Can you believe it's already almost August?! We here at YAH certainly can't! The summer has flown by for our youth volunteers (but you know what they say.... time flies when you're having fun!).
Relay for Life
Our youth volunteers ended the month of June by volunteering their time at Hudson's Relay for Life event on Friday June 26th at Lakefront Park. Our students organized and facilitated activities for children at the event and helped raise $70 for the American Cancer Society! Activities included: Bean bag toss, a scavenger hunt, bingo, potato sack races, duck pond, sucker tree, a coloring table, "eye on the smiles" nerf-gun game, ring toss and board games.
2nd Annual Community Wide Book Drive
We started July with preparations for the 2nd Annual Hudson Community Wide Book Drive. Last summer senior Deena Whitwam organized and facilitated the first ever community wide book drive that collected more than 1,800 books! This year, students set a goal of collecting 2000 books. With the help of Chapter2Books and the Hudson YMCA, as well as the support of the Hudson community, YAH volunteers collected an incredible 2,617 books. Helpers of all ages sorted and organized the books, which will be distributed through Hand in Hand for Literacy, a non-profit that builds and furnishes libraries in Ghana. Books will also be donated to Grace Place and other local non-profits that support youth and literacy.
Hudson Community Foundation Project SPARK
YAH volunteers Sammy Johnson and Phoebe Holter were hard at work during June and July preparing a proposal for the Hudson Community Foundation's Project S.P.A.R.K. The Hudson Community Foundation asked the question "What could you do with $20,000 to improve our community?". Sammy and Phoebe came up with a community program, entitled Project H.O.P.T. (Help Our Parks Thrive), that involves placing five community decorated trash receptacles in five parks in the Hudson community. Individuals, businesses and organizations would have the opportunity to submit art ideas that would be placed on the receptacles. Additionally, students came up with the idea for community members and organizations to have the ability to "Adopt A Spot". This would closely resemble the national Adopt a Highway program and would help keep the parks clear of litter.
Sammy Johnson brought the proposal before the Hudson Park Board and was granted approval for the concept. Sammy and Phoebe will find out find out if their proposal is a finalist on August 31, 2015.
2015 RiverFest River Cleanup
July also marks the annual St. Croix RiverFest River Cleanup! On Tuesday July 21, more than 25 volunteers came out to Lakefront Park to get their hands dirty while helping to keep our river clean! Trash collected during the cleanup will help to "dress" RiverFest mascot Scrappy the bass fish.
Volunteers had the opportunity to watch a presentation by the Carpenter Nature Center and learned all about native snakes, toads, frogs and raptors!
Now all that's left to do is look forward to August! Our youth will be participating in National Night Out, Leadership Day and starting preparations for our 4th Annual Students Today Leaders Forever service trip and Peer to Peer!