In the spirit of giving back to the community, the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation spent a morning volunteering at Neighbor to Neighbor.


Patricia Tate, Neighbor to Neighbor executive director, welcomed YAC members Kaitlyn Peterson, Jonathan Burgess, Ashton Laurent, Aalicyah Moreno, Kennedi McClinton and Brian Livingston.


YACs sorted donated canned goods and placed them on shelves, helped families carry bagged groceries to their cars, alphabetized and filed folders and served patrons a meal prepared by the Neighbor to Neighbor cooking staff, according to a news release.


After the volunteer service, YAC members expressed how they felt.


“I really enjoyed volunteering at Neighbor to Neighbor,” YAC president Kaitlyn Peterson said. “It gave me a second motivation to continue to help those in need. I look forward to going back. The staff was also outstanding and very friendly.”


Ashton Laurent is vice president of YAC.


“Volunteering at Neighbor to Neighbor was a very humbling experience,” Laurent said. “It showed me how blessed I am. It was great being around fellow YACs who were willing and eager to serve the community in a positive way.”


YAC Secretary Aalicyah Moreno said: “It was a phenomenal experience to be able to help and serve those less fortunate. I look forward to volunteering there again.”


Jonathan Burgess said: “It was truly a wonderful and fun experience serving at Neighbor to Neighbor. It was great to work alongside the staff as well as my fellow YAC members. The people who received their meals were wonderful and happy to receive the help.”


Kennedi McClinton said: “I feel that volunteering at Neighbor to Neighbor was a great experience. I enjoyed fixing the plates and talking with the people who attended.”


Brian Livingston said: “My experience was gratifying and memorable. When I arrived, I thought about how many people I would be helping and just how my very small actions would cause a larger reaction. It was great seeing people smile and I’m glad that we, the members of YAC played a positive role in making them happy.”


Details: Lawrence Fikes, executive director of the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation, at www.arfc.org/pinebluffarea or YAC Advisors Mattie Collins, at kencol1@msn.com or Glenn Freeman at gfreema@suddenlink.net.