Spring Youth Service Day (SYSD) allows us to make an incredible impact on thousands of youth nationwide and gives us an even greater platform to stretch our national community and brotherhood while developing ourselves in the servant leader model.
Participating in this national service event also provides an opportunity for you and your brothers to reach out to partner organizations and work alongside individuals with a similar mission in the pursuit of service to youth everywhere. Alpha Phi Omega has been in a partnership with Youth Service America for their Global Youth Service Day since 2001. This partnership has provided a wider network and a renewed resolve to fulfill Frank Reed Horton’s dream that Alpha Phi Omega would make the world a better place, particularly through our service to “the youth of all nations.”
Each year, we call upon brothers of every chapter of our Fraternity to step up and participate in Spring Youth Service Day by planning an event or program that helps advance Alpha Phi Omega’s goal to serve those of all walks of life and also helps provide service and compassion to our communities’ youth members. It is through Global Youth Service Day that we join with brothers from across our nation and with those who participate in a worldwide day of service. This movement now includes projects that serve more than 1 million youth in more than 100 countries.
We are now calling upon you to maximize the resources of your chapter to plan a project that:
Self-evaluation of yourselves and your chapter’s effort is essential to ensure we provide service that satisfies the greater needs of our communities. Now is the time as our Fraternity moves forward as an organization and we close in on a century of service to our chapters, campuses, communities and country.
Our goal is for chapters to strive for 100% participation among active members in a Spring Youth Service Day event. To best serve you in your pursuit of planning a Spring Youth Service Day event, we urge you to utilize this handbook and to reach out to resources beyond like your sectional, regional and national volunteers.
Additionally, don’t forget that your chapter is required to use Officer Portal to report back on your Spring Youth Service Day project, whether you did one or not. Any projects your chapter does this spring to serve youth, even if the event doesn’t take place during the SYSD weekend, can and should be reported by May 1.
“Service is life.”
– Fred Rogers [Mr. Rogers]
You must report your project (or report non-participation) by May 1. Chapter officers must submit a SYSD Participation Report through the Chapter Officer Portal at op.apo.org. This report has been one of two reports required each year since the 2002 National Convention for a chapter to remain in good standing with the Fraternity. Chapters are also required to submit a participation report for National Service Week each fall.
Completing this online form takes just a few minutes. You will be asked to include information like how many people participated in the project, how many hours of service were performed, names of other groups involved and details of any publicity that was generated.
Alpha Phi Omega first made a commitment to become a part of Youth Service America’s National Youth Service Day (now Global Youth Service Day) in 2001. Our involvement helps us meet part of the commitment we make to America’s Promise, the “Network for Youth” founded by General Colin Powell (Ret).
Global Youth Service Day gets young people involved in service and calls attention to the impact that youth service makes on the public. GYSD is organized by Youth Service America (YSA) and includes more than 100 countries and millions of young people worldwide. Projects are organized by communities, schools and local organizations. Global Youth Service Day is an opportunity to recruit the next generation of volunteers while promoting the benefits of youth service to the public.
America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth, founded by General Colin L. Powell (Ret) – is mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of our nation’s youth by fulfilling Five Promises for young people:
1. Ongoing relationships with caring adults in their lives — parents, mentors, tutors or coaches.
2. Safe places with structured activities during non-school hours.
3. Healthy start and future.
4. Marketable skills through effective education.
5. Opportunities to give back through community service.
These Five Promises contain the seeds for a national movement capable of advancing the health and wellbeing of the next generation. We all must take responsibility and get involved to make this a reality.
Alpha Phi Omega has made a national commitment to America’s Promise’s national service program by continuing our strong tradition of youth service and by participating in Global Youth Service Day annually.
For more information, please visit www.americaspromise.org
Use this checklist to help plan, conduct and evaluate your chapter’s Spring Youth Service Day project. This timeline is to be used as a reference and your chapter’s schedule may vary. More time for planning usually results in a more successful project, but remember that if you cannot meet these dates, you may still participate in SYSD. Do not feel limited to the suggestions in this handbook. The planning of SYSD is supposed to be more involved than your regular projects – stretching yourselves to reach new goals with your SYSD project is part of the way SYSD is not just a project, but a learning opportunity as well. Ideally, your chapter should have a special committee dedicated to overseeing the planning of your SYSD project.
In addition to your chapter’s brothers, your project should involve the help of external people and organizations. Remember to ask your advisors for help. Other groups on campus are also potential partners. You might consider inviting other chapters in your section and region to participate in your project (if chapters choose to partner, remember that all chapters must individually report their participation). Partnering with others increases the impact the project may have, both in terms of completed service and fellowship!
Working with other student and community groups can give brothers access to greater resources that allow for the organization of bigger and better projects. Collaborating with other organizations can provide more volunteers, promotional and outreach opportunities and creative minds during the project planning process.
Make sure to do plenty of research before calling any groups with a request for partnership. When you call, keep in mind that the person who answers the phone may not be the one responsible for volunteer activities. When you are able to speak with the appropriate person, ask questions to better understand the group’s goals and inquire about their level of interest in SYSD. Maintain a record of everyone you have called, what you spoke about and/or with whom you have left messages.
In order to be prepared for conversations with potential partners, know the answers to these questions before you begin:
It may be helpful to mention your chapter’s previous experiences working with the group you are contacting, or other similar groups with whom they may be familiar. You may also want to have a list of people in the organization that APO has worked with in the past. Have basic knowledge about APO and your chapter available, including:
It is important to be clear about the limitations of your chapter and avoid setting premature or unrealistic expectations of your role. Present your plans and requests in a confident, positive manner as you express your interest in working together for the same cause.
Below is a sample outline of a conversation you might have when speaking to other groups or individuals about NSW activities. Use this guide to help you prepare the right information for working with other groups. You should edit this outline for the specific purpose of your conversation. You can also use this guide to help draft letters to be sent to service organizations in your area.
Hi, my name is ________________ and I’m a student volunteer with Alpha Phi Omega [co-ed] Service Fraternity at _______________ College/University. We are planning our annual APO National Service Week service project for [DATE]. This year, our activities will focus on _________. We would like to explore the possibility of partnering with your group to:
A significant goal of NSW is to involve more people in our communities in service activities, especially people who might be new to service projects or who may have a particular interest in the National Service Week program theme.
Again, my name is ___________ and you can reach me at ###-#### or email me at ______. Thank you very much for your time!
At any point during your chapter’s NSW project planning process, help is available. Your advisors, alumni, sectional and regional staff are available to give you guidance, ideas, contact information and more, so don’t delay in reaching out for help.
Additionally, the Fraternity’s leadership includes a national service program chair, as well as elected regional chairs who are here to help answer questions and connect chapters with local support.
|Region A Chair||Kevin Lowe||[email protected]|
|Region B Chair||Susan Taylor||[email protected]|
|Region C Chair||Heather Lehman||[email protected]|
|Region D Chair||James Busby||[email protected]|
|Region E Chair||Steven Bauer||[email protected]|
|Region F Chair||Justin Martin||[email protected]|
|Region G Chair||Michael DeLuka||[email protected]|
|Region H Chair||Brittany Ramsey||[email protected]|
|Region I Chair||Codi Whittington||[email protected]|
|Region J Chair||Jabari Ben||[email protected]|
|Region K Chair||Michael Brown||[email protected]|
|Region L Chair||Jennifer Headman||[email protected]|
|Region M Chair||Tre Kolling, III||[email protected]|
|Region N Chair||Jesse Manchester||[email protected]|
|Region O Chair||Jessica Lane||[email protected]|
|Region P Chair||Paul Galuskin||[email protected]|
|Region Q Chair||Michael Haber||[email protected]|
|Region R Chair||Eric Strickland||[email protected]|