May 25, 2017 – Pioneer Valley — Youth members of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield’s Torch Club recently partnered with the United Way of Pioneer Valley Youth Generate Program to create and donate more than 10 no-sew tie fleece blankets to patients in the Baystate Children’s Hospital.
The Torch Club is a national character and leadership program for youth ages 11-13, aiming to motivate youth to bring positive change to the community and make a difference in the lives of other young people. Members of the Torch Club hope to bring comfort to the patients of Baystate Children’s Hospital and let the patients know youth in the community care about them.
UWPV Youth Generate began in April, 2013 as a project and a precursor for other youth engagement projects in the region. Through this initiative, UWPV partners with schools throughout the Pioneer Valley to engage young people in community service during or around National Volunteer Week. This initiative also allows UWPV to help create and strengthen relationships among agencies, school systems and communities in the region. The program reinforces UWPV’s community engagement work as a Volunteer Connector and capacity builder.
Youth Generate provides another door of opportunity for young people. United Way organizations across the country believe that organized youth engagement:
- Enables youth to become change-makers by developing entrepreneurial skills to solve community problems.
- Empowers youth by allowing them to take the initiative and lead community change.
- Engages youth in their communities, allowing them to recognize their role and the positive impact they can create.
Youth engagement helps young people assume a role that expects and encourages them to lead in positive social change and replicate that example throughout life.
About United Way of Pioneer Valley
United Way of Pioneer Valley fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community by finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources and inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crises.