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Lauren Pike, Jackson County Summer VISTA, service term has come to an end. Lauren has been busy hosting over 36 hours of virtual summer day camp programming for youth grades 1st through 12th. Her day camps have been centered around the topic of “Healthy Living” and have encouraged youth to be active and healthy during stressful times of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Throughout this past summer, Lauren has spent over 195 hours creating, producing, and presenting 18 different virtual day camps. Topics of the day camps ranged from active, outdoor scavenger hunts to mental health topics relating to tie dye projects. Some activities youth were able to participate include creating a water balloon capsule, learning common 4-H dances, creating recipes and relating them to MyPlate, and even participating in yoga! Through these virtual day camps, Lauren was able to reach 94 youth from 7 different counties across the state of Georgia. In addition, Lauren was able to involve 7 different adult volunteers, teen leaders, and 4-H staff members from around the state in the festivities!

Although Lauren’s primary focus was developing healthy habits among youth in 1st – 12th grade, she also partnered with the Jackson County Senior Center to help provide senior citizens, who previously ate lunch at the center before the COVID-19 Pandemic, with lunches at their homes during the week. Through this partnership, Lauren has been able to deliver over 217 pounds of food to senior citizens! Each morning Lauren would pick up a variety of different meals/food and deliver it to a different group of seniors. Some of these meals included things such as hot and ready-to-eat meals, frozen meals, and even fresh bread and produce. Because of Lauren’s hard work over 60 different meals have been delivered to senior citizens across Jackson County.

Jackson County 4-H was able to increase the capacity of service through Lauren’s willingness to serve as our AmeriCorps Summer VISTA. Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through more than 20,000 schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation’s volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

Written by Lauren Pike & April Edwards

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