YORK, Pa., March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of National Volunteer Week starting on April 10, 2011, StageofLife.com, a free blogging platform, asked teens, "What organization, company, non-profit or 'cause' will help make the world a better place in 2011?"
The writing prompt was part of StageofLife.com's monthly student essay contest. Over 3,950 students from all 50 U.S. states and dozens of countries visited the writing contest page with scores submitting essays to nominate their favorite volunteer organizations. From the blog submissions, four types of organizations emerged as those held most dear to teens' hearts.
- Medical related: Teens feel strongly about finding cures and spreading awareness for debilitating conditions like cancer, concussions, and Celiac Disease.
- Self-image: Many teens focus on promoting self-worth and healthy living, including healthy relationships and healthy eating habits.
- Poverty: Teenagers want to give back to those who do not have their basic needs met.
- Animal rights: Students care deeply about the humane treatment and protection of animals.
StageofLife.com CEO, Eric Thiegs, explained, "The variety of volunteer organizations and causes nominated by the students was astounding. One student gives his time to help senior soldiers at a VA hospital and another emphasized 'family' should always come first as the way to make the world a better place."
The winner of the writing contest, writexmusic, tackled self-image issues in her essay entitled, "To Write Love On Her Arms promotes more than ink poisoning." She shared, "According to my friends, self-injury is a way to release the pain they feel inside...that's where the non-profit organization To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) comes into play. The idea behind the name was to write the word 'love' on your arm, instead of cutting yourself. Use a pen, not a knife."
In its call-to-action leading up to April's National Volunteer Week, StageofLife.com encourages teenagers, college students and people from all stages of life to consider the following four steps as a way to get involved and help make the world a better place:
- Step 1: Research organizations that align with your personal belief system.
- Step 2: Contact those organizations to see how you can help or get involved.
- Step 3: Take action by volunteering, fund raising or creating awareness for the organization.
- Step 4: Spread the word about what you're doing with family, friends, your school and community. You can do this by making updates on Facebook or by writing about it on StageofLife.com. With each post a blogger or writer makes on StageofLife.com, their efforts and stories will reach thousands of readers, hopefully inspiring another to get involved in a particular cause. It starts with one person.
A summary report with links to dozens of the teen essays showcasing the goodwill nominations can be found at StageofLife.com's "Making the World a Better Place" page.
Organizations featured by the teens in their StageofLife.com essays included Hope Academy, Invisible Children, Text Free Driving Organization, Wildlife Warriors, The American Cancer Society, World Vision, Doctors Without Borders, Key Club, World Society for the Protection of Animals, Glutino, National Cattleman's Beef Association, Operation Beautiful, Serving in Missions, Kiva, National Eating Disorder Association, Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation, Share Our Strength, Teach For America, Amnesty International, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and more.
StageofLife CEO, Thiegs, hopes that, "this list of essays will serve as a starting point for young people around the nation to start exploring the philanthropic side of their lives."
For the March student writing contest, StageofLife.com asks teenagers, "What form of media impacts your life the most, and why?" and ends at Midnight (PDT) on March 31, 2011. Winners receive gift card or cash prizes from national sponsors along with SWAG from StageofLife.com.
StageofLife.com will release a summary/white paper outlining its findings from the last teen writing contest dealing with teens' attitudes about marriage later this month. Previous StageofLife.com teen white papers address topics such as teens and stress, teens and money, teen heroes, teens and education, and more.
About Stage of Life™: StageofLife.com is a free, non-partisan, grassroots online community hosting blogs, information and resources for teens, Millennials/Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomer generations. Its specialized content allows users to share their life stories and includes free lesson plans and writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students and college students, blogging resources, a platform for writers and bloggers to promote their work and much more, including My Life Rewards, an area dedicated to providing relevant coupons and discounts exclusively geared towards each stage of life.