My time volunteering at the AAYC, by Ada Sanchez March 7, 2016
The Amarillo Activity Youth Center (AAYC) is a 501c3 non-profit that opened April 11, 2007. It is located at 816 S Van Buren, Amarillo, TX 79101. The organization is investing their time to helping make sure the youth receive all the resources and programs to stay safe and off the streets. The AAYC is not just for the youth there are programs for adults as well for instance; Zumba, juggling, self-defense and many others. All the staff are volunteers, no one is paid. Al proceeds go to the children to get more programs going and keeping them off the streets. Volunteers during the month of October get together and display the famous haunted house, Van Buren Frightmare.
Many organizations focus on either having enough money or not having enough people helping but the AAYC’s primary problem is not getting the word out there about what all they do. Having kids and adults to help build together to make this organization even more great, for instance in June they will have a car show called Kars4kids and all the proceeds will go to the community center.
My time spent there was amazing. The staff made me feel welcomed and it is an inviting atmosphere. Saw the children be themselves and having fun, running around playing and interacting with each other brought a warm smile to my heart. It makes me want to spread the word about this organization so that all families know that there is a place here in Amarillo that is family friendly and inviting to anyone. There are so many activities to do and it is not expensive at all, the max is $3 but that is a donation. I saw teenagers interacting and playing with the younger children. This organization is not just run by adults there is a younger staff helping out and they have so many ideas to help improve their facility and Amarillo as well.
“Piaget believed that children’s moral judgements build on their cognitive development” (Myers, 2014 pg. 142). The AAYC organization is focused on the children, it helps them to understand that this is a place where they can go and feel safe and be able to grow in their development. By seeing and experiencing a good environment it will make their little minds hake good moral judgements. “One way we learn is by association: (Myers, 2014 pg 238) Everyone learns by example of other people. Children are easily influenced either it is good or bad, but the AAYC is a good place to see that there are good things to experience. By having volunteers who are willing to give their time up to help other children/adults and paving programs to help benefit both is a wonderful community enter.
I believe I will continue volunteering, it was a different experience that made me realize that I can Make a difference even if it is something small. I would like to see how much more this organization can expand in helping children and this community. Matt Hite and his fellow volunteers have done a wonderful job providing for this establishment and I would like to see it grow even more. Mabey from me staying and helping out I can use my ideas to make a new program or just by getting more people involved so that no child has to roam the streets and that they can be in a place where they know they are safe and cared for.
By Ada Sanchez
March 7, 2016