By: Mindy Weber, 2019 Generation SERVE Board President
Ten years ago, Marissa Vogel wasn’t able to find appropriate opportunities to introduce her daughters to community service - so she decided to do something about it. With the help of her friends and family, Little Helping Hands was born.
From the beginning, it was clear that families in Central Texas were ready for Family Volunteering. In its first six months, Little Helping Hands hosted 48 volunteer activities, engaged 89 families and 152 kids, and partnered with 19 nonprofit organizations. And that was just the beginning. Ten years later, the organization looks very different. We have a new name - Generation SERVE. A new Executive Director - Amy Loar. And our programming has evolved into a comprehensive service pathway that engages youth of all ages in service and community leadership. What hasn’t changed is the way Generation SERVE and its mission resonate with Central Texas families. Despite growing the program calendar every year, demand for high quality volunteer opportunities remains high. In 2018 alone:
7,200 children from nearly 3,500 families volunteered through our programs, contributing over 16,500 volunteer hours to our community!
Participation in our Youth Leadership Program nearly doubled and our teen programs expanded, with teen participants contributing more than 2,000 hours of community service to partners across Austin!
Generation SERVE has become an essential part of family life here in Central Texas, and folks outside our community are starting to take notice. Across the country, families are eager to learn how they can bring Generation SERVE to their community, and I’m proud to say that we are finally ready to answer their call! We believe that the need for well-informed, community-minded leaders, like Generation SERVE youth, is more urgent than ever and it’s time for our mission to become a movement.
It is an honor to serve as President of Generation SERVE’s Board of Directors, and in the coming months I will be sharing exciting updates about our plans for expansion. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in supporting Generation SERVE with your time, your talent and your treasure. There are big changes underfoot, and we couldn’t be more excited!
Mindy Weber cooking food at Caritas of Austin with children, Louisa, Amelia and Simon.
Mindy (right) wrapping gifts for Partnerships for Children’s Holiday Wishes Program with husband Lowell (center) and daughters Louisa and Amelia.
Mindy and her son Simon stock mobile food pantries with food and essentials at Mobile Loaves & Fishes.