The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is our umbrella organization. They maintain Youth2‘s accounts as a Field of Interest Fund and invest funds to increase our cash reserves. The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is a creative foundation helping people find unique and unusual ways to help their communities. “The mission of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is to strengthen our community by attracting charitable endowments both large and small, maximizing benefits to donors, making effective grants and providing leadership to address community needs.”
On July 1, 2003 Beverly Lazar Davis wrote a letter to friends and family asking for their support in creating a fund to support youth interested in being creative and doing good in their communities. This letter became the foundation for Youth Squared.
In lieu of birthday presents, donations were given to begin Youth Squared. Nearly $7,000.00 was collected!!
Since Beverly’s 50th birthday, 45 grants have been given out to youth in Saratoga County helping youth locally and all around the world.
Many youth have had the opportunity to be a part of the Advisory Council. They have learned about community service and have been an active part of developing the organization of Youth2. Specifically youth have gained skills in the areas of: youth volunteer options, grant application and grant review process, proposal development, website creation, fund raising ideas, collecting community resource information, distribution of volunteer resources, public speaking skills, publicity ideas, inter-agency networking, reading financial statements and net assets, program evaluation and assessment, school social club opportunities, interviewing skills, mailings, youth philanthropy, recognizing and celebrating youth who give, writing press releases and documentation of the impact of social action. We have given out recommendations for youth who serve for college applications, Americorps, participation in government classes and we have given financial awards through our special yearly volunteer service award, the “Community Service Incentive Award”.
The Advisory Council has had three printings of The Book of Good Deeds- Volunteer And Social Action Opportunities In Saratoga County, one in 2005, 2010, 2015 and we are working to update the 2020 edition to be COVID appropriate. 1,500 Copies have been distributed to middle and high schools, libraries, the County Employment and Training office and community organizations. These books have helped youth find volunteer work to do in Saratoga county. The contents of The Book of Good Deeds is now available on this website.
Youth2 has participated in the teen volunteer job fairs held at the public library. We have given presentations to the Prevention Council, National Honor Society, Saratoga Mentoring Program, New England Congregational Presbyterian Youth Group, Benef-Actions at Skidmore College, The Forum at the Waldorf School, and plan to continue to do a circuit of speaking engagements.
We developed the forum for the “Community Giving Fair”, an alternative holiday market. We are exploring different web-based social action initiatives, like our 2014 “Humanitarian Games”- “Be the Hero” project. We continue to try to reach youth and connect them with the community of human service providers. We developed ” YouthSquared Days”, offering our services to help agencies with specific projects. We have developed other creative ways to help locally through our “Community Care Pop-UP events” and networking with other human service agencies.
Northeast Parent and Child Society and Presenting Sponsor GE selected Youth2- Youth Helping Youth as the 2011 “Champion for Children of the Capital Region”. “YouthSquared’s innovate approach to cultivating youth philanthropy has empowered hundreds of youth to make a difference in their neighborhoods and in their worlds alike.” It was an honor to be noted as an “out of the box” champion.
We have written press releases highlighting the projects done by the youth and have invited youth to apply for grants to help those impacted by natural disasters ( Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, etc. as well as creating meaningful and unique social action projects of their own. We participated in sending hygienic care packages to children in Iraq, given thousands of dollars to combat food insecurity and social injustice.
We have created our own T-shirts, which are available for purchase in many colors for $10.00 (Sizes- S, M, L, XL). We have written annual letters to all of our supporters summarizing our efforts.