Kid's Review
Volunteering isn't Just for Adults Anymore
November, 2004 - Issue #2
The Betty Ferguson Foundation's Youth with a Voice (YWAV) group is an organization for the benefit of pre-teen and teenage girls, plus some new elementary kids like me. We attend meetings once a month where we discuss school, friends, problems, and information about each other. We also perform community service whenever we have the chance. Sometimes, we have parties just for fun, with swimming, games, and food.

Being a part of a volunteer group is a great way to learn to interact with other people. During meetings, we have snacks and sit on pillows. The first day for the Elementary Group, we played a memories game where we wrote down several of our memories, good and bad. Then we read them aloud and we had to guess who wrote them. I learned a lot of new things about the other girls, even though I have known some of them for a long time.

Recently, we made sun catchers for all of the seniors at The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center. We spent three hours decorating over 200 sun catchers. We painted two different fish scenes, a flower scene and butterfly pictures. Everyone had a blast! The next day we took the sun catchers to the Senior Center to surprise the seniors with our handmade gifts. In addition, we played games and just hung out with the seniors. We even got to sing on the stage. It was a great experience and I hope we do it again!

I think young people should join a volunteer group for many reasons. We learn how to control ourselves and handle uncomfortable situations. We learn why to say no to drugs and the best ways to do it. We discuss what to do about bullies whether they are bothering us, our friends, or anyone else. And we give back to our community. But most importantly, we learn how to be ourselves.
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