By Heather Regula, Correspondent
Nearly 200 volunteers gathered at the Harris Community Center on Saturday, April 7, to participate in the annual One Community One Day event, organized by Belton’s Youth Advisory Commission (YAC) and the Parks and Recreation Department. One Community One Day is a community-wide, hands-on, service project geared towards assisting Belton residents with home repairs and cleanup. Belton residents in need of assistance with home projects applied in person at the Harris Community Center, online, or by filling out a form mailed with utility bills in January. Approximately 20 homes were selected as One Community One Day projects.
“In years past, there have been a lot of ‘day off volunteers’ – people stopping by to help because they were off that day. Today, we have many organized groups helping out today,” explained Matt Bates, Director of Parks and Recreation. “The weather is chilly today, but there is a remarkable turnout in support of One Community One Day! Each group participating today has been assigned at least one home project, and a YAC representative.”
The Youth Advisory Commission consists of mission-oriented youth serving the Belton community. The goal of the organization is “to develop youth leaders committed to learning about local government and the roles they can have in it, making a difference in our community and the lives of youth, recognizing their voice and using it, and representing other youth in the City of Belton.”
“We represent the youth in Belton, and for the past two months the Youth Advisory Committee has been working towards choosing the homes for One Community One Day and organizing the projects,” stated Garrett Smith, YAC Chair.
Belton High School was well represented by their volunteer force during Saturday’s event.
“We wanted to give students an opportunity to serve their community today, and we have representatives from many of our sports teams and organizations at school. In the past, various groups have participated in the One Community One Day projects, but today is the first time we have collectively come out to help,” explained Belton High School Principal Jill Ross. “There is a lot of value in the Youth Advisory Committee – it gives our students the opportunity to serve in local government and the chance to volunteer in their community.”
Nearly 20 Belton high school football players showed up to volunteer in support of One Community One Day.
“What an awesome opportunity to give back to the community! Our community believes so much in us, and we want to get our boys as involved in the community as possible,” remarked coach Brian Cope.