_DSC8859Though Celebration is only a few dayslong, it contains enough excitement and action to last for weeks. Between the pandemonium onstage, 12,000 Associates under one roof, and the Isagenix buzz flowing through downtown San Diego, Celebration is enough to knock anyone right off their feet in four days or less—but not the young women and men of START, who gave up a long night’s rest to give back to the community of San Diego.

Nearly 100 START members gathered in front of the San Diego Convention Center Wednesday morning to participate in “START Give Back,” an annual contribution event held at the end of Celebration each year. The large group of 18- to 35-year-olds were running on fumes after three long days, but you wouldn’t know it—the atmosphere was as electric as ever, and each and every one of them was eager to venture out and lend a helping hand to those in need.

Erik Coover, Vice President of Global Field Development, led the first group to Lilian J. Rice Elementary school in Chula Vista, California, which enrolls children taken out of abusive or unsafe environments. They helped clean up the school’s playground area and played with kids during their recess.

“Anyone can give—you don’t have to have money to donate your time to the community,” says Erik. “Time is one of the most valuable gifts. San Diego gave us a lot this week for hosting such an incredible event, and I’m just so grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference.”

_DSC8990On the other side of town, another group participated in more hands-on volunteer work—cleaning up a community garden at Castle Park Elementary. The Chula Vista sun was beating down on the START members, but the positive vibes were contagious, and there were laughs and smiles among those pulling weeds, digging through dirt, and rearranging plants in the garden.

Scattered across the San Diego area were other clusters of START members who painted with the children, organized boxes and cans at the food bank, and much more. Additionally, two START Ambassadors, Laura Krulish and Laura Stevens , visited a local Wal-Mart and returned with more than $1,000 in supplies, toys, and clothes for a San Diego shelter. Isagenix also donated enough of its products to feed all the families of the shelter for weeks to come.

“START Give Back” has become a tradition for START members, mostly because its members share a passion for contribution, but also because they recognize the value of time freedom.

“Isagenix allows us to create more time for ourselves while also paying it forward,” says Ben Kelly, a START Ambassador from Perth, Australia. “Having more time for ourselves means that we can help the people who need it most.”