May 14, 2012

Spring Into Service brings together high school students for the community

More than 200 volunteers from 18 area high schools are expected to join together to clean, paint and prune at the Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square on Thursday, May 17, as part of the annual Spring Into Service event.


Spring Into Service, a joint effort between multiple Saginaw agencies, is celebrating its tenth year of service. In 2002, the Saginaw Community Foundation and the United Way of Saginaw County organized a focus group comprising students and staff representing eight area high schools in response to Gen. Colin Powell’s America’s Promise program.


“The result was the Giving Back Team, which planned the first Make a Difference Day in October 2002 and the first National Youth Service Day project – later renamed Spring Into Service – in the spring of 2003,” said Joe Madison, a community volunteer who has helped coordinate these community service events from the beginning.


Volunteers have since serviced 87 homes of senior citizens, 14 homes of veterans, five senior citizens’ centers, six homes for Emmaus House, eight elementary schools and 20 public parks and play spaces.


“Over the past decade, approximately 3,000 volunteers have performed more than 12,000 hours of service across 140 sites,” Madison said. “It’s amazing to see these kids get together for their community.”


Students will arrive at the Saginaw YMCA by 8:15 a.m. and will work at the zoo from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


The following schools have participated over the years: Arthur Hill High School, Bridgeport High School, Buena Vista High School, Carrollton High School, Chesaning High School, Frankenmuth High School, Freeland High School, Hemlock High School, Heritage High School, Mackinaw High School, Merrill High School, New Millennium Academy, Nouvel Catholic Central High School, Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, Saginaw High School, SISD Transition Center, St. Charles High School, Swan Valley High School and Valley Lutheran High School.


Participating agencies for the 2012 Spring Into Service day include: AmeriCorps, Bridge Center for Racial Harmony, CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region, Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, Dawkins Culture Diversity Consulting, DC Painting & Remodeling, FORCE, Foresters, Glidden Professional Paint Center, Home Depot, HonorCorps of SVSU, Jimmy John’s, Kiwanis Clubs of Saginaw, MSU Extension Master Gardeners, Saginaw Community Foundation, Saginaw Intermediate School District, The Dow Chemical Company, United Way of Saginaw County and YMCA of Saginaw.