Quixote Quest

by Margo Harvey | Aug 28, 2012
Quixote Quest Quixote Quest provides young people (ages 14 through 18) with the opportunity and the support to make a difference in the South Jersey community through volunteering. Through a unique approach which bonds young volunteers together in a club atmosphere, QQ exposes teens to positive experiences that effect their view of community service...now and in the future.

Quixote Quest maintains strong relationships with community organizations that need volunteers and especially like to include teenagers in their important work. QQ helps each teen member to connect with a good cause while taking into consideration the time and location of the community service in order that it fits their schedule and transportation is available.

Quixote Quest currently has six clubs in Burlington, Camden, Mercer, Gloucester and Middlesex counties. There are no dues or fees to join Quixote Quest, just the desire to volunteer once per week, and take an active part in the club.

In the 2009-2010 school year, Quixote Quest members (called the Qrew) came from more than 40 New Jersey high schools, and volunteered at nearly 35 different community causes. The Qrew volunteered more than 8000 hours. Each teen chooses the kind of volunteering that he/she would like to do. 100 teens will voluntarily give of their heart, their talents, and their time so that others will have a better life. According to their website, the Qrew volunteered 10,560 hours during the 2010-2011 school year!

Quixote Quest is not affiliated with any school, church, or fraternal organization. It is a stand-alone, 501c3 non-profit, dedicated to connecting teens to consistent and meaningful volunteer service. It is funded totally by individuals, foundations, companies, and organizations that believe in the importance of youth volunteerism. It is the hope of the organization that Quixote Quest Alumni will go on to make a lifelong commitment to volunteerism and philanthropy. QQ is a youth volunteer movement that is teen driven, meaning that the teens make all the decisions regarding policies, procedures and traditions of the club. It is a club that can be started anywhere by adults and teens who believe in volunteering.

Frank McGough, Director of Quixote Quest, said in an email, “The club originated in the after-spirit of 9/11 when the call came from the President for individuals to become more engaged in helping the their neighbors in the community. Each September 11th since we have started a new club except for this year when the opening of two new clubs will be January 1st.”

Why is it important to have an organization like this in South Jersey? McGough wrote, “The organization is only important if people believe that volunteering is important...is one of the most important things a person can do with their time. QQ re-enforces that importance with high school aged teens by bringing together teens that are willing to sacrifice their time on a regular basis to make a difference. They are in the minority. Often teens will claim that they volunteer, but what they really mean is that they have volunteered a few times over a year or over all their years in high school. Often teens will say they volunteer but they are actually responding to a forced requirement by a school, or to a need to list some community service on a college application/resume. The organization recognizes teens that volunteer weekly because commitment gives them the best chance to make an impact on a community cause. They are only about 2% of all teenagers. QQ celebrates the kids that are out in the trenches donating their time doing meaningful and consistent service. It brings them together from many different high schools, serving many different causes so they can support each other in their work.”

McGough wrote, “Besides volunteering once per week, the teens meet twice a month during the school year to support each other and make plans for club activities, which include optional Group Service Projects and a few social activities. The meetings are definitely fun and there is always plenty of food. All the clubs meet in spaces donated by organizations who believe in kids and their work and QQ mission.”

How do teens get involved? McGough wrote, “If they have an interest in being a regular volunteer for a important local cause, they only need to email Quixote Quest at qquest2002@yahoo.com and we will send more info, and set up an info interview for them near their home. We then will invite them to attend a QQ meeting at the Qlubhouse nearest to them. After they do both then they can decide if they think QQ is a good idea for them. There are no fees or dues to be in Quixote Quest.”

If you are looking for a way to help out this organization, McGough continued, “We always need donations from people who believe in the importance of youth volunteering. They can make a donation by credit card at our website. We look for new board members who also believe in the mission of the club, and can use their resources to help us spread this kind of youth volunteering and community service commitment to others. Most importantly we love to get new teens who are looking to change lives by helping seniors, disadvantaged children, medically fragile youth, abandoned companion animals, disabled teens, hospitals, homework help and mentoring, teen crisis hot-lines, and many more.”

Quixote Quest’s address is
Quixote Quest
Center for Family Services
108 Somerdale Rd.
Voorhees, NJ 08043

For more information, call 609-220-2186 or email quixotequest@centerffs.org. Visit them online at mmcgough.homestead.com.


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For more on local Organizations, visit our South Jersey Organizations page.

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Author: Margo Harvey


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