About a dozen Neosho kid have signed up to participate in something just launched, the Neosho Youth Volunteer Program. The registered non-profit organization is the inspiration of Tandy Bressler, a local mom and real estate agent who saw both a need in the community and the potential to empower today's youth to become the leaders of tomorrow

About a dozen Neosho kid have signed up to participate in something just launched, the Neosho Youth Volunteer Program. The registered non-profit organization is the inspiration of Tandy Bressler, a local mom and real estate agent who saw both a need in the community and the potential to empower today's youth to become the leaders of tomorrow

Bressler met with the Newton County Community Coalition earlier this year to talk about a Glow In The Dark fundraiser event for MOLove and that sparked her interest.

"I met with them," Bressler said "They lit the fire. I saw a need in the community for youth involvement."

She also attended the recent organization meeting that discussed the need of a community recreation center in Neosho and suggested that the Neosho Youth Volunteer Program could be work with or through the center. The board of directors for the new non-profit include Bressler, who is a real estate agent for Reece Nichols, Neosho Police Department officer, Philip Whiteman, who works as a school resource officer, and Crystal Kocurek, who is listed as a teacher in training.

The Neosho Youth Volunteer Program is open to youth in grades 2nd through 12th. Membership is and will always be free. The emphasis is youth community involvement through volunteering through a variety of activities, some group efforts, others as individuals. The group's first volunteer effort is slated to take place on Saturday, Aug. 11 where volunteers will be painting with senior citizens at Spring Hill Assisted Living of Neosho.

"I want it (volunteering) to be comfortable," Bressler stated. "They can go to a park to clean-up, maybe volunteer at Hope Kitchen or Faithful Friends, anything in the community."

Some possible volunteer activities may include trash pick-up, planting flowers, painting or yard work.

Youth involved can also clean up their own street or neighborhood or help an elderly or disabled neighbor.

Before any kids can participate, however, their parents must sign a liability release. The release lists everything parents and volunteers need to know before rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. There's also a short application form attached that parents must also complete.

Forms currently can be picked up at the Neosho Family Y, Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, Neosho City Hall and at Price Cutter supermarket.

Once school begins in August, Bressler plans to visit each school to provide information about the Neosho Youth Volunteer Program.

"I'm going to make the rounds to each and every school," she said. "I'll going to try to be there at some of the Character Days they have (in the elementary schools), go over safety and information."

The applications and waivers will be available for students during those visits.

Bressler is a mom of four, with three children who are students in Neosho schools.

"I have one in high school, one in junior high and one in middle school," she said. "I'm a wrestling mom, a soccer mom and this fall, I'll be a football mom."

She received her realtor's license this year and has earned her GRI (Graduate, Realtor's Institute) designation. Bressler also founded the non-profit Neosho Youth Volunteer Program and does some volunteering as well.

Youth who participate will be able to receive coupons, prizes, play days at the park and an upcoming Glow In The Dark party planned for Friday, September 14, which will benefit both the Neosho Youth Volunteer Foundation and the Jason Box Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

Volunteer activities will also be age appropriate.

"I had second grade teachers who wanted to get kids involved," Bressler said. Second graders will be doing clean up around their school campuses.

The youth who volunteer through the program can also provide service to neighbors or community members with parents approving, supervising and documenting the volunteer service through photos so each youth can get credit for their activities.

For more information about the Neosho Youth Volunteer Program, check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The group has a website at neoshoyouth.wixsite.com/pride. The email address is neoshoyouth@gmail.com and interested parents may also phone or tex 417-986-4173.

The Neosho Daily News will also cover the group's first volunteer event on Aug. 11 at Spring Hill so readers can look forward to an additional story and photos.