National and Global Youth Service Day is this weekend, April 21-23. Don’t be surprised if you see young people in your city doing trash pick-up, volunteering to help the elderly or going door to door collecting items for a food pantry. On Youth Service Day kids volunteer for a wide variety of service activities.

This event is sponsored by Youth Service America and is part of the Global Youth Service Day initiative.

Local agencies partner with YSA to organize events in their communities. Patrick Washington, founder of NVSF, a lead service agency in Fort Worth, Texas said that early estimates for the area were “60,000 youth pledged to provide community service or engage in service-learning activities that enhance their education and benefit their respective communities.”

While YSA seeks to get youth interested in service through a one weekend experience, City Year hopes to expand the desire for community service to a one year commitment. City Year participants engage in long term service such as tutoring and after school programs. They also work with schools and community leaders to organize one day events and service opportunities for others.

This year the City Year New York team is helping plan the 3rd Annual One Harlem Service Celebration. This event will unite more than 200 Harlem community members in a day of community service, celebration and family entertainment on May 6th. Jewan Garner, City Year Program Manager said, “It is our vision that this day will inspire volunteers to continually serve their community, create relationships within the Harlem community, and promote a stronger vision of “One Harlem.”

Whether it’s a large urban area or a rural township, volunteers are always in need to help the community. It’s inspiring to see young people take the lead in helping make a difference.

Posted on 21 April 2006

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