By Marcelle Benedicta, Director of Business Development & Operations

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) was established in 1988 to celebrate and mobilize young people around the world to improve their communities through service. On April 16, in collaboration with the International Institute for Exchange Programs, CCI Greenheart participated in this largest volunteering event in the world by taking a group of Filipino J-1 Work & Travel participants to volunteer at a local food bank. International Institute for Exchange Programs (I-2) teamed up with our CCI Greenheart group to organize this event.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank graciously welcomed us. This organization serves over 3 million people a year and provided 34 million pounds of food in 2014. In three hours, our J-1 Work & Travel participants helped in the packaging and distribution process by sorting, relabeling, or repackaging food. A few culinary-trained students even had the opportunity to help the chef in the kitchen preparing some hot meals. Most of these international students had never volunteered before, so through the orientation and by working with each other and local Americans at the food bank, they were able to learn what volunteering means and how their actions impacted their community. Plus, they had a great time doing it and even shared a Filipino song in this video!

Thank you to GYSD for providing the platform for young people to volunteer. These children and youth are addressing serious global challenges in areas such as health, poverty and hunger, education, violence and bullying, public safety, and the environment. We applaud them for making a concrete effort in making the world a better place! Follow @YouthService on Instagram and Twitter for more information on GYSD.