Y-Serve program making global service easy

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Students participate in Y-Serve's Service to the World activity by preparing coloring books for kids in foreign countries. These are just some of the many materials sent to schools and orphanages for children. (Elliott Miller)
Students participate in Y-Serve’s Service to the World activity by preparing coloring books for kids in foreign countries. These are just some of many materials Y-Serve sends to schools and orphanages. (Elliott Miller)

Pieces of felt fabric and googley eyes lay scattered over tables; soon they would resemble hand puppets. Next to the table were already dozens of finished puppets ready to go.

At the next table, students sat coloring pages for ABC books that would be bound and sent off. These are just some of the projects that students attending Service to the World take part in.

Service to the World is a Y-Serve program coordinated monthly through the efforts of students to give people around the world with humanitarian needs and supplies.

“We do monthly humanitarian aid projects, and we focus on the needs of children in developing countries,” said Peter Moody, a senior from Orem studying biochemistry.

Moody is one of two student program directors that coordinate these events each semester.

“The challenge that we face is finding projects that are both effective for us to do and for them,” Moody said. “We don’t want to send stuff that is useless to them, and we don’t want to do stuff that’s just for volunteers to do [something].”

This month’s project was making felt puppets and ABC books that are sent along with other supplies to countries in need. Moody said Service to the World partners with non-governmental organizations or people traveling through countries where things like these puppets and books are needed. Service to the World works with organizations such as Touch and Engage Now Africa to send projects to places like Ukraine and parts of Africa.

“A lot of these will probably go to Gabon, Africa, and some of them potentially to the Dominican Republic,” Moody said.

Volunteers make coloring books, blankets, scarves and other things to send through these packages. These monthly service projects offer students with opportunities to help.

Students Kalisha Foy and Trent Taylor sew puppets for Y-Serve's Service to the World activity. These puppets are easy to pack and transport to other countries making them a great service project toy. (Elliott Miller)
Students Kalisha Foy and Trent Taylor sew puppets for Y-Serve’s Service to the World activity. These puppets are easy to pack and transport to other countries, making them a great service project toy. (Elliott Miller)

Casey Greenwood, a sophomore from Clearfield studying theater education, said she got involved through friends and loves the many service opportunities available to students here.

“It’s so easy to come and do service,” Greenwood said. “When I went to Weber [State] it wasn’t so easy; you had to register and do all this [preliminary work] beforehand. It was just kind of inconvenient. But doing service here is really easy. I was surprised I could just show up like this.”

Ian Armstrong, a junior from Aspen studying neuroscience, is the other program director with Service to the World. He said this program is designed to not only serve others but to help students foster the service spirit by making it fun and social too.

“The whole goal behind Service to the World is two-fold,” Armstrong said. “It’s to create a spirit of service in people. … We have one service event a month, and it just cultivates that life of service in a social event here.”

Armstrong said the other goal of Service to the World is to provide service for students. He said they try to give students with resources to serve as well as mobilize it to make it easier.

Students can find out more information about service opportunities such as Service to the World in the Y-Serve office or on its website.

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