Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

2013 Global Youth Service Day Makes a Difference!

What happens when 230 high school student join together to make a difference? On Friday, April 26th, during Bloomington’s second Annual Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) hosted by the Monroe County Youth Council, teens from five area high schools took on projects such as transforming the walls of an after-school center with vibrant painted murals, planting trees, repairing bicycles destined for low-income residents, pulling invasive weeds, and installing community gardens.

United Way was proud to work closely with the Monroe County Youth Council as a lead partner for this community-wide effort.

Students from Bloomington High School North, Bloomington High School South, Edgewood High School, Bloomington New Tech High School, and The Bloomington Graduation School spent their day volunteering at 12 service projects throughout the community. Additionally, 30 adult leaders worked side-by-side with the student volunteers. After their projects wrapped-up, the volunteer teams came together at a central location for a time of reflection and group activities.

Photos from the day can be viewed at

“Hundreds of students volunteered. Five schools participated. Twelve service projects were completed. The success of GYSD was not in the numbers, however. The day promoted the spirit of volunteerism across an entire county of youth. This spirit of
volunteerism will hopefully encourage our generation and the ones that follow to continue giving back to the community through service,” commented Hannah Alani, Bloomington High School South senior and Monroe County Youth Council Co-Vice President.

Ally Zhang, Bloomington High School South junior and GYSD youth leader, shared “I thought it would be a good experience to be a part of a team as well as help lead one. And my favorite part was being able to work with a team and help better the environment, even by just a little bit. It was really fun to meet new people, as well!” And Bloomington High School North senior Ryan Serbin, relayed, "My favorite part was learning new things about bike repair. Can't wait to use it on my own! Also thought that the whole idea of the Bike Project is incredible. The people of Bloomington really step up to accommodate those who can't accommodate themselves."

“We are very excited to be able to have the opportunity to create this event because just as a youth council with 30 members you can do something but we really wanted to create something that all of the community could participate in,” said Rebecca Garcia, Bloomington High School South senior and Monroe County Youth Council Co-President.

These nonprofit and community organizations hosted projects for GYSD volunteers.

  • Bloomington Community Bike Project
  • City of Bloomington Parks & Recreation
  • Community Kitchen of Monroe County
  • Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County
  • Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale
  • Mother Hubbard's Cupboard
  • Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project
  • Volunteers in Medicine
  • The Warehouse
  • WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology

"It's incredible that we were able to bring together so many volunteers and community organizations for Global Youth Service Day,” commented Ashley Hall, United Way of Monroe County Community Initiatives Director. “But it’s also really exciting that our local Global Youth Service Day activities were part of a much larger effort. Millions of young people in over 100 countries worked together to improve their own communities. It’s amazing to think of youth all over the globe -- including those in Monroe County -- who could have a passion ignited today and grow be our community leaders tomorrow. United Way is proud to be involved with the Youth Council, the hosts of GYSD, as it ties together two of our core principles -- empowering and enriching our young citizens and also deepening a commitment to community.”

"What could be better than having a good time while doing good? Working with the members of the Monroe County Youth Council to produce projects that would provide opportunities for both fun and service on Global Youth Service Day was a great opportunity for the Bloomington Volunteer Network to outreach to our community's teen volunteers,” said Lucy Schaich, Bloomington Volunteer Network Assistant Director.

The Monroe County Youth Council partnered with the Asset Building Coalition, United Way of Monroe County, The Bloomington Volunteer Network, and The Warehouse to create Bloomington’s Global Youth Service Day. The Council also applied for and received a $500 Get Ur Good On grant from Youth Service America to help fund the event. Additional support was provided by The Chocolate Moose.
“We really wanted to find a way to promote community service involvement within Monroe County teens,” said Meghan Ray, Bloomington High School North senior and Co-Vice President of the MCYC. “By bringing GYSD to Bloomington, we are raising awareness and are showing students that volunteering is a good thing to do, but more importantly, that volunteering is fun.”

Since its creation in 1988, Youth Service America’s Global Youth Service Day campaign has become the largest service day in the world. It is celebrated worldwide always centering on youth involvement in community projects.

The Monroe County Youth Council (MCYC), established in 2011, is a group of youths aged 12-18 dedicated to improving the quality of life of youth within Monroe County. The MCYC exists to create and administer youth-led projects and programs that are by youth and for youth, to discuss and deliberate public policy issues affecting youth, and to serve as an advisory board to local organizations, institutions, businesses, government, and the community. The MCYC is a project of the Asset Building Coalition and is facilitated by a governance board of elected members representing Monroe County, Indiana, youth-service providers, community leaders, and government officials.

Youth interested in joining the MCYC for the 2013/14 school year should contact Rebecca Garcia (rgarcia (at) or Hannah Alani (halani25 (at) More information at

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