The volunteers at YC are some of the best around, but there’s a group of these young leaders who go above and beyond for our participants and mission. Since 2009, YC’s Volunteer Committee (VC), comprised of high school-aged veteran volunteers with proven dedication to YC, has worked to plan and run their own programs for Youth Challenge each season. Activities have included holiday parties, mixers, service projects, and theme days like Harry Pottery, Disney, Survivor, CSI Mystery, and MORE!
VC members take ownership of programs from start to finish, creating the plan, organizing equipment, and running the show for their participant and volunteer peers. In 2013, they added fundraising to their repertoire and have been holding special events like open mic nights, game nights, movie nights, dine & donate days at local restaurants, and their annual car wash to their planning efforts. This year’s car wash, held on July 24th, raised $1303.14 in total!
When COVID-19 affected YC programming in the spring of 2020, this group found other ways to engage with YC participants, including creating interactive social media content like Instagram bingo, hosting a virtual game night on Zoom, and sending Secret Santa and Valentine’s Day gifts to participants. Last fall, they hosted a Halloween-themed drive-in movie so people could be together but safely spaced out. And last spring, when participants were coming to YC for individual programs, VC members led an art project where participants and their partners decorated puzzle pieces that were then pieced together for an installation that can now be seen on the wall in YC’s Makerspace.
Over the summer, VC members led a Krazy Kamp and an evening of YELP that included decorating pieces for two Free Little Libraries—one that will be placed at our building in Westlake and the other that we’ll station out in the community (location TBD). VC members, along with other YC volunteers, collected books to stock the libraries, including stories, memoirs, and information specifically about disabilities. This creative group of young leaders will start planning another fundraiser for the first part of the fall and a program toward the end of 2021.
Since the group first began, over 90 young men and women have been a part of this incredible, dedicated, hard-working team! Their commitment to YC and willingness to give 110% has created some memorable experiences for participants and volunteers alike and we can’t wait to see what the 2021-2022 crew comes up with next!