Youths in Washington Get Involved with their Community

Posted by Lisa Martinek
July 31, 2014

Many Performance-based Standards (PbS) participants have great projects to get their youths involved with the community from gardening to park maintenance. Echo Glen Children’s Center in Washington offers youths numerous ways to give back and help those in need.

Earlier this year, staff and youths participated in Bikes for Kids community service project. They spent four hours helping to prepare over 500 bikes which will be sent to Africa. Stephanie Ewing, program manager, said “I have always been a strong believer in giving back to the community and was very excited for the youth to be a part of this project.” One staff member said that the day working on the bike project was one her favorite days working at Echo Glen.

Over 40 youths from Echo Glen helped to package meals which were shipped to children in need in Africa and the Caribbean as part of the Children of the Nations program. Fraser Ratzlaff, an area representative from the program, said “it was so great to see everyone working together to serve children in need around the world!”

Not only do youths package meals to be sent internationally, they help prepare and serve meals locally for feeding the homeless and residents of Compass Center. The youths also delivered meals to those who couldn’t make it to the center. One youth said “One of the highlights of the trip was seeing the hope on the faces of the homeless. I felt like they knew that there would be good coming to their future. I liked to help people, it was cool. I felt powerful and proud of myself and others for giving out food and hope.”

Youth getting out into the community is important, but Echo Glen also brings community members to the youths. Youths will often request to remove unwanted tattoos, which are symbols of their gang affiliations. A TeamChild Representative who became aware of the facility’s need, suggested Dr. Debbie Caddell of Cadell’s Laser Clinic. When the facility reached out to Dr. Caddell, she expressed her eagerness to help the residents and now donates her time for this special service.

Thanks to Echo Glen who shared all the amazing community service stories, which teach the youths new skills and shows them the value of helping their community!  Check out the community service projects from other PbS participants.

Youths package meals
Youths package meals to be sent to Africa and the Caribbean for children in need