UNITED WAY AND CADDO PARISH SCHOOLS COLLECT OVER 8,000 ESSENTIAL OBJECTS FOR LOCAL ASBL
United Way of Northwest Louisiana’s (UWNWLA) Social Distancing Basic Needs Campaign, an alternative to their traditional day of service, has produced over 8,000 essentials and over $ 14,000 in economic support from 13 teams from Caddo Parish Public School. For a month, schools in the parish of Caddo were matched with one of 13 participating local nonprofits and received a list of essential needs from the nonprofit organization. Once paired, teams of students and staff departments volunteered to collect essential items. Many teams offered extra time to inventory and sort their collections for pickup.
The annual UWNWLA Day of Service events for Caddo and Bossier parish schools offer several benefits to Northwest Louisiana; the events allow students, teachers and staff to get involved in their community while highlighting the importance of volunteering for students. “My experience with Honor Society has opened up a new avenue for helping those in need and the less fortunate,” said James Walker, student at Donnie Bickham High School. “Helping take inventory of the items we have collected has helped me see how much people want to help others too. “
Volunteers are essential for nonprofit organizations to complete projects that may be delayed due to personnel and labor costs. In 2019, over 250 Caddo School volunteers completed projects that saved participating nonprofits $ 18,162 in labor costs. Despite an inevitable lack of in-person volunteering, UWNWLA’s alternative approach had a significant impact when it partnered with local schools. “Through this adjustment, we have seen successful fundraising campaigns providing thousands of dollars in essential supplies for local nonprofits,” said Harper McKnight, community engagement coordinator. “The fundraisers have made volunteering more accessible to elementary school students. This gives teachers, principals and parents the opportunity to explain the importance of volunteering at a young age.