The Neighborhood Center

Agency:  The Neighborhood Center

Volunteer Projects:  Youth mentoring and tutoring, Bottle and Can drive(s), Community Clean-up, Making lunch bags for Hope House, Community Garden, Holiday cards, Preparing food baskets for Operation Sunshine

Summary:  The children/youth volunteers from The Neighborhood Center have become very connected to the community through their community service projects. The youth develop all of the community projects.

Throughout the year youth volunteers tutor younger school age children with their homework. They also interact and play with the daycare children; playing games, reading to them, making crafts and participating in other youth led activities. The teen youth volunteers and the younger school age children look forward to their time together.

Youth volunteers collect bottles and cans throughout the year to buy items for non-profit agencies’ programs that they choose. The youth vote on the programs that they feel need assistance. The collection of bottles and cans is all through the year. At the end of the year they return the bottles and cans, receive the money and go on a shopping trip to purchase items off the chosen agencies wish list(s). This year Evelyn’s House, Veteran’s Food Bank and New Horizons were the beneficiaries of their hard work.

Once a month youth volunteers take part in a community clean-up. They clean portions of Mary Street and Elizabeth Street. They put on gloves and fill garbage bags with garbage and debris from the streets, sidewalks and yards. This is a hard work initiative and the youth enjoy seeing the results of their hard work.

During the months of January, March, June and July, youth volunteers make lunch bags for Hope House. Youth volunteers from the Neighborhood Center have a long history with Hope House and this initiative is an eye opener for them. Hope House and the recipients are always grateful and appreciative of the work the youth volunteers provide.

From May through September, youth volunteers till, weed, plant and care for vegetables at the community garden at the Mt. Carmel Senior Center. The seniors love the fresh vegetables and the interaction with the youth brightens their days. This project teaches the youth about the importance of helping others and educates them about patience, the process of growing a garden and the time it takes to making something successful.

In December youth volunteers created holiday cards and sent them overseas to our troops. They believed that their creative cards with holiday wishes brought a smile to the soldier’s faces, which were away from their loved ones and protecting our freedom.

Youth volunteers prepared food baskets for Operation Sunshine during December. They love this project, because they especially like to help others during the holiday season. Most of the youth volunteers have done this project for several years and know the difference that Operation Sunshine makes in the lives of many families.

The recipients that benefit from these community service projects are extremely grateful and the life lessons learned through the many volunteer projects have proved to be invaluable to the growth of our youth and the betterment of our community.

Youth Volunteers:  214                                                                Volunteer Hours:  346