Friday, January 15, 2010

Ideas from YSA for Haiti Relief and Disaster Preparedness

Share information & ideas about how to help Haiti.

One of the best ways for youth to help is to share information and ideas of how to help and ask your friends, family, teachers, and community members to join you.

Use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to share information and ideas about how you can help, including fundraising ideas (see more below.)

For example, see Tweets from Usher's Powered By Service with information and ideas on Twitter @PowerByService or

If you have any more ideas about how young people can support the relief efforts, submit them on Youth Service America's Facebook fan page or reply to @YouthService on Twitter, using #youthrelief.

Also, with so much "breaking news," it's important to make sure we spread confirmed news and not rumors. Be responsible before you retweet information or post to Facebook and check your sources.

Fundraise and donate to relief organizations.

How To Raise Money
This tipsheet from Youth Service America contains a list of basic fundraising ideas:

Where To Donate, the State Department, and USAID, the federal agency coordinating the U.S. federal government response, all recommend donating to the Red Cross.

The United Nations Foundation is calling on its partners and friends to add their support by contributing to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which is the UN's humanitarian fund responding to emergencies like the earthquake in Haiti.  Donations can be made on-line at

The Huffington Post, The Clinton Foundation, and Interaction each list dozens of other organizations, including UNICEF, Operation USA, Save the Children, and MercyCorps.

Give Blood
According to the Red Cross Web site, you can be as young as 17 and donate blood. In fact, with your parents' permission, you can donate blood at the age of 16. The Red Cross is reporting that, while they always encourage blood donations, they are meeting the demands in Haiti with their current supply. But if this event inspires you to give, put that inspiration to good use and pull up your shirt sleeves. To learn more about donor eligibility, or to find a blood bank in your community, visit

Prepare for the next disaster or emergency.

This disaster is also a reminder about the importance of being prepared and ready to respond to any disaster or emergency, especially one in your own community. Here are a few resources to engage youth in service-learning projects focused on disaster preparedness.

Disaster Relief & Preparedness Through Service-Learning Module
Issue-based module and resource guide designed to engage youth in service-learning initiatives that addresses the issue of disaster relief and preparedness.

Guide to Service Learning for Disaster Preparation
This guide is designed as a resource and reference for anyone who is interested in engaging youth/students in service-learning focused on disaster preparation, response, mitigations, and/or recovery. The first section provides useful background information on service-learning, emergency management, and how to focus youth service-learning in this critical area. The second portion of the guide is a set of detailed descriptions and photographs of 20 of the funded projects in Florida. These descriptions provide contact information, background and details about activities, data on project impacts.

Prepare Today - Lead Tomorrow Teen Toolkit

This toolkit was created to support teen community preparedness service-learning experiences. It provides background information on community preparedness and service-learning and takes teens through the entire process of designing a service-learning project, assessment, and reflection. It also includes over a dozen worksheets and several project ideas.



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About Me

The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.