News Release

Global Youth Service Day Unites Southern California Youth in Acts of Kindness

Over 240 youth from various parts of southern California converged for a Global Youth Service Day event in Huntington Beach. Organized by JustServe High School Clubs, this gathering saw participation from over 80 different schools. Some participants even traveled for hours to be part of this impactful occasion.

The heart of the event lay in its multiple service projects, each benefiting a dozen worthy charities. From crafting fairy wands to weaving friendship bracelets and knitting cozy octopus socks and blankets, these enthusiastic youths worked collaboratively in groups.

“It was really cool to see my friends and so many youths give up their Saturday to serve others,” said Anna Q, who worked on a blanket. “I saw the unifying power of service as I worked alongside hundreds of teens who came from all over.”

The youth adorned plain white boxes with vibrant pictures and uplifting messages, transforming them into “Sunshine boxes.” These thoughtful containers will find their way to the Live Like JoJo foundation, where they will be filled with toys and comforting items for children in hospitals. Gwen T., one of the creative minds behind these boxes, said the service opportunity was “a positive way to spend your weekend. This box might brighten someone’s day.”

Gwen T. is a member of one of the JustServe clubs which are growing in numbers in southern California. These clubs, which convene monthly, provide a convenient platform for high school students. “As busy students,” Gwen explained, “being part of a JustServe club on our school campus allows us to contribute during lunch hour meetings.” Finn A., a frequent attendee of his school’s JustServe club, initially joined to fulfill graduation service requirements. However, his perspective on service has transformed over time.

“I’ve come to genuinely enjoy it,” Finn said, emphasizing the profound impact of giving back to the community.

Cole, a freshman, made octopus socks for a school district’s Reading Buddies program. “Service gives you a different type of happiness,” Cole said. “It fills me with the Spirit.” Anna Q. said she feels the same happiness while serving. “The more I serve like Christ did, the more I become like him and feel His love,” she said.

Among the other projects were puzzles and positive posters for Alzheimer’s patients and children at CHOC Hospital, letters written to veterans, hundreds of books wrapped for Camarda’s Bookcase, and blankets made for the Many Mansions organization.

“We had an amazing turnout,” said Debbie Taylor, the JustServe director for the local coordinating council. “So many awesome projects were completed. It is so inspiring to see the youth get involved and make a difference for those around them.”

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