Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Teen Launches Club to Make a Difference

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Teen Launches Club to Make a Difference

Article excerpt

Ethan Woodfill may be 15 years old, but he knows even young people can make a difference.

Ethan is founder and president of the Do Something Club, a group of teens who participate in various projects throughout the year to give back to their community.

The group recently held its third "Pie Your Friend and Favorite Teacher" booth at the Ben Avon Fall Festival, where, for a donation, participants could throw a whipped cream pie at a volunteer. The club raised $400 with the booth. It is giving $300 to North Hills Community Outreach and the rest will be used for upcoming projects.

"We want people to know that anyone can make a difference even by doing a little thing," said Ethan, of Ben Avon. "The act doesn't have to be huge to make a difference. Just follow your passion."

Ethan, a sophomore at Avonworth was 11 when he was researching volunteering opportunities and discovered the national Do Something campaign, which encourages teens to take part in community projects throughout the year to help out in their hometowns. While Ethan liked what the club did, he didn't pursue the Do Something program until two years later, in 2013.

"It was kind of funny, but they would give you $50 for a pizza party if you could get a group of 10 friends together," he said. "I got the 10 people really fast."

The group consisted of friends from school and his neighborhood. Since Ethan's No. 1 passion is the environment, he wanted the club's first project to have that focus, so the members decided to clean up the neighborhood.

The group took on more and more projects, about 10 to 12 a year, he said. Shortly after the club started, the national Do Something organization stopped providing formal support to clubs, hoping to recruit more individuals. The national campaign still provides some informal support, and Ethan's group often participates in projects that the national group organizes, including Teens for Jeans, an initiative in which teens collect slightly used jeans that are distributed to homeless people by Aeropostale, the corporate partner.

"We have collected over 300 pairs of pants in the past two years," Ethan said.

His club has 25 to 30 members, he said, but they focus on getting more people to help, not increasing membership. …

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