Team Kids Servathon: Tour Across America Coming to San AngeloPress Release
On August 2, a Youth Council called Team Kids will be stopping in San Angelo at the El San Angelo Public Housing, 1301 E. 22nd Street, from 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Team Kids Servathon: Tour Across America will bring together 40 teen leaders to serve 14 cities in 14 days to honor the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11. In response to the tragedy, Team Kids mobilized 3,200 children, parents and public safety officers to create a one-mile friendship chain to commemorate the fallen heroes.
The tour’s purpose is to spark a national movement to increase engagement of youth in addressing diverse community issues and to showcase the role that youth play today as innovative community leaders.
The service tour will start with a community event at the Team Kids pilot Vista Verde Elementary School in Irvine, California on Saturday, July 30.
The tour will then stop for youth-led community service projects and random acts of kindness in the following cities: Phoenix, Arizona; El Paso, Texas; San Angelo, Texas; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Shanksville, Pennsylvania; Washington D.C.; Arlington, Virgina; and New York, New York.
The teen leaders will partner with public safety and veterans for several of their projects. Other service projects include: landscaping and cleaning an affordable housing community for disabled, chronically homeless; partnering with youth-led organizations to rebuild homes destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; hosting a youth town hall meeting; and providing joy to the children of military fallen heroes who have died in active duty since Sept. 11.
Tapping into the compassion and positive energy inherent in youth inspired Julie Hudash to begin Team Kids in 2001. A passionate youth advocate and mother of five young students, Julie was determined to mobilize children as a significant community resource.
“Only one in four children in the U.S. feels valued by adults and that they are given useful roles in their respective communities,” says Hudash. “How do we expect to raise the next generation of competent, compassionate leaders, when we are discouraging our youngest citizens from serving as passionate leaders in their communities?”
Her answer to this question was to create and build Team Kids, a nonprofit that empowers children to change the world by providing them with youth-driven, hands-on opportunities to help others in their community and abroad. Police officers, firefighters, educators, parents and Team Kids staff mentor the children in their efforts, as the children take the lead.
“Team Kids is truly unique because it connects children to public safety mentors in their community and gives them a chance to lead and address important community issues at a critically young age,” says Arlington County Deputy Manager, Jim Schwartz. “Giving kids this opportunity at the elementary school age has powerful positive repercussions on the children’s beliefs and behaviors, and protects them from high risk ones.” Jim Schwartz serves on Team Kids’ Advisory Council and was the former fire chief of Arlington County and a first responder to the September 11th attack on the Pentagon.
A film crew will follow the service tour to capture a documentary to spotlight youth service across the nation and youth’s hopes and dreams for the future. This documentary will be released in the fall along with a youth service kit to support the continuation of youth service across America.