Global Youth Service Day

Kelly Curtis - Professional speaker, writer and counselor*** Monthly Feature Column ***

Positively Speaking
Building Assets in your Kids

by Kelly Curtis, M.S., author of Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things.

I’ve written about youth service in past columns, most recently in September when I shared ideas for raising charitable kids. Service to others is the topic of one of the chapters in my book, and I’m reminded often of the profound impact the act of service can have on both those who are serving, and those who are served.

Search Institute has identified Service to Others as one of the 40 Developmental Assets. Research shows these are characteristics of healthy, caring, resilient kids. The more assets youth have, the more likely they’ll resist risky behaviors in the future.

The end of this month is a worldwide celebration of youth service. On the weekend of April 24-26, youth from across the globe will contribute to their communities in wonderful ways. You can track it all on the Global Youth Service Day website. Here is just some of the awesome work youth organizations are sharing about their projects:

Servapalooza — San Diego, California
Servapalooza will feature family friendly hands-on “Service Stations” where youth will engage in meaningful service projects.

Youth Sponsored Fashion Show/ Luncheon — St. Peters, Missouri
This youth sponsored fashion show and luncheon will benefit United Way of Greater St. Louis. United Way works to raise money for almost 200 organizations in the St. Louis area, and a portion of each ticket price will be donated to United Way.

Fooddrive and Fundraiser for the City of CHesapeake Food Closet — Chesapeake, Virginia
This food drive will collect non-perishable items and canned goods. The organizer’s goal is to collect 15,000 lbs.

Global Youth Service Day — Budapest, Hungary
This event will take place all over in Hungary on the 25th of April. Twelve thousand people are expected to serve all over in Hungary and celebrate together volunteerism.

Malaria Prevention Campaign Exhibition — Jakarta Timur, Indonesia
This exhibition will educate the public about malaria and dengue prevention. The event will also display youth innovation on an environmental health theme.

Whether you’re cleaning up the county park, serving meals at the homeless shelter, or sharing ways to start a neighborhood book club, there are endless ways to help your kids find their own talents and use them to help others.

The interactive map is here — is there a project in your area? How can you serve in the community? How could you include your kids?

Thanks for joining in to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.

Kelly Curtis is a Wisconsin school counselor and author of Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things. To read more about Kelly, please visit her Weblog, Pass the Torch or follow her on Twitter.


  1. says

    What a wonderful topic to write about and encourage others in, Kelly. I haven’t heard about Youth Service Day before, but we make serving others a regular part of our children’s lives.

    Their latest service project is to help serve a dinner at a homeless shelter once a month, with their church youth group. While they’re working there, they also have the opportunity to talk to their people who live there, and hear their stories.

    I was amazed when my 12 year old daughter came home from an evening there and told me that experience had changed her life. When our kids serve others, it forever changes how they see the world.

  2. says

    Thanks for the shout for Global Youth Service Day. Studies show that kids who volunteer with their families are more likely to volunteer into adulthood – and that builds strong communities.

    For those that don’t have formal Service Day activities nearby and would like to get involved – Volunteer Spot has a free ebook filled with family-friendly volunteering ideas. Call a family (or neighborhood, youth group, Scout Troop) meeting and do some (extra) good this month!

    Check it out at

  3. says

    Thanks for this amazing blog post about Global Youth Service Day! It’s an annual event (it began in the 80s as “A Day in the Life of National Service” and has evolved over time – this is the 21st anniversary of the first event, and it’s been global since 2000!).

    It’s organized by Youth Service America ( in partnership with over 160 national and global partners. You can request free classroom/promotional posters at (or just download them).

    You can also find us on twitter (@gysd for news, @gysdEvents for updates on what’s going on around the world) and on Facebook and MySpace – visit to get connected to all of our various social media sites.

    You might also watch Good Morning America this week for some exciting updates!


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