A Volunteer Program for Youth

By its very nature, the Livonia PTSA Council has been a powerful voice in reaching out to the community for others, especially our youth.  Youth Making A Difference is an attempt to involve K-12 students in volunteerism – reaching out to the elderly, the disadvantaged, anyone who could use assistance.  Volunteerism is reaching out to better the community and its environment.  Its benefits include:

  • Developing a sense of responsibility.
  • Gaining practice in making decisions that has observable consequences.
  • Working cooperatively within a group or with adults.
  • Being active participants.
  • Learning to set goals and see them through.
  • Meeting and getting to know people of different backgrounds.
  • Discovering and developing new interests and abilities.
  • Opportunities to learn and value cooperation, caring, empathy, generosity and concern for others.

Students are encouraged to work in groups or individually.  They may select any project they wish with the guidance of an adult.  This may be a project initiated by himself or herself, a girl/boy scout troop, a church group, or a teacher in school.

The nature, length and difficulty of the project will, of course, depend on the age of the student and the level of commitment desired.  Adults should not value-judge any project as unworthy, but encourage projects that are in the true spirit of volunteerism.

Students may select a project that goes for only one day or they may choose to have their activity be ongoing for the entire year.  For example; one student may volunteer to help with the Special Olympics, a one-day event; another student may help an elderly neighbor for an entire year running errands, doing yard work or just visiting.

The most important aspect of the program is that we recognize the value of students reaching out to others and to the community.  We encourage students to document their project as it develops.  Pictures, scrapbooks, journals, notes, drawings, posters, etc. are some ways to show what they have done.  We hope that these documents will then be instruments of encouragement to others.

We want ideas to flow from one to another.  Adults are excellent sources of ideas for students.  We want this “giving” to be contagious.  It’s OK to duplicate projects.  If one group of students is collecting winter coats for the needy, another group of individuals may be motivated by their actions to do the same.

Please review the list of ideas on the next page or come up with some of your own and decide what YOU can do to make a difference this year.

Student Responsibilities

  • Choose a volunteer activity that you would like to do for this program.
  • Fill out your Youth Making A Difference Commitment Form, signed by yourself and your parent/guardian.  Turn this in to the school by February 28th.
  • Keep a record of your volunteer activity.  It may be pictures, a journal, drawings, a poster, etc.
  • Turn in the recording of your project to your school if you would like it displayed at the Celebration.  The Youth Making A Difference chair will announce the deadline.

The Celebration will be held at Franklin High School on Tuesday April 15, 2014 at 6:30.  Attendance is encouraged but voluntary.  We also encourage all participants to display their projects at the Celebration.  The chairperson will organize the display.

Some Suggested Activities

  • Shovel snow for a needy neighbor.
  • Decorate a nursing home for the holidays.
  • Recycle bottle/can collections.
  • Do odd jobs for someone other than in your household.
  • Read to senior citizens.
  • Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  • Be a parent helper.
  • Clean school or church grounds.
  • Help a teacher.
  • Collect food or clothing for a local shelter.
  • Sing holiday songs to hospital patients, senior citizens or people living in shelters.
  • Establish and fill animal feeding stations this winter.

2016-17 Commitment Form