February 12, 2020

On today's show we talk with Jennifer Guynn, Founder and Executive Director of Pebble Tossers, a comprehensive youth and family volunteer service organization.

Our youth are not only an extremely valuable resource of energy, creativity and good will, but they are also the key to our future. In today’s culture we are so wrapped with ‘wants’ and ‘achievements,’ that it is very easy for our teenagers to grow up without a sense of gratitude for what they have and empathy for the needs of those less fortunate around them.

Volunteering teaches people that there is life outside of themselves, and encourages compassion and action to help others. Teen volunteering has been on a steady rise since the 1980s.

The Corporation for National and Community Service found that an estimated 15.5 million youth – or 55 percent of youth ages 12 to 18 – participate in volunteer activities.  Youth contribute more than 1.3 billion hours of community service each year.

82% of students who participated in service-learning reported increased positive feelings about attending high school.  Volunteerism also positively impacts other youth social and behavioral issues like teen pregnancy, dropout, substance abuse and violence.

Research has shown that while over 90% of us want to volunteer, only 1 out of 4 Americans actually do. The main problem here is a lack of information available.  Many don’t know where to look or how to find the many volunteer opportunities available in the community.

This brings us to today's highlighted nonprofit, Pebble Tossers...

Pebble Tossers is a youth development nonprofit with a mission to empower and equip youth to lead through service. @pebbletossers

Back in September 2008, Founders Jennifer Guynn and Jeni Stephens recognized the lack of service opportunities for youth and the need for a resource to connect kids with age-appropriate volunteer projects.  This inspired Pebble Tossers…metro Atlanta’s most comprehensive youth and family volunteer service organization. Their experience with developing programs and working with other leading nonprofits to better the community provides the ideal platform for teens to learn, engage and succeed.  All of their nonprofit partners are vetted for reliability, safety, and quality of projects.

Their Teen Leadership Program provides students in Metro Atlanta with opportunities to develop leadership skills in fun, out-of-the-box ways. To date their volunteers have served over 34,065 hours in the community.

Bev had the opportunity to talk with Jennifer Guynn earlier this month.