge. The entire student body was given the opportunity to volunteer at five different locations. They completed The Triple Crown Challenge by participating in three events - volunteering for three hours, on three days, for three causes. Kids who were afraid of volunteering because they felt uncomfortable in a strange environment were able to try it in a safe one. More and more kids wanted to get involved.
When asked what being part of TLP meant to them, Club members said the following:
- "It meant being a part of something good."
- "It meant a lot to me to be a part of something big like this. I loved volunteering and working with others."
- "I learned not to be so self-conscious, and I learned more about my community and volunteer opportunities in it."
- "I loved volunteering in a big group instead of by myself."
Future plans for The Leadership Project includes another play, already in the works by a student playwright. Kate Jones, the founder of the The Leadership Project, also hopes to establish a school-wide volunteer day.
You can visit the The Leadership Project generationOn Service Club's website here.
Pitman High School generationOn Club
The February 2013 Club of the Month is the Pitman High School generationOn Club of Modesto, CA, whose members are determined to make an impact in their community and globally. Senior Missy McClellan wanted to unite students in their effort to make an impact, so she partnered with another senior, Jordan Garcia, to get the club up and running. They were both optimistic, but they never expected so many students to show an interest in the club's mission to make a difference.
Together with the school volleyball team, they established a "Think Pink" volleyball game in which the players and spectators were encouraged to wear pink. At the game, members sold pink lemonade for $1 a cup. The members wrote facts about breast cancer on each of the cups so they could educate the community about the disease. They sold 108 cups of lemonade, raised $185.09 and donated all the money to their local hospital so that women could use it to pay for mammograms.
In November, they celebrated Christmas early by partaking in Operation Christmas Child. As a Club, they filled up 24 shoe-boxes with items ranging from toothbrushes to stuffed toys and candy. These boxes were were sent out to boys and girls (ages 2-14) from impoverished countries. The boxes were sent to Mongolia, the Phillipines, Nepal and Panama. They wanted to let the children know that they matter and to show appreciation for what they have by giving to those who have less.
In December the group focused on homelessness and poverty. They teamed up with the local Turlock Gospel Mission to educate their school about homelessness in general as well as specific needs within their own community. A speaker from Turlock spoke to the students, moving some to tears. Their eyes were opened and their hearts touched by what they learned.
The Club plans to continue doing monthly projects. They have set up a poll on Facebook asking members to input their ideas for future events. This generationOn Service Club wants to make a difference for generations to come!
Read more about the Pitman High School generationOn Club on their new website: www.phsgenerationon.weebly.com.
Accelerate Academy generationOn Club
Accelerate Academy of Fort Lee, NJ was created by three high school students with a knack for standardized testing. They wanted to leverage their strengths by offering free SAT preparation to students in underprivileged communities. After doing some research on the College Board website, they discovered that there is a 400 point gap in SAT scores between the lowest and highest income brackets. With this motivation, they got started by creating a website and reached out to locations where they could host their classes.
The three SAT-prep "teachers" were only juniors in high school when they started this amazing program, so it was a very strange experience for them to suddenly be on the other side of the classroom! They had to grade tests, make lesson plans, and assign homework. The biggest surprise and realization was experiencing firsthand how much effort and preparation goes into being a teacher. They also learned how to manage a classroom full of peers. As a result, this experience also greatly impacted their lives as students.
"The responses we've received have been very positive... Several of our students have met our goal of a 30% score increase. Others have progressed at a more gradual rate. In any case, exposure to topics specific to the SAT exam has caused all of our students to develop a familiarity with the test that helps them to improve their scores." -Accelerate Academy teacher, Kenny Song
The three founders of Accelerate Academy have taught two separate sessions so far and, given the positive results, they hope to continue by expanding to new locations and recruiting more teachers for their program in the future. This is an amazing service to students whose parents cannot afford expensive SAT preparation classes and tutoring for their high school-age sons and daughters. The Club's goal is to break the barrier that often prevents students without monetary advantages from doing well in these important college entrance exams.
Cadette Troop 01972 generationOn Club
The Cadette Troop 01972 generationOn Club is a group of 9 teens from Rutherfordton, NC who have been working together as a Girl Scout troop for over 6 years. The "veteran" troop members have made a mark on their community through service projects, leadership skills and fun experiences all while making the community a better place.
The Girl Scout Cadette Troop 01972 generationOn Club has begun a new and very important project that they call No Cold Babies. They became aware of special needs at the local hospital, Rutherford Regional Medical Center. With a visit to the Birthing Center, they learned that many babies are born into situations of poverty where even their basic necessities of life were not being met. The troop negotiated an empty room at the Birthing Center to open a "baby closet" for babies who would normally be sent home without blankets or even outfits to wear when they left the Medical Center. They learned that sometimes even a "baby loss" (a baby who dies) needs an outfit to wear at burial.
No Cold Babies will work with the maintenance staff at the Medical Center to clean out the provided room, build shelving, and paint the room. When the closet is ready to be stocked, they will have baby clothes drives and baby showers to stock the shelves! They are also working with local quilting and knitting clubs to secure blankets for the baby closet. Once the closet is up and running, the staff of the Birthing Center will manage the distribution of the stock to needy babies. Ongoing baby showers will help keep the closet stocked so that no baby goes home cold or without clothing.
LJH Service Club
Congratulations to the LJH Service Club from Plymouth, Indiana for being chosen as the Club of the Month!
They completed two important projects during the past holiday season. Club members planned and led a cheerful decorating event at a local senior center in December. The seniors really appreciated the club members company and after the event the center looked like a "holiday wonderland." Furthermore, for the second year in a row, the club was involved with Operation Christmas Child, an initiative where the community helps out families in need during the holiday season. The club decided to "adopt" a local family of six. They bought goodies, including clothing, hygiene products, toys, cosmetics, and food items for the family. This project caused the students to really reflect on poverty in their community.
One member commented, "It is amazing the things we take for granted every day. The simple things like having 3 meals a day, I shouldn't take for granted. I am glad that we can help this family out!"
We are impressed with this club's thoughtful projects and important efforts to service in their local community. We are so excited to see what they will accomplish this spring!