Our Mission: To engage children in volunteerism and empower them to make a difference in their communities.
Our Vision: Generations of youth who develop into community-minded leaders.
These important statements provide us with a goal to work toward each day. They help us understand our impact and keep our team focused on what we set out to accomplish at Generation SERVE.
With this mission and vision in mind, we have worked fast and furiously to put our stamp on the next generation, and we have grown to a formidable sized organization – with a staff of 10, a Board of Directors of 15, and an Activity Lead team of 45! As we have grown, an organizational culture has emerged that we are proud of and that makes Generation SERVE very unique. So recently, our team defined our core values to ensure that we stay true to who we are, even as we expand our organization and our reach.
Our Core Values
Trust: Trust binds our work with each other, our volunteer families, and our community partners.
Our Program Director Charli Krause explains, “Trust is integral to what we do. I’m honored when our nonprofit partners trust our families and our team with their projects. They have faith that we will get everything done and done correctly, and the families know that what they are doing is important and meaningful.”
Collaboration: We embrace the interconnectivity of our work.
Marketing Director Allison Johnson points out, “The interconnectivity of Austin’s nonprofit community and the extensive network of partnerships organizations have with each other is what allows our community to continue moving forward on issues like homelessness, animal welfare, environmental stewardship, literacy and so much more. We love being part of that big web of passionate people making Austin better every day!”
Innovation: We are resourceful and creative in achieving our mission.
Barbara Lundquist, Youth Leadership Programs Manager, elaborates, “Innovation is essential to Generation SERVE because youth are eager to make a difference, and we are here to ensure they are fully equipped to do so. We are working alongside the next generation of creative problem solvers, and they have big ideas. We push ourselves so that we can continue pushing them. We are always asking questions and seeking out opportunities to grow in any situation, while building relationships, adapting to change, and learning from every experience. Every youth volunteering activity is an opportunity for a young mind to notice a new solution so we want to make sure we have the innovative programs to allow for their ideas to flourish.”
Inclusivity: We are committed to creating and fostering an environment where everyone can engage with our mission.
Arielle, our Marketing Manager, explains, “Generation SERVE was founded on the idea that community service is for everyone. We have challenged the idea that quality work can only be done by adults by bringing volunteers as young as 3 years old into organizations across Austin to alleviate the workloads of organizations’ staff, provide a friendly face to their clients, and help them focus on the real work of achieving their respective missions. Providing opportunities to volunteer as a family makes service more accessible to parents, especially working and single parents, because they no longer have to worry about childcare and can instead share the experience with their loved ones. Since our Family Volunteering program is free and activities take place in just about every neighborhood in the greater Austin area, we see families from all walks of life and all demographic groups participate with us and enjoy the benefits that service can provide to both youth and adults.
“Our team is always thinking about inclusivity, whether it’s about fee assistance for families unable to pay the cost of our fee-based programs, tools for accessibility (like ASL interpretation or MetroAccess transportation for program participants) or Spanish language materials for non-native English speakers. Every day, we look for new ways to make our programs approachable and accessible for families and youth of all backgrounds and abilities.”
Passion for Service: Our staff, volunteers, and organization demonstrate what it means to be community-minded leaders.
Amy Loar, our Executive Director, emphasizes, “It is key to our organization that everyone – board, staff, and volunteers have a strong connection to what we are doing to create community-minded leaders through service. We see this through the parents and community members that donate considerable time to Board service, families that continue to volunteer with us, the kids that volunteer regularly and join our programs to dig deeper into what it means to serve, and our staff who make all of this possible.
“Trust, collaboration, innovation, inclusivity, and passion for service are the values that make Generation SERVE what it is today, and they guide what we will become in the future.”
Program Director Charli Krause (second from right) presents a plaque to the City of Austin in celebration of 10 years of partnership.
Marketing Director Allison Johnson volunteering at Meals on Wheels with her son, Carter.
Youth Leadership Programs Manager Barbara Lundquist facilitates a Teen Service Day in the Generation SERVE office.
Marketing Manager Arielle Scherr (left) poses with a group of volunteers at Family Volunteer Day 2018.
Executive Director Amy Loar volunteering at Caritas of Austin with her daughters, Ellen and Cora.