Youth-Led "Serve to Remember" St Louis Sept 10-11th Weekend Service Project Sept 10-11

The goal of our project is to engage youth and include all families (with special needs kids, wheelchair, elderly grandparents) in a an art appreciation project "Cards for Courage" on Saturday, September 10th and 11th at the Annual St Louis Art Fair, (St Louis's weekend Art Fair event) and on Sunday afternoon organize a fitness walk and park beautification project as a tribute to victims and the heroes who were killed on that fateful morning of September 11, 2011. We planned a two-day service project for families and youth with the booth at the St Louis Art Fair and a one mile fitness walk and trail-clean up service project with a memorial dedication on Sunday, September 11th from 1-3pm. We will ask families to dress in clean-up and casual clothes in shades of red, white and blue. Planting a tree and placing a plaque near the park tree will leave a permanent dedication for current and future generations to remember and we hope will promote future service projects.  We plan to recruit at least 100-150 youth volunteers to organize and host "Cards for Courage" create a card volunteer booth at the St Louis Art Fair where young children can make thank you/appreciation cards for our military service personnel and veterans.  On Sunday, September 11th project, we have invited over 500 families, schools,  and area nonprofits to participate in the event. We have divided tasks amongst twelve youth volunteers(organizing volunteers, requesting donations, contacting media, creating signage)  and hope that they will also recruit additional youth. 
Many of our peers along with younger children have a limited memory, knowledge and/or understanding of how the world changed for everyone on September 11. 2001. The St Louis "Serve to Remember" project will engage youth and families with young children two ways. We will staff  our own  “Cards for Courage” booth at the St Louis Art Fair on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th and plan a  family fitness and service project on Sunday, September 11th from 1-3pm. Planting a tree and placing a plaque near the park tree will leave a permanent dedication for current and future generations to remember marking the date of the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001.  The Brentwood police department has offered to lead the group in a moment of silence and present and a short presentation speech to honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We hope to connect youth in the community and to promote future partnerships with service projects.  Limited opportunities exist for youth and families with young children(especially those with children with down syndrome and on the autism spectrum) to get involved in service projects. Encouraging family fitness with a one mile walk followed by a park clean-up project will fully engage all ages in our community. We plan to recruit at least 100 youth volunteers to organize and host the “Cards for Courage” volunteer booth at the St Louis Art Fair where young children can make thank you/appreciation cards for our military service personnel and veterans in the Creative Castle of the St Louis Art Fair.  We will also promote the clean-up and walk at the St Louis Art Fair. For the Sunday, September 11th project, we invited over 500 families, schools and area nonprofits. This is a truly a youth-led project in that we have divided and split up tasks equally amongst the group.
We have met with the local YMCA marketing director, Brentwood police department and government officials to start planning the event. We have currently recruited 12 youth from area schools utilizing social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, texts, email blasts, local newspapers and utilize flyers to to recruit additional youth volunteers when school resumes in late August through morning announcements and contact high school guidance counselors.  We invited the local Autism Support groups and Down Syndrome organizations and asked if they would  promote and encourage participation with their contacts.  We sent out a press release and contacted radio, television, newspapers and local magazines with our plans.  We reserved our table with St Louis Art Fair and they will provide a tent, table and art supplies free to our group for “Cards for Courage” to thank our Military Service. We will deliver the handcrafted children’s cards to the VA Hospital and USO.

We approached our local YMCA to see if they would collaborate with us and invite their staff, members and  families to participate in the walk and clean-up(the park is adjacent to their facility)  They kindly offered to support and join our project. They have provided meeting rooms, access to office supplies and the copy machine along with a list of contacts. We contacted the Brentwood parks and recreation department for donations of shovels, garden tools and cleanup supplies. The Brentwood police department has offered to speak at the memorial service and lead us in a moment of silence. We are currently approaching local businesses for healthy food snack donations and discounts for printing services and supplies.  We will borrow two large industrial jugs for water from our community center. The art supplies, table and tent are all graciously donated to the St Louis Art Fair from area art supply stores and to date we put in our request for the art project supplies.