YSA Briefings

December 7, 2017 | Volume 24, No. 47
    

Empathy is the Youth Power Skill of the 21st Century

If empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human, 
then service is at the heart of what it means to have empathy. 

Our President & CEO Steven A. Culbertson joins with Hasbro, Inc.'s Senior Vice President of Global Philanthropy & Social Impact, Karen Davis to discuss helping kids build empathy and spread kindness through service:
"We have never met a parent who doesn’t want their child to be a good and gracious human being.

While there is no single pathway to goodness, empathy is a must-have skill. In fact, it may be the single most critical ingredient to a young person’s development, leading to success in school, work, and life.

In order to learn empathy, young people need high-quality opportunities to do empathic things, like bold acts of kindness and volunteering in their communities."
Read the rest on The Huffington Post and help share this article on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn.
We're also excited to announce that as of today, over 200,000 youth (209,189 to be exact) have pledged to BE FEARLESS BE KIND as part of the Kindness Rising campaign. We have two weeks left to reach our goal of 300,000 pledges by December 20Will you take a couple minutes and pledge today - for yourself, or on behalf of your class/school, group/organization, club/youth program, or children/family - and help build empathy this holiday season?
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For each BE FEARLESS BE KIND pledge, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 300,000 children in need this holiday season who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, South Florida, and Houston as well as fire victims in California.

NEWS FROM THE FIELD

MLK Day of Service

January 15, 2018

Join the celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday as a day of service in communities across the country, to encourage those who serve on this holiday to make a long-term commitment to community service, and to bring people together to focus on service to others. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a chance to implement Dr. King’s teachings in lessons and activities that empower students and communities. Find ideas and resources from YSA and Scholastic, including how to teach a MLK Day project that involves mentoring and financial literacy and then check out www.MLKDay.gov

29th Annual National Service-Learning Conference: Justice in Action

March 11-13, 2018 in St. Paul, MN

This year, the National Service-Learning Conference’s theme is Justice in Action. It’s a theme to inspire action – it’s educators and community members joining in partnership with students, to make positive change in the world.
Learning takes place in many shapes and forms at the National Service-Learning Conference. Pick up resources that advance your practice, inspire service and leadership, and help you reach your goals. Network with peers from across the country and around the world while you participate in service projects that give back to the community.
The conference provides more than 100 hands-on learning opportunities through workshops, keynote and thought leader sessions. Topics range from social-emotional learning and civic education to youth leadership and international service-learning. The early-bird registration deadline is December 15! Learn more and register at http://servicelearningconference.org

GRANTS & AWARDS

Peace First Challenge

Deadline: December 31

Got ideas to make a difference, but don’t have the money? Peace First has got your back - make your promise to peace, join their GLOBAL community and you can get a grant to put your ideas into action. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get up to $250 to help you start a peacemaking project for your community! Join a global community of peacemakers and gain access to incredible peacemaking resources by signing up for Peace First: www.peacefirst.org 

Kindness Rising Grants

Deadline: Pledge by December 20, Do a Project by January 10, Submit Impact Report by January 31

Take the Be Fearless Be Kind pledge. (For each person who takes the pledge, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 300,000 children in need this holiday season.) Do a service project. (This can be one you are already planning or something new.) Share your project's impact to be eligible for grants. Each person who registers a project by January 10 and then shows their impact by January 31 will be eligible for one of 10 $250 grants to continue their projects.

IDEAS TO #LEADASAP

Hold a Mitten Tree Collection

Help youth feel warm this winter by holding a Mitten Tree collection! Imagine not having a coat, mittens or hat to wear during the winter when it is cold outside. Kids across America, and in cold place around the world, face this reality each winter. You can help by collecting warm items for children in need.

Host a Holiday Toy Drive

Host a toy drive to help children in need. Toys hold a special place in the heart of children and are synonymous with the holiday season. But providing holiday toys for children can be a struggle for many low-income families. You can help by hosting a toy drive!

Upcoming Service & Awareness Events

Save the Date and Plan Ahead



November 30, 2017 | Volume 24, No. 46
    

You're Invited to the 29th Annual
National Service-Learning Conference

March 11-13, 2018 | Saint Paul, MN

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This year, the National Service-Learning Conference’s theme is Justice in Action. It’s a theme to inspire action – it’s educators and community members joining in partnership with students, to make positive change in the world.
Learning takes place in many shapes and forms at the National Service-Learning Conference. Step out of the classroom and learn from organization experts, community leaders, and allies. Pick up resources that advance your practice, inspire service and leadership, and help you reach your goals. Network with peers from across the country and around the world while you participate in service projects that give back to the community. Go beyond classroom learning and experience Justice in Action.
The conference provides more than 100 hands-on learning opportunities through workshops, keynote and thought leader sessions. Topics range from social-emotional learning and civic education to youth leadership and international service-learning. Whether you are new to service-learning or an experienced practitioner, this conference has something for you.
Students make up nearly half of conference attendees and can be found on the plenary stage, facilitating workshop sessions, showcasing their projects, participating in hands-on service projects, or mingling in the youth room. Youth of all ages are welcome at the event (with an adult mentor).

Hasbro to Match Donations to Toys for Tots to Help Bring Joy to More Families in Need this Holiday Season

Hasbro Will Donate a Toy or Game for Every Donation Made to Toys for Tots, Up to One Million Gifts
For every new, unwrapped toy or game donated by individuals to any Toys for Tots local campaign through the 2017 holiday season, Hasbro will also donate a new toy or game as part of its BE FEARLESS BE KIND philanthropic initiative, up to one million gifts. To find a local Toys for Tots unit and learn more about how to make a donation, please visit:  http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/toys.aspx.
You can also help give a toy by pledging an act of kindness or service. For everyone who takes the Be Fearless Be Kind pledge through December 20, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots for up to 250,000 children in need this holiday season who have been impacted by the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, South Florida, and Houston as well as fire victims in California. https://leadasap.ysa.org/pledge/  

How To Help People You Read About In The News Every Day

Here are five events and ongoing issues that have made for heavy news headlines this year ― and the organizations helping with them - including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, the #MeToo movement, California wildfires, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and far-right groups who have been promoting hate.

15 Projects for the Holidays

Are you looking to engage your peers in a service project? Why not do it during the Season of Giving! Here are 15 examples of easy-to-do projects that you and your peers can do during the holiday season in December.

Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships

Deadline: December 5       LAST CHANCE TO APPLY!

This program recognizes students who are driving awareness and mobilizing youth to be catalysts for innovative models that provide solutions to eliminate hunger in America. Scholarship winners receive a $5,000 scholarship and a $5,000 grant for their hunger-related charity. Each national scholarship recipient is recognized at the annual Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Dinner in June in Washington, DC. Watch video highlights from last year’s winners on YouTubehttp://us.stop-hunger.org/home/grants.html

Walmart Foundation Community Grants

Deadline: December 31

Through the Community Grant Program, individual Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs, and logistics facilities can support nonprofit organizations with programs that benefit communities within the service area from which they are requesting funds. The foundation requires that all funds be directed to programs that fall within Walmart’s focus areas: community, sustainability, and career opportunity. Awarded grants range from $250 to $2,500.

Katie's Krop's Grower Search

Deadline: December 31

Katie's Krops Growers receive funding to start their garden in the form of a gift card to a garden supply store in their community, access to a private grower website, a growing manual, and garden supplies. Starting a Katie's Krops Garden is so much more than just receiving funding to grow a garden. Youth selected as Katie’s Krops Growers are empowered to grow a healthy end to hunger in their community and positively impacting the health of their cities and towns.

International Volunteer Day

December 5

The campaign for International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2017, “Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.” will be celebrated worldwide on December 5, in recognition of the positive solidarity of volunteers around the world who answer calls in times of crisis, helping save lives today and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity tomorrow. #VolunteersActFirst

MLK Day of Service

January 15

Join the celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday as a day of service in communities across the country, to encourage those who serve on this holiday to make a long-term commitment to community service, and to bring people together to focus on service to others. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a chance to implement Dr. King’s teachings in lessons and activities that empower students and communities. Find ideas and resources from YSA and Scholastic, including how to teach a MLK Day project that involves mentoring and financial literacy and then check out www.MLKDay.gov

Upcoming Service & Awareness Events

Save the Date and Plan Ahead

Everyday Young Heroes

Youth Villages AmeriCorps - Inner Harbour Campus

Youth Villages AmeriCorps facilitated a campus-wide event for Inner Harbour students as part of the #KindnessRising campaign by Youth Service America, which calls on youth to BE FEARLESS BE KIND, by standing up for others, being inclusive, and making a difference.
Students managed a canned food drive (including using the Mobile Vendicator to raise funds for more food items), packed donation bags and prepared delicious casseroles for a local emergency shelter, wrote thankfulness letters, participated in activities aligned with the UN Global Goal, “Reducing Inequalities,” and more in this multi-week effort before the Thanksgiving Break. #AmeriCorpsWorks
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"To me young people come first,
they have the courage where we fail
and if I can shed some light as
they carry us through the gale.
...
The older I get the better I know
that the secret of my going on
is when the reins are in the hand of the young
who dare to run against the storm.
We who believe in freedom cannot rest
We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes."

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