On Friday April 20 and Saturday April 21st, Volunteer Kalamazoo hosted nearly 200 volunteers in a Community Wide Day of Service. This Day of Service coincided with a National Day of Service called Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). GYSD is the largest service event in the world, and although it’s focused on engaging youth in service, the service projects were open to volunteers of all ages.
On Friday, Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated (DKI) hosted it’s annual downtown clean-up event. Although this event happens yearly, DKI was excited to partner with Volunteer Kalamazoo and create a valuable collaboration.
On Saturday, we hosted over 15 projects, with community volunteers serving in the morning, and students from Great Lakes Peace Jam serving in the afternoon. Pictures from all the projects can be found on our Volunteer Kalamazoo Facebook Page. Partners that hosted projects included Vine Neighborhood Association, Habitat for Humanity, Friendship Village (senior housing complex), Kalamazoo Collective Housing (affordable housing coop), Free Store of Kalamazoo, Trybal Revival Garden, the Edible Edison Community Garden, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Beadventure, Ministry with Community, and the Peace House.
Highlights of Global Youth Service Day included the installation of solar light poles in a impoverished area of the Vine Neighborhood. This effort was the first project of a new innovative collaboration amongst a number of housing organizations and area nonprofits, with a goal to focus resources on a specific geographic area, in this case Kalamazoo’s Vine Neighborhood.
Another highlight included a visit by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu’ to Tabitha Community Garden. Rigoberta was in town to work with Peace Jam students at their annual conference and she wanted to personally visit a project site.
Volunteer Kalamazoo events for Global Youth Service Day are part of on-going efforts to improve neighborhood safety through service. The next Day of Service Project will be 9/11 National Day of Service & Remembrance. Be sure to check our website often for new details on future service projects.
Thanks to all the volunteers and nonprofits who participated in Global Youth Service Day and made it such a hugely successful event!