Guest Blog By Portia Obeng, Youth Service America (YSA)
Youth Service America (YSA) wants you to Get Ur Good On during the season of giving! This is a great time to volunteer with friends and family and bring good cheer to other people. Host a holiday party for homeless youth, tweet messages to raise awareness about an important issue, or organize a food drive. Check out more ways to Get Ur Good On for the Holidays and let us know what you do on GetUrGoodOn.org:
- Host a holiday party for homeless young people at a local shelter. Ask organizations in your community to donate toys, food, and decorations for the party. Remember to involve homeless young people in the planning.
- Buy or ask for gifts that give back! TOMS shoes gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased, proceeds from (RED) products benefit the Global AIDS Fund, and Soapbox donates a bar of soap to a child in need for every bar of soap purchased. Search online for more gift ideas.
- Write a letter to Santa (you are never too old!) and drop it off in Santa’s Letterbox at a Macy’s store. Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation up to $1,000, 000 dollars for every letter received. Miley Cyrus, Ashley Tisdale, Sophia Bush, and The Jonas Brothers all support Make-A-Wish too.
- Gather a group of friends and make holiday cards. Distribute cards to nursing homes, hospitals, or mail to troops overseas.
- “Donate a status” and post positive pictures on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. Seventeen.com has great pictures supporting Justin Bieber’s campaign with Pencils of Promise, We Stop Hate, Music Is Medicine, and much more.
- Host a Tackle Hunger food drive. Register the food drive on DoSomething.org to enter to win a $100 Scholarship. Or plan a service project to address childhood hunger and apply for a Sodexo Youth Grant by January 17th to fund the project.
- The holiday season can be a difficult time for young people battling depression. Let friends know that you are there for them and they are not alone. Find ways to help friends during times like this on TWLOHA.com.
- Cook and/or serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Make and bring table decorations, such as place mats or floral centerpieces, to create a warm, cheerful environment for the guests. Search for local shelter on United Way or Idealist. After volunteering, continue to advocate for the homeless in your community.
- Have a closet raid! Clean out your closet and donate clothes and shoes you don’t wear anymore to a homeless shelter or family crisis center like 1736 Family Crisis Center. During cold months, shelters really need sweaters, coats, hats, and other winter weather gear. Find a shelter.
- Organize a coat drive at school or a community center and donate collected items to One Warm Coat. The website provides directions on how to host a drive and where to send donations.
Get Ur Good On Get Ur Good On™ (www.GETURGOODON.org), is an online network of youth supporting each other in their mission to do "good" in their communities. Involving celebrities, multimedia platforms, and opportunities for grants and awards, Get Ur Good On provides youth a platform to learn about, create, and implement innovative solutions to global issues. Get Ur Good On™ provides a space for youth to decide what needs fixing in the world and showcases their progress through blogs , photos, and online video creation. Linking Miley Cyrus' star power with youth voice, teens have an opportunity to see how one person can make a difference.
Youth Service America (YSA) improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. Founded in 1986, YSA supports a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement. The impact of YSA’s work through service and service-learning is measured in student achievement, workplace readiness, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.YSA.org