Posted on July 15, 2020 by Al Greater-Placer Nugget
Written by Carol Barry
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” Winston Churchill
Amidst a multitude of COVID-19 restrictions lives an energetic and dynamic team of teens from grades 7 – 12 who channel their youthful enthusiasm & energies into helping those who are living under even more restricted circumstances than most of us. Placer County is honored to acknowledge the emergence of Assisteens®, an auxiliary of Assistance League® of Greater Placer (ALGP) since June, 2018.
Beginning nationwide in 1959, there are now 44 Assisteen auxiliaries affiliated with Assistance League chapters across the nation. Each one is autonomous, establishing its own programs and events to fit local needs and resources of their own communities. Participating Placer County students come from local high schools such as Colfax, Bear River, Placer, Del Oro and Granite Bay, as well as homeschooled students, and hopefully more local schools in 2020!
Here’s what our Assisteens accomplished in 2019-20:
~ Assisteens logged over 700 volunteer hours of service to the local community!
~ Hand in hand with the Assistance League program Operation School Bell®, Assisteens decorated “Boxes of Joy” and donated these holiday gift boxes to 75 children in need
~ In concert with the Assistance League program Angels of Aging, Assisteens created lap blankets for the residents of Rock Creek Care Center in Auburn.
~ Thanks to Zoom, during the months we were sheltering in place at home, Assisteens were working to “Brighten Someone’s Day” by sending cards and original artwork to residents and staff at Rock Creek Care Center.
~ From their volunteer hours working in the Juniors’ Clothing Department at the Assistance League Thrift Shop, Assisteens donated $1000 of their 2019 earnings to Placer Food Bank for pandemic relief.
~Assisteens donated their time as servers and models at a major annual ALGP fundraiser called “Tea and Fashions on a Budget”
COVID-19 restrictions inhibited “in person” meetings in 2020, but this reality never even slowed our Assisteens down! What they could no longer accomplish in person, they easily transitioned into Zoom monthly meetings and video production. They never even missed a beat! In fact, this spirited and energetic bunch has voiced some impressive goals of their own for next year!
Here’s a peek at what the Assisteens’ 2020-21 year is looking forward to:
~ They are planning a Virtual Zoom Recruitment Event in August, 2020, hoping to find other enthusiastic and community-minded teens to join with them.
~ They are “getting creative” by developing a new service program of their own. They have a lot of ideas!
~ They seek diversity & new energy by inviting volunteers from community schools that are currently not involved, giving more teenagers the opportunity to volunteer, to learn more about their community and to grow and find purpose.
Membership in Assisteens also offers teens personal growth opportunities: a way to develop community & personal responsibility, self-reliance, poise, public speaking and leadership skills. It provides volunteer experience for college application requirements and resumes. It gives teens a means to get to know their communities on a deeper level and the chance to be a contributing member, a more knowledgeable member, of their local society. Plus it encourages teens to get to know other teens from different high schools, to grow & diversify.
Savanna, who has been an Assisteen for two years, said: “Assisteens has taught me that giving back to the community is very important! I love doing all of the projects to help people in need.”
Julia, also an Assisteen for two years, affirms: “We like our work with Assisteens because it has given us work experience and taught us the good that comes out of giving back to the community.”
Elias has been a member of Assisteens for one year and said: “I really enjoy working in the Thrift Shop!”
Gabriel joined one year ago and stated: “I like getting to hang out with my friends while we do good things for the community.”
For more information, follow Assisteens on Instagram @ al.greaterplacerassisteens and on Facebook, facebook.com/Assisteens.GreaterPlacer. And for additional information and an application, please visit assistanceleague.org/greater-placer/assisteens-of-greater-placer.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Huge thanks to the team of helpful volunteers who contribute their talents to the publication of the monthly blog: Janet Wheatley, Julie Sage, and Carole Janicke”