Generations of local volunteers will join Palo Alto nonprofit Youth Community Service on Saturday, Oct. 24, for a day of volunteer projects benefiting the environment, seniors and needy families and individuals.
The event, part of National Make a Difference Day, will involve students from Gunn and Palo Alto high schools in what has become the largest day of service across the country, involving millions of volunteers.
Palo Alto's volunteer day will begin in front of Palo Alto City Hall, at 250 Hamilton Ave., with a kickoff featuring Palo Alto Mayor Karen Holman and East Palo Alto Mayor Lisa Gauthier. Then volunteers of all ages will fan out to work on projects in 15 locations across the Midpeninsula from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Participants will plant trees with the nonprofit Canopy at Bol Park behind Gunn; care for Cooley Landing shoreline park in East Palo Alto with nonprofit Acterra; arrange flowers with Acterra to take to seniors at Lytton Gardens; bag toiletries at nonprofit Project WeHope and sort food at the nonprofit Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto. Additional projects will take place at the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo and the Palo Alto Baylands duck pond.
The project is being sponsored by YCS and includes Palo Alto Family YMCA, Palo Alto University Rotary, Rotary Club of Palo Alto, Bayshore Rotary, Kiwanis Clubs, City of Palo Alto, City of East Palo Alto and Live in Peace.
Leif Erickson, YCS executive director, said several hundred volunteers are expected at the event.
"We are grateful to Mayor Karen Holman for her leadership in building healthy communities through service. She is letting our young people -- and their allies -- know how much our community values their spirit of compassion and eagerness to make a difference," Erickson said in a statement.
Participants should arrive at 9 a.m. at King Plaza to select projects. They can also register in advance at the YCS website.
This year YCS is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a nonprofit organization that engages young people to build leadership and life skills, empathy for others and a sense of connectedness and purpose.