Area youngsters gather to embrace, celebrate community service

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:59

    ByLori Price Sparta - The Youth Council of Pass-It-Along conducted a serv-a-thon at the Sussex County Tech School on Thursday Sept 29. The serv-a-thon was hosted for students from various middle and high schools in the county interested in the Pass-It-Along projects, so they could have an opportunity to serve their community. “The entire day was basically about starting a relationship with the students who were not yet familiar with Pass-It-Along and our goals and hopes,” said Katie Quinn, Sparta high school senior and a member and speaker for the Pass -It-Along Youth Council. Quinn believes she gets more satisfaction helping with the various projects than the actual recipients and would love to see more of her peers benefit in the same way. “This is an experience I would recommend to anyone,” she said Some of the service projects the group participates in are making Thanksgiving placemats to be donated to local homeless shelters, homemade cards for sick children, notes of hope and inspiration made and mailed to overseas troops, making quilts for babies in need, and coat drives. During the serve-a-thon, students were encouraged to choose an activity from the various 18 on-site projects to participate in, while learning more about the work the council does. The schedule included various speakers from some non-profit organizations, Ty Sells, a motivational speaker, and a hands-on African drumming concert. Each school was given a “Project-to-Go” activity, which will benefit a local group in need. This youth conference was a busy one as the group sorted, boxed, and loaded the waiting trucks with items they have collected to benefit the victims of the recent hurricanes. The “Hope in a Box,” as it’s called, was a success thanks in part to the six local branches of the First Hope Bank, which assisted in the collection of the items for the youth council. The students shipped out 416 health kits and 222 Hope in a Box packages to local non-profit organizations and to hurricane relief organizations. “This day was an amazing way to start off a life-long relationship with Pass-it-Along because right then and there the students were given the opportunity to do different projects that were immediately going to help the survivors of the hurricanes and members of our community, while having fun,” said Quinn.