For years, Jonathan Bloch has been the Drowned Hogs’ top fund-raiser for Wellspring, bringing in thousands of dollars to the Hull-based nonprofit social service agency in its annual dash-into-the-frigid-ocean-for-cash event — and he’s still not old enough to vote, buy alcohol, or rent a car.
Bloch, 17, is not the only young person making an impact beyond his years. He’s one of many young volunteers in the south suburbs who are dedicating time and energy to community service. Next
In Weymouth, 16-year-old Matthew Bryer devotes hours each week on Safe Soldier, which sends care packages to military men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq. He started the organization when he was in sixth grade and his older brother was serving in the Army in Iraq. "
At first it was to help my brother, but then I saw the difference it was making when I got letters and thank-you notes. It was a good feeling to know you were making a difference,” he said. Next
Sixteen-year-old Jessica Guerrier, a junior at the South Shore Charter school who lives in Whitman, has volunteered at Pine Street Inn in Boston and at a nursing home in Dedham.
But she said most of her volunteer work is with young children, both in the elementary grades of South Shore Charter and at her church, the Haitian Assembly of God in Brockton.
She also helps take care of a youngster with autism, an experience that has made her want to study occupational therapy as a career, she said. Next
Randolph High School requires students to give at least 60 hours of community service over their four years, and new football coach Keith Ford is helping both his team and the cheerleaders find meaningful ways to reach that goal.
Starting this month, students will teach technology to seniors citizens at the local senior center or library, lead free football clinics for local youth, and take part in a fitness forum for Randolph elementary school students.
Seventeen-year-old Lanajah Simon, a sophomore cheerleader at Randolph High who hopes to become a psychologist, said she’s getting involved in the projects because she wants to give back to the community. “We’re going to show that we’re not just taking and taking,” she said. Next
Rebecca Simms, a senior at Milton High, said she benefits from her volunteer work as much as she contributes.
She has volunteered at the Museum of Science in Boston, a nursing home in Natick,and now the emergency room at Milton Hospital, and has gained valuable skills that will help her when she studies nursing at the University of Massachusetts Boston next year, she said.
“I would definitely keep doing it, even if there wasn’t a requirement,” she said. “I think it’s really important to volunteer and help people who need help. I think it’s a good way to spend my time instead of doing something that’s not as productive. And it’s fun.” Next
Three students at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham provided fun for their entire school with their community service initiative.
Freshman Abby Rouleau, of Hingham, — whose uncle Dr. Frank Duggan spends most of his year volunteering in Third World countries — and seniors Hannah Paradise, of Scituate, and Marissa Gildea, of Cohasset, led their school in collecting 2,779 coats for needy people, as part of a competition sponsored by Mix 104.1 radio station.
Notre Dame Academy won, and the prize was a January concert at the school by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.
“It was just amazing,” Rouleau said of both the concert and the coat drive. “I’d come home some days, and I would have bags of coats on my front door from my neighbors. At school, people would come in with bags every morning. We had so many coats, the whole front foyer would fill up. It was just crazy. We are a small school, but clearly we can make a difference.” Back to the beginning
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