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Local student service organization’s members to serve on April 25, 2009, at America’s Second Harvest of Tampa Bay.

In recognition of Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), on Saturday, April 25, South Tampa- based student service organization GET REAL Involved! will join over three million youth worldwide by volunteering at America’s Second Harvest where they will assist in sorting surplus food to be distributed among Hillsborough County’s needy.

GET REAL Involved! is a student program that focuses on engaging Hillsborough County middle and high school students in community service.   Formed in 2006,  GET REAL Involved! was started in an effort to overcome the barriers to youth engagement in volunteerism, including “not knowing how to begin” and “lack of transportation.”

In addition to being a major initiative of the Obama Administration, in Hillsborough County as in other Florida counties community service is a key criterion for eligibility for Bright Futures Scholarships as well as for entrance to select honors programs and scholastic organizations.  Through its monthly turnkey community service trips in support of area agencies such as America’s Second Harvest, Metropolitan Ministries and others, GET REAL Involved! assists area teens in meeting their volunteer hour requirements among friends and peers via planned, organized, and chaperoned volunteer events.  Moreover, GET REAL Involved! provides an environment independent of parents where students are free to develop their own value system relative to community service.

Sponsored by the Youth Ministry of Hyde Park United Methodist Church, since its inception GET REAL Involved! has logged a total of 1,200 local service hours.  All trips are fully chaperoned by background checked adults, and all sites are screened to insure accommodation of student groups.

For GET REAL Involved!’s Saturday, April 25th Global Youth Service Day event, students will meet at 7:30 a.m. at Hyde Park United Methodist’s Magnolia Building.  From there, they will be transported as a group to America’s Second Harvest for a four hour shift.  Following the shift, students will be transported back to HPUMC’s Magnolia Building for pick up by parents.  Participation in the event is open to all area middle and high school students upon completion of the required parental permission forms, obtainable upon arrival for the event.


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