Have you seen groups of teens in LIVE UNITED t-shirts out and about in the community this month? Perhaps you’ve seen them collecting toiletries at grocery stores, fundraising for agencies, or volunteering at events? Don’t be alarmed. It’s just United Way of Snohomish County’s Teen Leadership Council celebrating National Volunteer Month! And they’re just getting started.
Since the beginning of the school year, the Teen Leadership Council (TLC) has met monthly to plan and organize service events, and hone their leadership skills. This memorable year is culminating with a month-long series of volunteer events, corresponding with April’s National Volunteer Month. Each event has been planned and organized by teen volunteers, and projects all benefit local Snohomish County agencies.
So far this month, the group has volunteered at an event for Housing Hope and held a fundraiser for Cocoon House. At one especially successful event, teen volunteers collected toiletries for the YWCA outside of the Edmonds QFC.
“Their goal was to collect 300 toiletry items,” says Amy Franklin, United Way of Snohomish County’s Manager of Youth Engagement. “They ended up with nearly 1200 items at the end of the day!”
The teens have more service projects planned during National Volunteer Month, with upcoming events planned to support Domestic Violence Services, Snohomish Conservation District, and local elementary schools.
“Volunteering is important because it gives you an insight into what your community is really like, and it builds an appreciation for the things you have,” says Erica Hadley, a senior at Lake Stevens High School and member of the TLC. “There are some really amazing people in our community who need help, and we can learn a lot from them.”
So if you see this group of young adults out and about this month, give them a smile. They’re bettering our county, one rain garden, fundraiser, and toiletry drive at a time.