July: More Than Ever, What You Do Locally Impacts the World Around You.

Now that the world is slowly emerging from the global pandemic, it is more important to implement positive changes to prevent history from repeating itself. A common buzz phrase used by many environmentalists and humanitarians is, “act locally, think globally.” But what does this look like from a more concrete perspective? Millions of lives are devastated every year by disasters on both a local and global scale. Without the selflessness and courage of those willing to help, even more lives would be lost. 

One of the most important factors when mitigating the effects of a calamity is preparation. Many organizations continually prepare in case of emergency; they gather food, medical supplies, shoes, clothing, books and educational responses. After feeling trapped and helpless during one of the most formidable events in recent history, it is essential to take action and help victims. 

Pebble Tossers strives to support the greater Atlanta area in a myriad of ways, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to take this time to thank you for being an active member of our community and supporting those in need. Below are ways you can support individuals in need, both locally and globally. We hope you will join us in giving during this tumultuous, transitional period: 

Pebble Tossers Volunteer Portal: Empowering and equipping youth to lead through service.

• Action Ministries: Volunteers are needed to help Action Ministries fight hunger and house neighbors. Click here for Projects.

• Soccer in the Streets: This great nonprofit reaches kids through soccer play, work-readiness training, hands-on experiential activities and youth leadership councils. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Soccer in the Streets is offering coach-led at-home writing and soccer activities as well as hundreds of free meals each week. Click here to Help.

• Blood Donation Centers: The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donations. To find a Red Cross blood drive or center, click here. For independent blood centers, search the America’s Blood Center database here.

What to know about the Coronavirus and Blood Donation: American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. Blood Donation Link.

America’s Blood Centers | It’s About Life: America’s Blood Centers is a national organization bringing together community-based, independent blood centers. Learn More 2021 ADRP Annual Conference Find a Blood Center ABC member blood centers serve communities across the United States. Find a Location Near You Connect. Learn. Excel.

June: Arts and Culture: The Catalyst for Youth Development?

In June, Pebble Tossers highlights arts and culture, specifically how the arts positively impact youth development. It seems ever-more essential to focus on practical career paths to secure a sensible future in today’s society. Yet, more than ever, children and young adults are developing anxiety about said future without an avenue to relieve stress. The solution? Immersion in arts and culture. Arts and culture have been proven to have a positive effect not only on mental health but school achievement.  

Culture goes hand-in-hand with the arts. Students who experience their own culture and the cultures present in their community gain a better understanding of what it means to be human. Culture is essential to self-worth and confidence during the most impressionable years of growth. Pebble Tossers acknowledges the diverse population of the greater Atlanta area and is proud to serve its communities. 

Active participation in the arts also has a wide variety of positive effects. For example, students who participate in the arts are more likely to find school engaging and have a longer attention span than those who do not. As a result, they are more likely to enjoy school, go onto postsecondary school, and achieve a college degree. Youth within the arts are also less likely to deal with social infractions on school grounds, likely due to the release of creativity/energy that the arts provide. In addition, scores on standardized tests are consistently higher with students who participate in the arts than those who do not. 

Tapping into the creative vein of the arts generates a pathway for youth to connect to their deepest, most authentic emotions. Students connect with their authentic selves through reflection and the expression of creative mediums. They develop healthy coping habits to apply to real-world situations, better equipping them for their future. Avenues like dance, art, music and writing are building blocks for knowledge, outlook, value, and self-regulation necessary to succeed as they develop. An increase in artful citizens means a brighter future for the upcoming generations. 

Pebble Tossers passionately advocates for the arts, especially when it comes to youth development. Serving with Pebble Tossers exposes young volunteers to various cultures and opportunities that may otherwise be overlooked. During these last few weeks of June, we hope you join us in celebrating the arts and the positive impact they make on our community.