Empowering teens to serve

Comprised of 40 volunteer employees, the Child and Family Support Center has housed hundreds of neglected and abused children in Cache Valley who otherwise would have no place else to go. With a lagging economy, the non-profit center, located at 380 W. 1400 N. in Logan, depends on government funds and community awareness and may have to start turning kids away.This Saturday at the Cache Valley Mall a fundraiser and service project for the center will be held, and it’s all being be run by teenagers. With blanket tying, assembling care packages, painting toy cars, and not to mention a very large car wash, August 8th will seem more like a party than a service project. The title, Cache Valley Kids Helping Kids, describes perfectly what the fundraiser aims to do. “We really want to empower teenagers to serve,” says fundraiser director Mackinzie Hamilton, a Jr. at Mt. Crest High School. “What better way to start than by helping the kids in our own community?”Thirty-five 12-18 year-olds from around the valley have been meeting for the past month, planning diligently to make Saturday’s fundraising event a success. “We’re just amazed by [their] age and that [they’ve] been able to pull this off,” said Child and Family Support Center director Estherlee Molyneaux. “They’ve accomplished so, so much.” Each member of the committee comes from a different walk of life but have all been united trying to make the valley a better place. From 1-5 p.m., high school-aged teens are invited to come serve Saturday in an effort to give each child at the center something to leave with and feel cared for. “There are a lot of kids out there that could use some support and use our help,” said Mountain Crest Sophomore Sean Kemp. Indeed, the kids involved have had to sacrifice a lot of time but all agree it’s been well worth it. “I really liked being a part of this fundraiser because it’s for such a great cause and it makes me stop and think how fortunate we are,” said Alexis Jergensen, 16.Kylee Checketts, another member of the committee, likes the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than herself. “I get to help out other people who don’t get those blessings and opportunities I have,” she said. “They have to live a different life and I get to give back.”With everything ready for Saturday’s big event, all they need now is the community’s help. “For this to be successful we’ll need lots of willing people, teenagers and adults alike!” Hamilton said. Over 70 businesses have donated their time, products, and money to make this fundraiser something special. For the price of a car wash, participants could win hotel stays, outdoor equipment, gift cards to fine eateries, and more. No matter what happens they’ll still be happy with what they’ve done and hope other teenagers will come and support the event. “Teens should get involved in this to help those who are struggling,” said Jergensen. Not to mention those who help for an hour are invited to a private pool party at the Logan Aquatic Center that night, a definite reward. “Now that’s going to be a blast!”

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