As parents know, it’s not easy to find opportunities that allow young children and teens to volunteer and at times that they’re not in school. Or, at least, there hasn’t been an organized way to find regularly scheduled opportunities. The Service Collective is here to solve that problem. Started by local parents, Amanda Jones and Sarah Robertson, just a couple of months ago, TSC has already organized Brooklyn youth to help revitalize Red Hook Farms, cook and fill our Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge, bake and serve desserts at CHiPs, a soup kitchen in Park Slope, and more. Upcoming projects this month include helping to move recently arrived asylum seekers and grocery shopping for homebound seniors.
Asked about the genesis of TSC, Executive Director Amanda Jones said in an email to BHB,
We are just starting out, but the energy from the volunteers is incredible. Last week, 15 volunteers aged 8-13 made 30 three-course meals and packed the community fridge. I’m really encouraged by their enthusiasm and willingness to work hard. I especially love their honesty and curious questions. The seed of the idea really started with my partner Sarah Robertson, who was searching for volunteer opportunities for her own kids, and was finding it hard to sign up for anything that fit their ages and schedules. We started working on the concept for TSC together in June and organized our first activity with 15 teens at Red Hook Farms on September 27. Since then we’ve had a few fully registered “Fill the Fridge” events out of our home base at St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church on Montague St. The kids have had a blast cooking and stocking the fridge and enjoy that they are having a direct positive impact in our community. We have a full slate of activities planned for October (you can see them on our website) and will be launching November and December programs soon. We hope to have enough drop in activities for a variety of ages and some for the whole family that everyone in our community can set and meet the goal to volunteer at least once per month. Based on the positive feedback of the kids so far, I think that we will be seeing them much more often!
(Photo courtesy Instagram @brooklynheightscommunityfridge.)