STOW – Volunteer work is a big part of shaping the youth of a community.
Stow Youth Commission, which was started two years ago, is stepping up this summer to fill a need with the elderly who may not want to risk their health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tara Brzuski, chairperson/liaison for the Stow Youth Commission, has students who want to help with yard work, running errands and other tasks for seniors in the community. The city has a list of seniors they call and check on for any needs.
"We are reaching out weekly to our seniors on a call list," said Mayor John Pribonic. "We’re inviting people if they know someone to let us reach out to them."
The two combined create a partnership, and Pribonic said they are in the phase of matching high school students with a senior.
"I look at 2020 and it’s so different but some great things will come out of it because we’re having to think creatively," Pribonic said. "This is an excellent opportunity for a new program."
The Stow Youth Commission has raised money from its Park It Market last May for the Haven of Rest and in December, raised funds to provide families with gift cards and toys for the holidays, he said. Young people have volunteered to do something for the community.
"We’re trying to match up senior citizens who need help doing yard work and other things," Brzuski said. "Now, it feels more necessary especially for people who don’t have family living close to help out. We’re looking for people who want to sit and chat outside or do yard work, groceries or run errands."
Working with the city, Brzuski said they hope to call seniors and find out what support they need.
Any young person going into high school or college can volunteer, she said. An online form is available at for students at https://forms.gle/BTd1fuX9M3UN2LkFA.
Seniors can sign up at https://forms.gle/esRAnZ4AFd3iaGcR9.
Students who want to join the Stow Youth Commission for the 2020-21 school year can sign up at https://forms.gle/Fz8FBBraRbohx44R6.
Parents need to sign a waiver for anyone under 18.
"Our ongoing vision is to bridge the gap between the generations," Brzuksi said. "There are a lot of kids to provide community service but it’s a different situation now."
Next year Stow Youth Commission hopes to incorporate local organizations and add a learning component about civic organizations, Brzuski said. Students who go to different schools but live in Stow are invited to join.
For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information Stow Youth Commission go to Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StowycOH.