Annual Service Day event to offer volunteer opportunities

    Screenshot 2018-03-27 at 2.24.31 PM - Edited

    Student sign-ups are open for Palo Alto High School’s annual Service Day event on April 23, a flex day.

    The event, organized by the YCS-Interact Club, provides on- and off-campus volunteer opportunities for students to participate in.

    Service Day provides a variety of ways to give back to the community. According to senior Mailinh Truong, co-president of YCS-Interact, Key Club will help to offer service opportunities on the Paly campus from 9 a.m to noon for those who prefer to stay at Paly.

    “We’ve brought back on-campus opportunities, so we are joining Key Club to have community service opportunities on site,” Troung said.

    According to senior Gabby Bernas, who also serves as YCS-Interact Club’s co-president, there are 252 available slots for the 14 sites offered for students who want to volunteer off campus.  Volunteers will meet at Paly and be transported to and from their sites by bus. The sites vary from environmental restoration to animal care to food service.

    “All of our sites have a very different range of projects,” Bernas said. “There’s some art projects, there’s some working with animals, some working with the environment … and there’s also food dining halls and soup kitchens.”

    Those who are interested in having a larger role in the event can sign up to be site leaders. Site leaders will receive eight hours of community service for their efforts, but will also have more responsibilities.

    “Site leaders do have to go to a few mandatory meetings where we go over what it means to be a site leader and what their responsibilities are,” Bernas said.

    According to Bernas, the Half Moon Bay restoration is one of the most popular events every year.

    “While you are there, you do a lot of taking out the non-native plants,” Bernas said. “Sometimes we replace them with native plants. We have close to 50 open spaces for that [site].”

    Bernas said one of her favorite Service Day activities is volunteering at local senior centers. Two local senior centers, Avenidas and the Webster House, will be available for sign ups this year. Volunteers will aid seniors with technology, play games with them, and entertain them.

    Furthermore, the community service hours gained from this event can be used to fulfill a number of different requirements.

    “The community service hours can be used towards the President’s Award, Living Skills hours, APES [AP Environmental Science] hours, and any other community service hours,” Bernas said.

    Adults are also welcome to sign up as parent chaperones.

    “For adult chaperones, we are going to have a sign-up and it is also going to be on the Paly website,” Truong said.

    Some opportunities may run as late as 2:30 p.m., Truong said. 

    Sign up for a service event here.

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