YCS and Key Club to host annual Service Day

Emily Yun and Evelyn Zhang

Students engage in community service activities during Palo Alto High School’s annual Service Day in 2018. According to Key Club President Olivia Hau, students will have the chance to volunteer for several local organizations and nonprofits on and off campus at this year’s Service Day during brunch, lunch, 5th and 7th period tomorrow on the Quad. “I would highly recommend attending service day because it’s a great way to bond with other Paly students who share the same passion for service,” Hau said. “It is also an amazing and accessible opportunity to give back to our community, earn service hours and make new friends.” (Photo: Olivia Hau)

Make snack kits for the growing population of unhoused in the Bay Area!

Learn about pressing animal issues and what you can do to make a change!

These are just a few of many unique service activities students will be able to participate in during tomorrow’s Service Day at Palo Alto High School.

Ariana Cao, vice president of the Youth Community Club, said although sign-ups for off-campus service opportunities have closed, students can still volunteer on-campus for various local organizations and nonprofits such as LifeMoves — which works with homeless communities — and the Palo Alto Humane Society, which cares for neglected animals. 

According to Cao, in addition to these on-campus service activities, students who have signed up off-campus opportunities will be able to volunteer for five other organizations: Gamble Garden, Grassroots Ecology, WeHope, the Ecumenical Hunger Program, and Phoenix Garden.

One of the more interesting insights I’ve gotten from Service Day is that you get the chance to see local organizations and what they do,” Cao said. “Some of these organizations I had never heard of before, but when you participate in Service Day, especially those at off-campus sites, you connect with all those people who work there that dedicate their time and passion to keep this organization going so that the people, nature, or things can continue to be benefitted.”

According to Key Club President Olivia Hau, the event has been a long-standing tradition at Paly and will be hosted by the YCS Club in collaboration with Key Club and Service Club this year, becoming the first in-person Service Day since before COVID-19 in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, the event was hosted online, which was beneficial to students who struggled to find ways to contribute to their community in the midst of closures and social distancing.

The goal [of Service Day] is to create a fun, positive community for Paly students to participate in various community service activities while meeting new friends,” Hau said. “It’s a great way to bond with other Paly students who share the same passion for service.”

According to Cao, Service Day is only one of many events hosted by YCS that encourages students to get involved in their community. In the past, YCS has hosted drives and other projects for students to continue to partake in volunteer work outside of Service Day.

“The goal of Paly YCS-Interact is to provide community service opportunities and allow students opportunity to interact and create meaningful relationships with other high schoolers from around the Bay area, the U.S., and even the world,” Cao said.

Although signups for off-campus service opportunities are closed, students can volunteer for on-campus activities during brunch, lunch, 5th and 7th period tomorrow on the Quad.