LA's BEST celebrates Global Youth Service Day with Yoobi and Good Work(s)!

Who says kids are selfish?

Throughout the past weekend, millions of generous kids will be celebrated. All over the world.

On Friday, LA’s BEST After school Enrichment Program joined thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries by observing Global Youth Service Day—the world’s largest service event that focuses on mobilizing the millions of young people who improve their communities through service. LA’s BEST proudly recognized 1,400 students who engaged in community service to better Los Angeles. 

“A person’s value has nothing to do with income,” said President & CEO Eric Gurna, who oversaw the celebration. “We want the children we work with to understand how much they have to give and how important it is for all of us to contribute to our schools, our neighborhoods, our communities, our world. Helping a neighbor is improving the world.”

Since its founding by Mayor Tom Bradley in 1988, we have kept children safe during the critical hours between 3 pm and 6 pm, when they are most vulnerable to drugs, crime and violence – after school dismisses but before parents arrive home from work. Although LA's BEST offers a wide variety of enrichment activities – arts, sports, science, math, language – a core aspect ofour program is its Service Learning component. Service Learning adds an educational dimension to volunteering. Our educators develop curricula around the community service they lead children in the program to perform.

“When we do well, service learning enriches young people, and enriches their communities in a tangible, literal, intentional way,” Gurna said. Besides service-learning projects, LA’s BEST provides opportunities for children ages 5-12 to perform simple acts of kindness throughout the year. During the recent holidays, 1,400 children in LA’s BEST volunteered in their communities. All of the students will receive new school supplies donated by Yoobi. The supplies will be delivered in brand-new backpacks, donated by Good Work(s) Make a Difference. The first 200 backpacks filled with school supplies were awarded on Friday.

LA’s BEST Governing Board Member Candy Spelling presented the first backpack to a child at the event. 

Both of the donating companies – Good Work(s) and Yoobi – make giving back a part of their business models. Good Work(s) donates a portion of all sales to a charity of choice each year. This year’s recipient: LA’s BEST. Yoobi is based on a bright yet simple idea; colorful, vibrant supplies for school, home or office that give back to classrooms in need. For every Yoobi item purchased, Yoobi contributes a Yoobi item to a classroom in need, right here in the U.S. Leaders of both companies say contributing to society is important to their customers.

This year, Global Youth Service Day is chaired by First Lady Michelle Obama. This marks the twenty-seventh year of the celebration, which began in 1988 as "A Day in the Life of Youth Service." Two years later, the event became National Youth Service Day. In 2000, it expanded into Global Youth Service Day in 2000. The event is observed in all 50 states, more than 100 countries and on six continents.

Famed anthropologist Jane Goodall once remarked, "Every individual counts, every individual has a role to play, and every individual makes a difference. Global Youth Service Day proves it.”