On Friday, October 29, live civilly will be honored by the NAACP of Southern Burlington County for its work and outreach in the southern New Jersey region. live civilly will be awarded the Southern Burlington County NAACP Humanitarian Award at the 6th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Gala. We are extremely honored and humbled to be recognized by this outstanding organization.

live civilly is a youth service organization, focused on engaging youth, ages 4 and up, in community service activities that help improve their community. All of the services, programs and opportunities offered by live civilly fall into one or more of the three fundamental focal points of the organization: Nutritional Outreach; Educational Outreach and Life Skills Development. The programs and activities that live civilly provides focus on these three categories because good health and nutrition, a strong educational foundation and a strong path forward are the key elements to any healthy individual and consequently to a healthy community. Within each category the organization offers a range of services through youth, hands-on, volunteer opportunities.

The Mission of the organization is: To encourage every-day philanthropy and participation starting with our youngest citizens. To create a culture of understanding, connectivity and community and thereby offering children real opportunities for active engagement and empowering them to care for themselves and for one another. By engaging children in their pre-teen years, live civilly intends to prepare them to be conscientious decision makers for life.

Over the last four years live civilly has increased its volunteer base by nearly 900%. The food pantry live civilly opened in 2011 has increased the number of people served monthly by over 250% having provided more than 130,000 meals to date. More than 3,100 lunches have been provided during our Summer Lunch Program, as well as nearly 28,000 healthy after-school snacks through the ExCELS Snack Program for the Moorestown Department of Parks & Recreation. Concurrently, more than 500 pounds of fresh produce have been provided to local food pantries since the inception of the Community Supported Gardens Program. Additionally, more than 1,200 hours of peer supported academic assistance have been provided through the ExCELS Homework Help Program and more than 120 hours of in classroom support for the school partnership gardens that are part of the Community Supported Gardens Program. Thousands of volunteer hours provided by youth and families to the community are how live civilly is able to achieve its mission and meet its goals.

The organization has grown and evolved over the last five years, through the ongoing commitment and care of a dedicated Board of Directors. Over the years, live civilly must thank Melinda Hall, Kelly Eagles, Susanne Shepherd, Jose Mercado, Susannah Zimmermann and Chris VanSciver for their time and commitment. Our heartfelt thanks to all of these people who at one time or another have served on our Board of Directors and helped us to grow and shape the organization. Thank you also to the on-going commitment of our current Board, Adrienne Barr, Toni Farmer, and Ricky Lovelace. These individuals have served with Kahra and Joe Buss as the organization has grown from its modest beginnings to the robust organization it is today.

Offering our youngest, most impressionable community members the opportunity to make a difference in another person’s life is how we break down barriers, overcome apathy and promote active engagement. Offering hands on community service opportunities and programs helps young people to develop empathy, care for themselves, care for one another and empowers them to become productive and active members within their communities.