Thomas County Youth prove they have what it takes to make a brighter future…
For most kids around the country, Saturday morning means cartoons, cereal and most importantly no school! However, here in Thomas County many a Saturday morning has come to mean something different for the area’s youth – Volunteering. Through Student Hands On Thomas County(SHOTC), Thomas County’s youth have put in over 10,000 hours of community service this year alone. To put that in perspective, it would take an adult with full-time employment over five and one-half years to achieve that number.
According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, 55% of young adults in the United States aged 12-18 volunteer approximately 29 hours each year. If you compare that to the 29% adult volunteer rate you begin to realize the impact that youth have on making our community a better place to live.
On top of all their hard work, youth volunteers bring unique qualities to every volunteer event they attend. The energy and enthusiasm of youth volunteers is unparalleled. It is not uncommon to hear, “what can I do next?” from a young person that has just finished digging 30 holes to plant trees in.
Youth are also looking for a chance to prove their abilities to adults, and volunteering gives them the opportunity to showcase their skills. “When I volunteer I like to do things that my parents wouldn’t ask me to do at home,” says Connor Mathis, a freshman volunteer from Thomas County Central High School. “Parents usually don’t trust kids to do things like paint or help with construction projects, so being able to show them that you can do it feels pretty good.”
Most importantly, youth volunteers bring optimism with them to each and every volunteer project. Young adults are our future and when you see them tackling the major issues that face society today with enthusiasm and optimism it gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Thank you to all of our youth volunteers!