Charity event hosted by Teen Volunteers in Action

COAST CITIES — From organizing games and activities for needy children to planting trees in areas ravaged by wildfires, North County boys are giving back to their communities while learning valuable lessons in leadership. They are members of Teen Volunteers in Action, a nonprofit that provides structured programs of volunteerism, philanthropy and personal development for boys from seventh through 12th grades. The organization, founded nine years ago by Rancho Santa Fe resident Franci Free and Terri Matthews, kicked off another year of community service Sept. 13 at the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center.
President Anne Gruzdowich welcomed the boys and their families to the event where they collected gifts for North County Solutions for Change, an organization which provides housing and services to homeless families with children. TVIA will host a holiday party for the group, where children can “shop” for gifts to give their parents.
The guest speaker was Alephonsion Deng, one of the authors of “They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: the True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan.” Deng, his brother and his cousins were among tens of thousands of young boys displaced during the Sudanese civil war.
To learn more about Teen Volunteers in Action, visit