The Spero YouthBuild Program is inviting the community to give back this holiday season. For Giving Tuesday, the program decided to take on a community project by creating donation gift boxes for the residents of Nature Trail Health and Rehab Center. The hope is to provide them with items such as coloring books, colored pencils, puzzles, word searches, card games, hand warmers, and stuffed animals. To make this a reality, the program is asking individuals to visit any of the seven drop-off locations in town to donate any of these items that would bring a smile to the residents at Nature Trail this holiday season.

John Hayes, a YouthBuild participant, explained, “When I learned that we would be working on a project to give back to our community, I immediately thought about Nature Trail Nursing Home as a good place to give back to. Elders deserve love too, and they are often the forgotten part of our community. There is no reason why they should be forgotten about. A little bit of love goes a long way.” Donation boxes are set up around town at Spero’s Counseling and Wellness Center, Wilford’s Printing, Parkway Shoe Repair, Trinity’s Beauty, YouthBuild, Mount Vernon Baptist Temple, and Waltonville Baptist Church. Donations will be accepted at any of these locations until December 12th.

YouthBuild is a program that is free for young adults who are 16-24 years old and need a certificate of High School Equivalency (HSE/GED). The program is six months long and integrates work experience with education, occupational skills development in construction and other career pathways, support services, leadership development, and alumni success.

Enrollment for YouthBuild is now open! If you want to enroll or learn more about the program, please call (618) 242-6723 or visit