Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) was last weekend, April 20-22! Although I’ve worked on other projects this year, GYSD is the central part of my Public Ally term of service. I am, after all, Our Piece of the Pie’s “2012 Global Youth Service Day Coordinator” … or I was. With the big day (April 21st) behind me, I’m experiencing an odd combination of feeling relief and feeling like I lost something very important. On my first day at Our Piece of the Pie, I was handed a massive binder left by last year’s GYSD Coordinator.
Since that day in September, everything I’ve worked on has been directly or indirectly geared towards a successful Global Youth Service Day. For the last month, I don’t think there is a single waking hour that I haven’t worked on, thought about, or talked about Global Youth Service Day… and I’ve certainly dreamed about it enough too. A few people have joked that I have a talent for turning any conversation topic into a discussion on Global Youth Service Day. I swear I’m not that self-involved… it’s just been the only thing bouncing around in my head! Regardless, a big THANK YOU is in order for all the people who have put up with me for the past month! The planning details are the boring bits of this whole story, but they give a glimpse at what I’ve spent the past months on. Here are some of the tasks involved in the GYSD planning process:
- Find a venue for the main GYSD event, make arrangements with their staff, draft an MoU for the partnership, and understand the benefits and limitations of the facility
- meet with community partners in planning meetings and one-on-one
- creat and distribute flyers, permission forms, and other promotional materials
- recruit youth volunteers at various schools and after-school programs
- develop or support the development of over 30 service projects
- work with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Fire Department to complete necessary permits and understand all safety concerns
- write a Proclamation and work with the Mayor’s Office to have the Mayor and staff attend events and service projects
- write a press release
- seek in-kind donations (made easy by a HUGE food donation from the ShopRite of Manchester, CT)
- buy multiple van-loads of supplies from Home Depot, BJ’s (warehouse store), and elsewhere
- and lots more!
It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s over now and the day was a great success! I’ve received a lot of positive feedback and congratulations from others, but I always knew the toughest critic would be myself. I’m still totaling volunteer numbers, receiving photographs, reviewing surveys, and reading project reports; so I hope to only hear more good things! I’ll post a few more blogs on Global Youth Service Day events, projects, and outcomes over the next week!
Philip Drew – Hartford, CT