Last item for navigation
High School Volunteers Target Community Needs
High School Volunteers Target Community Needs
Posted on 12/03/2021
A new volunteering club at the Discovery Academy is helping connect high school students with area needs.Featured Photos: 1) New members of the Discovery Academy's Volunteer Organization for Youth club pack Comfort Bags for Sleep Tight Kids. 2) Sydney Selmensberger, Founder of Volunteer Organization for Youth. 3) Comfort Bags included items like teddy bears, books, blankets, and dental hygiene kits.

By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

A new volunteering club at the Nesbitt Discovery Academy is helping connect high school students with area needs.

Sydney Selmensberger, Founder of Volunteer Organization for YouthJunior Sydney Selmensberger is the visionary behind the Volunteer Organization for Youth (VOY) that makes it easier for her peers to find serving opportunities. Back in middle school, Selmensberger found it difficult to find and meet needs on her own, so she teamed up with a group of friends to make a greater impact. Still serving, she officially formed the after school club at her high school in October with meetings held every other week on Tuesdays. The club already has about 40 student members.

“The second you have a group, you can have a greater impact,” she said. “I thought it’d be really cool to get lots of kids that I know more volunteering hours and the chance to get involved in our community.”

After school on Wednesday, Dec. 1, nine VOY members joined volunteers with Sleep Tight Kids (STK) to pack Comfort Bags full of items designed to give children in need a comfortable night of sleep. Alongside STK staff and volunteers from Asheville City Schools, the group packed up new blankets, teddy bears, books, journals, and dental hygiene kits. The bags will be delivered to kids in orphanages, safe houses, and foster care environments.

“The entire premise of our organization is to provide kids with a good night’s sleep with new items,” said STK founder and former school teacher Jill Schwarzkopf. “Some of the kids cry when they get the Comfort Bags because they’ve never had anything new, never had anything with tags on it.”

Comfort Bags included items like teddy bears, books, blankets, and dental cleaning kits.Selmensberger was glad to see her vision for VOY become a reality, and hopes to see the club expand to other high schools over time. Members recently volunteered with Eblen Charities’ St. Nicholas Project, and they have plans to assist Manna FoodBank and Project Linus — an organization that provides homemade blankets to children in hospitals.

“A lot of these are smaller organizations that really do need help,” she said. “In this club, you’re giving your ideas and finding things that are really special to you. We can find something for everybody.”

Learn more about getting involved with the Volunteer Organization for Youth and Sleep Tight Kids.

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

    Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation.
    All rights reserved. Privacy Statement