by Sheldon Byde
Young Leader, Guest Blogger
One of the monthly volunteer opportunities for Young Leaders happens at the South Salt Lake Police Athletic Activities League (PAL) Boxing Center. While PAL welcomes volunteers any weekday afternoon, a group of Young Leaders will be volunteering at PAL on the third Thursday of each month from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Volunteers will tutor students from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. and then help with a variety of recreational or athletic activities after the kids take a break for a meal.
On October 18th, four Young Leaders volunteered at PAL. Even though the third Thursday of October fell on fall break this year, we were met by about 25 girls and boys excited to see new faces. The PAL coordinators had set up a series of “minute-to-win-it” games in the gymnasium, so the kids and volunteers got to do those activities instead of the normal hour of homework. Afterwards, the kids sat down for a meal provided by the Utah Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program.
The boxing coach and staff at PAL were very welcoming to volunteers. Everyone emphasized that the kids participating in the boxing program were required to maintain good grades. Any assistance they receive with school work allows them to maintain the standards necessary to participate in the program, which in turn provides a structured after-school athletic activity in a safe environment. They also assured us that volunteers did not need to be boxers! There was a coach and trained staff to direct the boxing, but PAL staff organized other activities in the gym for the kids (and volunteers) that weren’t interested in the competitive boxing program.
Check out the United Way of Salt Lake’s PAL Boxing Community and Welcome Center at http://www.sslpal.org/. A group of Young Leaders will be headed to PAL Boxing Center on the third Thursday of each month to volunteer. Please contact Heather MacDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get involved.