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Utah Youth Go Digital to Engage in Community Service

Young Utahns are joining others around the world to engage in community service online. (Pixabay)
Young Utahns are joining others around the world to engage in community service online. (Pixabay)
January 15, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY – A growing number of young people are finding community service opportunities online.

DoSomething.org is one portal that offers various projects, including those focused on hunger, violence and discrimination.

Historically, the organization found its home in traditional school clubs that held in-person meetings, but spokesman Dezmon Gilmore says it is finding better ways to reach the technology-focused generation.

"What we realized is that this generation is involved and they have more access because of the amount of time they spend on the Internet, and we saw this unique opportunity for us to take it from this closed group of young people who were in these clubs in schools to scale that to give access to even more young people," he states.

DoSomething has more than 14,000 members in Utah. Projects include baking cookies for firefighters and raising money for children in need in other countries.

According to research from the University of Nevada, youth volunteering has increased steadily over the past 10 years, with 30 percent of youth participating in volunteer activities at least once a month since 2000.

Internationally, DoSomething.org's membership has increased from just over 1 million when it sponsored high school clubs to more than 5 million young people.

Gilmore says the organization works hard to make sure projects are accessible to all people.

"We try to make it so that they don't require an adult, don't require any money, and they shouldn't require a car,” he points out. “So, that way, any young person, no matter where you are or how much money or time you have, can feel empowered to take an action in your community."

Gilmore says this year the group is launching a new Grab the Mic campaign.

Each month, DoSomething will highlight a pressing issue, and show members how they can amplify their voices online, in communities, and at all levels of government.



Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT