The Town of Smithtown Youth Bureau will join more than 135 countries across the globe in celebration of Global Youth Service Day, adapting for social distancing amidst the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. In the past, the Youth Bureau has coordinated one large event, where students and families join together for a fun community service based project. This year, the Town of Smithtown Youth Bureau is encouraging all community members to participate in Global Youth Service Day throughout the months of April and May.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to teach our younger generations about giving back to the community in trying times. We’ve been witness to acts of bravery by our medical professionals and nursing home caregivers. We’ve watched small business owners, who are struggling to keep the lights on, give away all they have to feed the community. We’ve observed essential workers, from grocery and convenience store employees to truckers and postal service members, wake up every day and put themselves in harm’s way so we can enjoy some form of normalcy. There are so many people to thank… So many who could use a little expression of gratitude… The Youth Bureau has always done extraordinary community service work. I have no doubt that this year will be a memorable experience that brings hope and good will to our community.” - Supervisor Ed Wehrheim
Example Ideas for Global Youth Service Initiatives:
- Thank Our Health Heroes Photo Campaign - Create a special Thank You Message to local health workers. This can be a poster, banner, or any other type of artwork. Take a photo, and email it to the Youth Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Help Struggling Families - Long Island Cares, Island Harvest, and the Smithtown Food Pantry are all accepting monetary donations to help prevent community members from going hungry during this time.
- Kindness Rock Campaign - Promote random acts of kindness by decorating small rocks with messages of hope, or thank essential workers. Place them under one of the banners located at Smithtown Town Hall, and join the growing collection of Kindness Rocks helping to spread positivity.
- Foster a Shelter Pet - Households (with no small children or other pets in the home) can apply to temporarily foster an animal from the Smithtown Animal Shelter.
This year, clients receiving treatment through the Town of Smithtown Horizons Counseling and Education Center will be participating in the Service Initiatives through discussion and artwork that expresses their thanks to local heroes during this pandemic.
Established in 1988, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) celebrates and mobilizes the millions of young people who improve their communities through service. Global Youth Service Day is the largest service event in the world and the only one dedicated to the contributions that younger generations make year round. Global Youth Service Day is celebrated in more than 135 countries, highlighting young people working together in schools, youth organizations, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations, national service programs, government agencies and mentorships, addressing the world’s most critical issues to help change their communities.
Residents are encouraged to email Stacey Sanders at email@example.com for more information on any local initiatives, or to share any other helpful initiatives for the Youth Bureau to promote.