Some Observations About Social Change

I started my first community organizing campaign with a group of friends when I was 14. Involved in formal and informal youth engagement work throughout my teens and early 20s, I got my first job supporting youth involvement and youth activism when I was 24. I haven’t stopped since then. Starting The Freechild Project whenContinue reading “Some Observations About Social Change”

Nobody Owns Volunteering

Nonprofits searching for purpose after the ship went down… The ship’s going down and all the rats are swimming for their lives!  A long time ago, back in the 1990s, the federal government decided to build the nonprofit volunteerism sector in the United States. At first this brought menial efforts from fledgling organizations that actuallyContinue reading “Nobody Owns Volunteering”

Critical Thinking About Volunteerism

This last month I’ve been talking with Emma Margraf, the Director of Special Projects at the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties. Our conversation is a critical dialog on volunteerism in American society, and we plan to continue it. Following is the text of the first blog entry from this series, with theContinue reading “Critical Thinking About Volunteerism”

Volunteering for Tomorrow: Why Intergenerational Equity Matters

The following entry was written for “Where the Rubber Meets the Road,” the blog of the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason, and Thurston Counties. When I look at the place where I live, sometimes things seem worse off than ever. There are huge government deficits and growing unemployment; Social Security is running out and we’reContinue reading “Volunteering for Tomorrow: Why Intergenerational Equity Matters”

Supportive Environments for Youth

Creating a safe and supportive environment is essential for engaging students in a community service program, organization, or throughout a community. The environment includes everything around youth, including the culture, structures, and climate of the organizations they volunteer in and learn from. The vast majority of programs, organizations or communities that seek to engage youth as volunteers are adult-driven, which makes it vital forContinue reading “Supportive Environments for Youth”

Youth Volunteerism Links

Want to learn more about what children and youth are doing to make a different in the world around them? Check out the following websites!  Every program here is part of a broad international movement promoting youth volunteering, action, and empowerment.   Child Friendly Cities (CFC) – A UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre initiative that focuses on youth involvement throughoutContinue reading “Youth Volunteerism Links”

New Roles for Youth Volunteers

It’s not just about showing up for the project! With the development of new technology, new learning experiences, and different avenues for participation throughout our communities, young people have assumed, been assigned, and have co-created new roles for youth volunteers. Youth volunteers today have so many others ways they can contribute to our communities. CheckContinue reading “New Roles for Youth Volunteers”