April 15, 2005

Diane Ricciardelli             
The Giving Camp, Inc.

Christina Wessell

Youth Service America
202-296-2992 x 28


All Young People Are Community Assets & Resources

Medford, MA -- (April 13, 2005) - The Giving Camp and students at Tufts
University will mobilize youth with disabilities to serve their
communities during the 17th Annual National Youth Service Day, April
15-17, 2005 through donations from departments at Tufts, and a  $1,000
grant from Youth Service America and the Bubel/Aiken Foundation's Clay
Aiken ABLE to SERVE Awards program, which provides 50 grants of up to
$2,000 each to youth with disabilities for community service projects on
National Youth Service Day. 

Youth Service America partnered with four premiere national organizations
that work with youth with disabilities, Best Buddies, Special Olympics,
National Service Inclusion Project, and VSA arts, to distribute the
grants.  The ABLE to SERVE Awards will provide young people with
disabilities the opportunity to work side-by-side with youth without
disabilities to serve their communities.  Award winners will be eligible
for an additional grant of $1,000 for the purpose of continuing the
service project beyond National Youth Service Day.

On April 16, 2005, young people with disabilities from the communities of
Somerville and Medford will attend The Giving Camp at Tufts University for
creating artwork and cleaning the park. The theme for the April camp is
"Space", outside space and outer space. The art projects will be giant
murals created by the participants, and individual art projects. We will
spend several hours in the park picking up and cleaning the space.

There are over 50 people involved in this project, Tufts students and
children with disabilities from the community.  Children with disabilities
are paired 2 to 1 with a Tufts student, and together they have planned
this event and will spend the day together.
Based on feedback from previous camps, the theme of "space" was selected
for this service project.

The Giving Camps have been taking place since 2002, starting at Tufts
University and now in Woburn and Marlborough. Each Giving Camp is a
collaborative effort from students and people in the community who have
disabilities. At each camp, students are paired with people from the
community with physical and mental challenges to create a world of
inclusion. Through day trips into Boston, collaborative art projects,
participation in local parades, and sharing of musical talents, students
are working  with people they may not have had the chance to meet.
Everbody benefits from their experiences at The Giving Camp.

Students plan the events, lead activities, gain support from the community
and work one-on-one with children and adults with disabilities to enjoy a
day, weekend, or several days, together in the community.

The camp at Tufts on April 16, 2005, has been planned by a team of Tufts
students with feedback from children in the community who have
disabilities.  Tufts students and children with disabilities will make
lawn ornaments for children to take home, paint a 25 foot mural to be
displayed throughout the year, make crafts of stars and planets to
demonstrate the "space" theme, and clean up the park as part of their
service to the community. Many of the children who participate have autism
and the activities, planned by Tufts students,  ensure that the children
have a fun day while giving back to the community.

Tufts Junior Akira Gutierrez, a Child Development major, is leading the
project. Akira has worked with a leadership team to plan the activities
throughout the semester. Akira is looking forward to demonstrating how
Giving Camp guests are also the people who bring the most to the camp,
sharing their talents with Tufts students, many of whom are studying
children with special needs. There will be over 50 people working together
on April 16th.

"Service, and the learning that goes with it, fosters citizenship,
knowledge, and personal development in everyone, young and old, with
disabilities and without," said Clay Aiken, who was appointed National
Ambassador for the US Fund for UNICEF in 2004.  "Our partnership with
Youth Service America will bring awareness to the fact that youth with
disabilities are great assets and can serve as volunteers too."

Clay Aiken, whose debut album "Measure of a Man" sold nearly 3 million
copies, has long been passionate about working to help youth with
disabilities. Before his success on American Idol catapulted him into
stardom, Clay studied Special Education at the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte.  He taught and mentored a student with autism named
Michael Bubel, and formed a close bond with the Bubel family.  In 2003,
Clay and Michael's mother Diane Bubel launched the Bubel/Aiken Foundation
to create awareness about the diversity of individuals with disabilities
and the possibilities inclusion can bring.

On National Youth Service Day, a public awareness and education campaign
that highlights the amazing contributions that young people make to their
communities 365 days a year, young people will design and lead community
service projects in areas ranging from literacy and the environment, to
healthcare, hunger, and help for the elderly.  As the largest service
event in the world, engaging millions of young people, National Youth
Service Day draws together a remarkable consortium of local, regional, and
national partners, while supporting youth on a life-long path of service
and civic engagement.   The Presenting Sponsor of National Youth Service
Day is the State Farm Companies Foundation.

National Youth Service Day is coordinated by Youth Service America, in
association with the National Youth Leadership Council and in partnership
with PARADE Magazine. In addition to thousands of projects led by youth,
schools, community and faith-based groups, 50 organizations across the
country serve as Lead Agencies for National Youth Service Day.  The Lead
Agencies are local, regional, or statewide liaisons for National Youth
Service Day, promoting projects and celebrations, coordinating volunteer
recruitment, local media outreach, and hands-on participation by elected

The mission of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation aims to create awareness about
the diversity of individuals with disabilities and the possibilities
inclusion can bring. Through collaborations with the disability,
education, entertainment, and media communities, the Foundation will
recognize those whose commitment to breaking the stereotypes attendant to
the developmentally disabled has broken barriers and extended the
boundaries of the human experience for all.  For more information, visit:

Youth Service America is a national nonprofit resource center that
partners with thousands of other organizations committed to strengthening
the youth service movement.  Youth Service America's programs and services
help to strengthen the effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of the
youth service and service-learning fields on a local, national, and global
level.  In addition to National Youth Service Day and Global Youth Service
Day, which take place concurrently each April, YSA also hosts SERVEnet
(, providing the largest database of volunteer
opportunities in America.  For more information, visit

The Giving Camp provides an avenue for students and people with
disabilities to meet and participate in activities together.  We learn
what it means to have a world of inclusion, starting with a day or two,
and demonstrating that there are many more opportunities for people with
disabilities to be included in events with young people.In our first 2
years we've hosted camps for hundreds of students and people with
disabilities, representing over 4500 volunteer hours. For more
information, visit