Hayden youths mobilize for national service day

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— Saturday's National Youth Service Day in Hayden will focus on strengthening relationships among people of all ages.

AmeriCorps volunteers who have been working with Hayden Middle School students are organizing the event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Haven Assisted Living Center.

"A lot of the kids in the community don't have ties with older relatives or older generations," AmeriCorps volunteer Marissa Lueders said. "We're trying to address some of the greatest community needs."

On the service day, students will lead service projects with themes including literacy, environment, healthcare, hunger and help for seniors.

To encourage interaction among people of different generations, Lueders and volunteer Lucas Sherman have organized a series of activities for Hayden students and Haven residents.

"The other major theme is to support and mobilize youth in civic engagement," Lueders said.

Students have been holding fundraisers and collecting donations for a buffet lunch, ice cream social, landscaping and building maintenance. They also will build benches for the Haven's grounds, paint pots, plant seeds and build birdfeeders and birdhouses.

Some of the students who will be participating in Youth Service Day also have participated in a pen pal program, exchanging letters with residents at The Haven or senior family members.

Volunteers still are needed to help with the event. Call Lueders or Sherman at the Hayden Middle School at 276-3762.

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