Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (Johnstown) has created the GoodDeeds Club as part of its GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring Program. The purpose of the program is to engage area youth through volunteer projects.
The group’s first scheduled project was cleaning up the historic Johnstown Amtrak Station. Youth joined mentors and other community groups to clean up the station and renovate the garden area outside the parking lot beginning on June 23. The goal was to have the train station ready for Independence Day festivities. The 23 volunteers in attendance and materials were vital in supporting this inaugural GoodDeeds Club project.
“We are always looking for projects that will provide engaging, hands-on experiences for our youth,” said Phyllis Bandstra, Johnstown Goodwill president and CEO. “Participating and investing time into a community landmark, such as the train station, creates pro-social involvement and brings positive skills and experiences into the lives of our young people.”
GoodGuides has been inundated with requests from youth, their parents, and others who are looking for opportunities to engage in service and volunteerism. “We have people who want to volunteer for projects in the community,” said Cindy O’Connor, the Johnstown GoodGuides program manager. “In fact, it is one of our youth who came up with the name GoodDeeds. This is a great opportunity for mentors, youth and anybody to meet a real community need.”
The Johnstown Goodwill, through its GoodGuides program, is partnering with the Johnstown Area Heritage Association, Discover Downtown Partnership, with volunteers from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center, and Laurel Asphalt to work on the Amtrak project.