Columbia County high school students looking for community service opportunities this summer can start by lending a helping hand at an Appling nonprofit center.
The Columbia County Foundation for Children is providing rising ninth-grade students through high school seniors with a volunteer program at the foundation's Children's Re-source Center starting Monday and ending Aug. 6.
"I just want it to be very simple and to stir an interest in community service and interest in an area that people might not have thought of," said Michel Young, an adult volunteer at the center.
Young has worked with teens through the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce's Youth Leadership Program. She retired in 2006 as a school counselor at Greenbrier High School.
Teens will be assigned to a variety of tasks at the center, which offers residents a dis-counted price on clothing, toys and other household items. Young said students can choose which jobs at the center they feel best suited to do.
Last summer marked the first year that the community service program was available to area students, and about 16 teen volunteers from most of the county's high schools participated in the program, Young said.
"They learned how to work with people that they never met before, and they learned how to make the task easier," she said. "We just had some really superb kids last summer."
She said students were as-signed an assortment of duties last year, which included bringing in donations; helping residents unload their contributions; and pricing, tagging and hanging items.
Teen volunteers are needed from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Mondays, from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month.
Young described the work environment as relaxed and simple, and said there is no criteria as to how many hours a student must volunteer.
"I wanted it to be very flexible, because it's the summer," she said. "Start when you can, stay when you can."
Young suggests that teens volunteer about two hours each visit, due to the center's distant location at 6347 Columbia Road. Those who stay longer than two hours should plan to bring a snack, she said.
Those who participate in the program also will have a great addition to their college applications, Young said.
"Every community has agencies that need volunteers, and you may find an opportunity for volunteer work at a place that you least expect it," Young said. "There are just a lot of opportunities for people of all ages to give back to their community."
Teens can sign up by calling Young at the Children's Resource Center on Tuesdays at (706) 541-2849 or by e-mailing email@example.com.
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