Lucas Cohen, a 17-year-old Upper West Sider and Fieldston student, recently unveiled www.impactcommunityservice.com, his new website which connects teenagers to virtual volunteer opportunities they can perform from home. Initially, IMPACT Community Service will primarily spotlight opportunities related to assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic – placing calls to isolated and quarantined elderly persons, sewing masks for others, recording and sharing their musical talents via video, etc. – before broadening to embrace both virtual and in-person opportunities once the pandemic restrictions ease.
Impact intends to serve two primary audiences: organizations seeking teenaged volunteers, and high school students looking to help others. The site, which Cohen will host and manage, is self-funded through income he earned doing various part-time jobs, and will not accept listings related to fund-raising or organizations that compensate volunteers monetarily. Rather, Impact intends to serve as a one-stop venue that underscores how teenagers can make valuable contributions to society, despite being under quarantine. Oftentimes, due to age requirements and other restrictions, high school students face a number of barriers in their efforts to volunteer. Impact provides streamlined access to volunteerism for teens everywhere.
Originally intended to debut this summer with an emphasis on in-person volunteerism, Cohen accelerated the site’s launch to address growing student demand to play a role in giving back to society. The site will feature regularly updated blog posts spotlighting unique teen volunteer experiences that hopefully inspire others and spur innovative approaches to helping.
“Teenagers everywhere are eager to embrace opportunities to contribute to society during this unprecedented crisis, and IMPACT hopes to streamline the process to help make their participation an immediate reality,” explains Cohen. “Having been hard at work to debut Impact Community Service this summer, I felt that the quarantine presented a unique opportunity to connect organizations with civic-minded teenagers who are now in a position of helping more than ever.”