Youth know how to have fun while getting the job done.

Zachary Reynolds said he hopes to see at least 50 of them use those talents during Global Youth Service Day on Saturday, April 12.

Reynolds is coordinator of the United Way of York County's Volunteer Center which has cleaning, gardening and sorting activities youth can do from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in several locations in York City.

"I would love to see 50 to 60 youths getting involved," he said. "I hope volunteering will give them the idea of what it means to actually give back to the community. I've seen that when (youths) get involved in something, they love to see they're making a difference."

About the day: Global Youth Service Day officially is held from April 11 to 13, but the United Way will only do local activities Saturday, Reynolds said.

Established in 1988, the annual service day - organized by Washington, D.C.-based Youth Service America - involves youth in more than 100 countries worldwide.

The global event highlights contributions youth make in their communities through volunteer service, according to Youth Service America's Web site at www.ysa.org. Youth are encouraged to identify and address needs within their communities. Also, youth-led community activities are held throughout the world during the annual events.

Last year, about 40 youths - mainly between the ages 13 and 20 - participated in local service day projects, Reynolds said.

Youth ages 14 and younger must have adult supervision with them to volunteer.


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Three projects: For Saturday, youth volunteers will have the opportunity to choose from three local projects, Reynolds said.

From 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., they can help sort food at the York County Food Bank at 254 W. Princess St.

Youth also can volunteer for the Penn Park Beautification project from 10 a.m. to noon. at the corner of Lafayette Street and Lindberg Avenue.

Volunteers will help fix flower gardens by raking leaves, pulling weeds and mulching the area, said Tom Landis, the city's recreation and parks director.

Other park work includes picking up tree limbs, litter and trash, and spreading wood carpet under the play equipment for children's safety, Landis said.

"It's fun working with the kids," he said. "The kids are extremely polite, very helpful and they don't mind getting dirty. They make it fun. They're helping improve the community."

The third project is from 1 to 3 p.m. at Community Progress Council Early Head Start at 339 E. Cottage Place, where volunteers can help do garden work.

"I hope (local organizations) see youth as a valuable resource to call on for help," Reynolds said. "(Youths) can help throughout the year, not just on Global Youth Service Day."

-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.

At a Glance

United Way of York County will hold Global Youth Service Day activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in York City.

Youth volunteers will have the opportunity to choose from three local projects:

10 a.m. to noon: Penn Park Beautification, at the corner of Lafayette Street and Lindbergh Avenue, to help with garden and park clean up.

10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: York County Food Bank, 254 W. Princess St., to sort food.

1 to 3 p.m.: Community Progress Council Early Head Start, 339 E. Cottage Place, to do garden work

Youth ages 14 and younger must have adult supervision with them to volunteer.

To register for volunteer work, call Zachary Reynolds at 771-3812 or email him at reynoldsz@unitedway-york.org.