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Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss, Outreach & Education Officer, ServeOhio

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Global Youth Service Day Grantees

On April 20-22, 2018, more than 1,300 volunteers will participate in service projects organized for Global Youth Service Day, which will be supported by ServeOhio project grants. Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world, and the only day of service dedicated to children and youth.  Now in its 30th year, Global Youth Service Day recognizes the positive impact that young people have on their communities 365 days a year. GYSD is celebrated in more than 100 countries with youth-led service projects.

Ten youth volunteer projects will take place in nine Ohio cities – Bellefontaine, Cleveland, Maumee, Nelsonville, Sandusky, Stewart, Sunbury, Warren, Wauseon, and Youngstown. The grants, made possible through ServeOhio’s Stewards of Service corporate partners Honda of America Mfg., and American Electric Power Foundation, range between $500 and $1,000 each. The recipients will organize the following service projects:

  • Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Bellefontaine – 31 students from the Bunsold Middle School Career Connections program will participate in “BMS Buckets for Troops,” a project that involves filling plastic lidded buckets with personal care items and snacks to send to deployed military personnel.
  • Cleveland Police Foundation, Cleveland – 375 youth will participate in the “Cleanin’ with Cops” project. Local youth and police officers will team up to pick up litter in 5 police districts in Cleveland in partnership with Collinwood & Nottingham Villages Development Corporation. In addition to improving the safety of these neighborhoods, the project will allow youth to interact with police officers in a safe and non-threatening environment, enabling them to connect and build trust.
  • Sunshine Communities, Maumee – 25 local girl scouts will construct a butterfly-shaped butterfly garden at Sunshine Communities, an organization that offers residential, vocational, and clinical support for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Integrated Services for Behavioral Health, Nelsonville – 25 students in The Hive afterschool program will beautify area parks by installing an outdoor bulletin board, planting a flower garden, and creating a neighborhood mural.
  • KidsCare Clubs – The Volunteer Center of Erie County, Sandusky – 50 youth will participate in the “Pitch-in and Clean-up the Parks” project at three public parks in the City of Sandusky. Youth will pick up and bag litter, beautifying the parks for thousands of community members.  
  • Federal Hocking Secondary School, Stewart – All 500 students in grades 7-12 at Federal Hocking Secondary School will spend the entire day in the community completing planned service projects. Projects include beautification, cleanup, food insecurity volunteering, visiting and engaging seniors, and providing care for animals.
  • Big Walnut Middle School Career-Based Intervention Program, Sunbury – 20 students in Big Walnut’s CBI program will build 5-6 picnic tables to be placed in an outdoor lunch area at the school. The additional seating will give students the opportunity to eat outside for lunch and will give teachers an opportunity to extend their learning environment outdoors.
  • Historic Perkins Homestead Neighborhood Association, Warren – 20 students from John F. Kennedy High School and a local Boy Scout Troop will remove dead tree limbs and brush that clutter an abandoned wagon trail behind Warren City Hall. Additionally, the volunteers will plant 1,000 vinca minor as ground cover to prevent erosion.
  • Sara’s Garden, Wauseon – 200 preschool to high school youth with special needs at New Horizons Academy will create and develop a class art project to symbolize their group and to represent their thoughts and feelings. These classroom canvasses, sculptures, and creations will be on display in the school’s stark, utilitarian lobbies.
  • The Youngstown Playhouse, Youngstown – 75 youth and community volunteers will participate in beautifying The Youngstown Playhouse, the longest running community theater in the country. Volunteers will remove the existing perimeter fence, remove overgrown brush in the parking area, clean out areas in the building impacted by water damage, and organize theater props and supplies.

“Involved youth do so much to make our communities stronger,” said William Hall, Executive Director of ServeOhio, Ohio’s Governor-appointed commission on service and volunteerism.  “Research demonstrates that youth volunteers become civically engaged adults. This is an investment in Ohio’s future.”


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