Staples High School junior David Kalb was just a freshman when he started the Westport chapter of Service League of Boys, a group with 75-plus members.
Though he was able to launch the group upon entering high school, the inspiration came when he was a seventh-grader and saw the work his mother and older sister were doing as members of the National Charity League (NCL).
"The NCL is a community service organization for girls, but I went to a lot of events with them, and I really liked it; I liked helping people," he said. "Then when I became a freshman, I figured I could make my own club, but for boys."
And that's exactly what he did. After much research, David, with the help of his mom, discovered the New Canaan chapter of SLOBs, a parent-son community service club. Following their rules and bylaws, David started the Westport chapter at Staples.
"It's been surprisingly successful," said David, 16.
Now in its third year, SLOBs serves 22 organizations, all but two in Westport.
Although he enjoys working with all 22 groups, his favorite is Give2theTroops , an organization headquartered in Middletown.
"We pack boxes filled with gifts for troops overseas," David said. "Imagine being a soldier and having nothing but what the Army gives you. That's not a lot. So imagine what it's like getting a boxful of goodies. It's amazing."
His second favorite, he said, is ElderHouse, an adult day center that serves seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia.
"You go there for an hour, play games with seniors and bring joy into their lives. You can tell they really like it, and that's why I like it," David said. "It can be sad, but I'm not there for myself."
Though SLOBs keeps him busy, David said community service is an important part of his life.
"It feels good to help others," he said, adding that after he graduates he'll continue volunteering.
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