Saturday, June 11, 2016

June 9, 2016 | Volume 23, No. 23
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20 Ideas to Celebrate National Family Month by Volunteering with Your Family

National Family Month is celebrated from Mother's Day to Father's Day.National Family Month and the upcoming Father's Day weekend provide an opportunity for families to share special time together, to develop or renew relationships, and to remind everyone of the importance of family involvement in raising healthy, confident kids. Service is a great way to spend time together and turn volunteering into a lifetime habit. Looking for ways to serve with your family? Here are 20 ideas:
  • Make cards/care packages for kids in the hospital.
  • Make first aid kits and donate them to a homeless shelter.
  • Organize a day of play for neighborhood kids/families to promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Clean up a neighborhood park/playground.
  • Clean up a local river or stream.
  • Maintain local hiking and walking trails.
  • Do an energy audit of your home and make an effort to reduce energy consumption. 
Poverty & Hunger 
  • Grow extra fruits and vegetables to donate to a food pantry.
  • Give out food and water to homeless people. 
  • Serve meals at a soup kitchen.
  • Help restock the shelves of a food pantry.
  • Donate old books. 
  • Practice reading skills by reading to young children together.
  • Read a book with your child that will teach them skills they can use to better the community.
Human Rights 
  • Make posters educating people about the negative effects of bullying.
  • Write letters to local elected officials advocating for protection against bullying for LGBTQ youth.
  • Host a workshop for youth and their parents about cyber bullying and effective ways to use social media and the internet.
Community Building  
  • Visit a local senior center.
  • Mow the lawn for an elderly neighbor.
  • Donate unused sports equipment to an after school center.

United We Serve: Let's Read. Let's Move. calls on all Americans to participate in combating summer reading loss and childhood obesity through volunteering and service this summer. Use the Read & Act: Kids Making a Difference collection of inspiring children's books from FirstBook paired with free downloadable discussion guides from YSA to help youth ages 6-12, understand how they can use their unique talents, interests and passions to spark action in their own communities.
Make sure that your family and community are equipped to protect its littlest and most vulnerable citizens. Raise your voice, use your skills and together, we can help turn the tide and build a generation of prepared citizens. Lead Get Ready Get Safe Prep Rally activities and events to help build community awareness and educate children and families about simple things they can do to stay safe in emergencies. Get resources from Save the Children.
Each year on and around June 21, communities around the world come together to harness the volunteer spirit and improve the conditions in which they live. Day of Action is an opportunity for communities to come together and address the issues that matter most to them.

The 2016 elections provide opportunities for youth to raise awareness of and advocate for their solutions to community problems. Key events over the summer include the Republican National Convention (July 18-21) and Democratic National Convention (July 25-28). Get ideas of how youth can get involved and serve this election from ServiceVote, YSA's U.S. election-year resource to engage young people, ages 5-25, in the political process by connecting with their peers, voters, and candidates. 
Find more Summer of Service ideas at
Deadline: June 10   LAST CHANCE!
In partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service and Save the Children, a global leader in disaster preparation and relief, YSA will support organizations and schools to engage youth  in planning disaster preparedness awareness events (Prep Rallies) and community service projects (Prep Projects) on September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance in all 50 states.
  • $2,000 Training Host Grants are available for organizations and schools in California and the Northeast Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT).
  • $1,000 Project Organizer Grants are available for organizations and schools in the Mid-Atlantic (DC, MD, VA) and the South (OK, TX, AR, LA, MS).
  • $500 Project Grants are available for organizations and schools in all 50 states + DC.
Learn more and apply at   

Deadline: June 13
generationOn has teamed up with Hasbro to celebrate kids and teens between 5 and 18 years of age who are making an impact in their local or global communities. The Hasbro Community Action Hero Award recognizes outstanding young volunteers whose service achievements have demonstrated the qualities of a hero - kindness, courage and leadership. Winners receive a $1,000 educational scholarship, a $500 grant to continue or expand on their amazing work, and recognition at a special event this Fall.  

Deadline: September 30
Young changemakers who have ideas or projects that could make their neighborhoods healthier, greener, and stronger can receive $500 to gather their friends and bring their creative visions to life. Youth, ages 5-18, in the U.S. are eligible to apply for Disney Summer of Service grants by submitting service project ideas. Hundreds of youth-led service projects will be selected and $500 grants will be awarded to each winner's sponsoring organization to assist with the implementation of the project. Select grantees will have a chance to be recognized by Disney|ABC Television Group or their local ABC affiliate.  

ProgramEligibilityGrant AmountDeadline
UL Safer Roads, Safer India GrantsYouth and Educators in India$250 - $1,000June 10
Amigos por el Mundo GrantsYouth ages 5-18 in Latin America$1,000July 3
Amigos Transformando o Mundo GrantsYouth ages 5-18 in Latin America$1,000July 3
Disney Friends for Change GrantsYouth ages 5-18 in Hong Kong$500December 31

A'Dorian Murray-Thomas was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, where approximately 50% of students graduate high school, with even less going to college, and where homicide is the most prominent crime. After her father, a store owner, was a victim of a violent crime, A'Dorian became aware that other girls in her city had similar experiences, but lacked the resources and support system she was privileged to have. A'Dorian decided that this was a need that was vital to address, so she began community service projects for the youth, working almost exclusively with homicide survivors, at-risk foster care youth, and girls who had experienced trauma or had "absent fathers." Eventually, she created SHE Wins! Inc., an organization dedicated to engaging, empowering, and educating the next generation of women. Through SHE Wins! Inc. girls learn due to mentorship, community service, and self-empowerment programs. For example, SHE Wins! Inc. offers a six-week summer academy for girls in the Newark area who have lost a parent of sibling to homicide. 

Have some extra time on your hands this summer? Check out the video trainings for three of YSA's most popular resources: Kids in Action Guide(project planning for children ages 4-11), Youth Changing the World Toolkit(project planning for teens and young adults ages 12-25), and the Semester of Service Teacher Toolkit (project facilitation for educators and mentors). Each video course walks you step-by-step through how to use the corresponding resource. Visit and look for the "Suggested Training" box seen above to take these free trainings. 

July 7-12 in Chicago, IL
HOBY's Advanced Leadership Academy (ALA) is for high school juniors and seniors who are serious about leading social change. At the ALA, students engage in college-level curricula and learn to use their specific abilities to organize and lead a large-scale service or social entrepreneurship project. Participants return from the ALA with a fully-developed action plan for change, plus at least one college unit under their belt! Support and mentoring is also provided *after* the program to make sure students successfully execute their action plan! Registration deadline is Wednesday, June 15
Thursday, June 23 at 2:00pm Eastern
About three out of four teens have access to a mobile phone, according to  a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. Most go online daily and about a quarter of them use the Internet "almost constantly." The typical teen also sends and receives 30 text messages a day. In this webinar, we'll look at how organizers are using digital tools - text messaging, social media, email and the web - to reach young people and their adult allies, bring them into a campaign, and move them to action. You'll learn about some of the fundamental tactics - like using a petition to recruit new supporters, get earned media coverage and pressure decision makers - and hear how groups across the country are putting them into practice. A list of resources will be shared.
"Heroes" - Scala & Kolacny Brothers
"I, I wish I could swim
Like dolphins, like dolphins can swim Though nothing, will keep us together
We can beat them, forever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day." 

The complete Service Songs of the Week playlist from 2012-2016 is at