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Young volunteers are assets to communities

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dear Annie: Did you know that young people strive to make a positive difference in the world? In fact, millions of young people volunteer every year, and the number continues to grow. Please let your readers know about the 20th Annual Global Youth Service Day, April 25-27, 2008.

During this three-day event, held in the United States and around the world, young people, with the help of mentors, parents, teachers and volunteers, will address community needs through service and service-learning projects that target climate change, education, child obesity, urban decay and many other issues.

This event spotlights what today’s youth are doing to make a difference in the world. When given the opportunity, young people are great assets and resources to their communities, providing unique perspectives and skills.

For more information, your readers can visit, or write to Youth Service America, 1101 15th St. N.W., Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20005. They can also find volunteer opportunities in their communities at Steve Culbertson, President and CEO, Youth Service America

Dear Steve Culbertson: Thanks so much for letting us once again mention this worthwhile project. We hope all our readers, young or old, will check out the Web sites you mention and become involved in local volunteer programs. It’s also a wonderful educational opportunity for teachers and students.

Dear Annie: I find your column quite helpful and was wondering if you are aware of any medical solutions for getting rid of body hair.

I have tried the traditional ways of shaving and waxing (that hurt), but they’re not enough. I really have an overabundance everywhere on my body, including my back and ears. I swim quite a bit at our local YMCA, and there was a recent family swimming event where one of the topics of pool conversation was excessive hair. It made me very uncomfortable.

If you could please advise me, it will be most appreciated. Illinois Man

Dear Illinois: Some excess body hair, especially on women, can be due to a hormonal imbalance. See your doctor for a complete checkup and mention your concerns. Otherwise, the best methods are the traditional ones, such as shaving, waxing and depilatories, and you might be a good candidate for laser removal or electrolysis, which will give you more permanent results.

Dear Annie: You want to know how kids feel when Mom leaves the marriage? My parents divorced when I was 17. Mom cheated on Dad with a man who killed his wife during a custody dispute. Mom testified as a character witness in his defense.

Mom was caring and involved when I was young. After I turned 13, the main attention I got came in the form of rules and punishments. Annie, all I ever did was get straight A’s. I never touched drugs or alcohol or messed around with boys.

I don’t blame her for divorcing Dad. He was difficult. We kids alternated one week at each parent’s house. However, since my academic, athletic and social life was so full, I asked whether I could move monthly rather than weekly. Mom insisted she couldn’t have me around for a whole month at a time because I was “impossible to live with.” So I stayed with Dad. I finally had to tell my mother I didn’t want to hear from her anymore because it only made me unhappy.

Now, years later, she wants to mend the relationship. I told her to pay Dad back for a fair share of my college tuition. (She received a sizable inheritance and can well afford it.) But apparently her feud with my father is more important than a relationship with me. Sometimes Mom is the Cheater

Dear Sometimes: Too bad Mom is more interested in herself than in you. Our condolences.

Annie’s Snippet for Income Tax Day: “Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.” Humorist F.J. Raymond

XE-mail your questions to or write to: Annie’s Mailbox‚Ñ¢, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

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