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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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For Individuals > For Current Members and Volunteers >
 
Stories of Service

 

Learn and Serve America

 
The ManaTEEN  Club
The ManaTEEN Club – Florida
 

In 1994, Laura and Kat Lockwood were bored teenagers looking for a creative outlet in their community of Bradenton, Florida. Daughters of an active volunteer, the two sisters recruited 20 of their friends and created ManaTEENs, a countywide club for teens interested in volunteering. The founding members worked hard to attain the trust and respect of local nonprofit organizations and change their perceptions of young people. Initially, the group couldn’t find many organizations willing to see the value in youth volunteers, so they created their own projects, a trademark of the program today.

Thanks in large part to a grant from Learn and Serve America, ManaTEENs were empowered to promote youth voice and philanthropy. A council of ManaTEENs was created to approve funding proposals from local nonprofits. Through this work, the ManaTEENS gained the respect of area charities and began working with them to create volunteer opportunities that fully tap the energies and talents of young people.

Today, there are more than 14,000 active ManaTEENs who not only assist 572 local agencies with volunteer needs, but create, implement, evaluate, sustain, and replicate 92 signature service programs.

For example, Shannon Walsh, the club’s 2005 president, read an article in the newspaper about how many low-income elderly people can’t afford to buy pet food and often end up sharing their own meals with their pets. Shannon responded with PAWS — a “Meals on Wheels” program for seniors’ pets. Deliveries are made once a month to program participants. To raise donations for the program, Shannon, a track and field athlete, organized a 5K run where the entry fee was a bag of dog or cat food.

Reflecting on what makes ManaTEENs so special, founder Laura Lockwood notes: “ManaTEENs are seeing needs that adults aren’t looking at. We basically think it up, and get some teenagers to do it. A lot of times we’ve done goofy things – but we’re open to goofy ideas because a lot of them work.”

 

 
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