Teen volunteers Maddalena Agrusso, left, and Allyson Cummins stuff goody bags July 16 at the Steiner Community Building in Clinton Township. The bags will be given to children at Saturday’s Gratiot Cruise.

Teen volunteers Maddalena Agrusso, left, and Allyson Cummins stuff goody bags July 16 at the Steiner Community Building in Clinton Township. The bags will be given to children at Saturday’s Gratiot Cruise.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


Teen volunteers assist in Gratiot Cruise prep

By: Alex Szwarc | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published July 28, 2021

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Local teenagers gathered at the Steiner Community Building the morning of July 16 for volunteer activities. The building is in Clinton Township on Joy Boulevard, west of Interstate 94.

The Clinton Township Recreation department was looking for a group of motivated teenagers who were ready to do some preparation work for activities and events.

“We wanted to give high school and middle school students who maybe needed volunteer hours an opportunity to have something to do and provide some fun for them,” Clinton Township Recreation Assistant Director Tami Letcavage said.

Work included stuffing goody bags that will be given to children at Saturday’s Gratiot Cruise, folding merchandise the recreation department recently received and finishing with working on crafts that were used at an early childhood art in the park event July 19. Around 600 bags were prepared for the cruise.

Teens ages 12-16 were eligible to attend the event prep and earn community service hours.

Maddalena Agrusso, of Clinton Township, is going to be a sophomore at Bishop Foley High School in Madison Heights. She was volunteering to receive volunteer hours.

Allyson Cummins resides in Idaho but is in Michigan for the summer.

“I wanted something to do, which is why I volunteered,” said Cummins, who will be a high school junior this fall.

Letcavage said the township’s teen volunteer program typically is at all-day camp locations and community events.

She explained that the Steiner Community Building, owned by Clinton Township, is used for storage and event prep work.

“We do CPR classes and have a day camp program at that location, but outside of the park,” she said. “It’s more of our setup venue.”

Letcavage added that the department always tries to provide some kind of development opportunity when teens are volunteering.

“Everyone needs volunteer hours at this point. Most high schools require it, or they need it for NHS or different church groups or service organizations,” she said.

Letcavage mentioned that many teenage volunteers in the township later become recreation department staff members.

“We work with them the same way we work with our staff,” she said. “Whatever expectations we have for staff, we teach to the teens. We always promote future job opportunities.”

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