(Shreveport, LA) – United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) partnered with Bossier Parish Schools to host a district-wide volunteer day for students, parents, educators, and more. Volunteers comprised 28 teams representing different K-12 Bossier schools that partnered with a nonprofit agency across Bossier and Caddo parishes. The school teams collectively held eight collection drives and completed 14 in-person projects. Bossier Schools saved local nonprofits roughly $35,680 in labor costs based on the average cost of a volunteer hour, and the collection drives yielded more than 4,100 essential items.
Volunteers are the backbone of nonprofit organizations as agencies often do not have the financial resources or manpower to hire outside help to complete everything needed for upkeep. That’s where volunteers come in; this year, approximately 374 volunteers from Bossier Schools participated in community service while learning about civic needs.
Many schools held collection drives to provide agencies with the essential items needed to continue serving our community. Kingston Elementary’s collection drive helped restock the Salvation Army of Northwest Louisiana’s kitchen pantry. The school also collected $1,130 in donations to support the organization’s mission of meeting human needs.
In-person volunteer projects included community or campus cleanups, planting gardens, lawn maintenance, organizing facilities, assembling snack packs, and more. Benton High School and its Military Club were partnered with the Fuller Center for Housing of Northwest Louisiana this year, helping the organization restore a home that belonged to a veteran before he passed away. The Fuller Center initially helped the veteran acquire the home, but after his passing, his family generously returned the home to the organization to help house another family in need.
“This is a significant day for the Fuller Center because we need a lot of volunteers to help us get these houses back in order so we can be able to put families in it,” said Nichelle Grimes, Fuller Center Executive Administrative Assistant. “Getting the teams together, the volunteers together, coming to these homes, and getting them back in shape is a great help for us because we are a team of three at the current moment. We are just grateful to Benton High School and United Way for coming out, volunteering, and helping us get the house in order.”
“I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all Bossier Schools’ students, teachers, and staff members who selflessly gave up their Saturday to show love to our community,” said Raavin Evans, UWNWLA Director of Community Impact. “Your labor and donation of essential items is allowing our community’s nonprofits to continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those struggling across our region. We absolutely could not do our jobs without your support!”
Once all projects were completed, UWNWLA and Bossier Schools held a wrap-up party for the volunteers, where there was food, face painting, and interactive games to celebrate a successful day of volunteering. The Greenacres Middle School Beta Club was announced as the Spirit Award recipient for showing the most spirit on social media by posting pictures and videos of their team’s project. Meadowview Elementary also took home an award for the largest volunteer school team, and an additional award was given out to the largest volunteer school club or organization team, which went to the Benton High School Baseball Team.
UWNWLA is proud to have partnered with Bossier Parish Schools for another successful year of giving back to our community while teaching the importance of volunteerism to students and staff.
Participating schools and paired nonprofits:
BOSSIER SCHOOL TEAMS NONPROFIT AGENCIES SERVICE PROJECT
|Legacy Elementary||Operation Blessing||Pantry Organizing|
|Kingston Elementary||Salvation Army||Collection Drive|
|Benton Intermediate Student Council||Community Renewal International Friendship House||Collection Drive
|Apollo Elementary 4H||Community Renewal International Friendship House||Collection drive
|Platt Elementary||Robinson’s Rescue Spay/Neuter Clinic||Collection Drive
|Benton Intermediate||Shreveport Green||Gardening & Landscaping|
|Curtis Elementary 4H||Rockers Rescue||Collection Drive|
|Haughton High School JROTC||Community Renewal International Friendship House||Cleaning, Painting, & Assembling Garden Beds|
|Plain Dealing High School||Providence House||Collection Drive|
|Airline High School & Blue Jackets||Geaux 4 Kids||Collection Drive|
|Bossier Educational Service Center (BESC)||Basic Necessities||Collection Drive|
|W.T. Lewis Elementary||Providence House||Collection Drive|
|Greenacres Middle School Beta Club||Salvation Army||Bicycle Restoration|
|R.V. Kerr Elementary||Robinson’s Rescue Spay/Neuter Clinic||Collection Drive|
|Haughton High School Boys Basketball Team||Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Center||Landscaping & Collection Drive|
|Bossier Schools Virtual Program||—||Community Clean-Up|
|Elm Grove Middle School Cheer||Renzi Education & Art Center, Inc||Gardening & Landscaping|
|Haughton Elementary School Captain’s Crew||Geaux 4 Kids||Collection Drive|
|Benton Middle School’s NJHS||Shreveport Green||Gardening & Landscaping|
|Plantation Park Elementary Student Leadership Team & Cheerleaders||Keep Bossier Beautiful||Campus Clean-Up|
|Meadowview Elementary||Keep Bossier Beautiful||Campus Clean-Up|
|Bellaire Elementary||Keep Bossier Beautiful||Campus Clean-Up|
|Plain Dealing High School||—||Campus Clean-Up|
|Benton High School Baseball Team||—||Campus Clean-Up|
|Princeton Elementary||St. Luke’s Mobile Medical Ministry||Collection Drive|
|Benton High School & Military Club||The Fuller Center for Housing of NWLA Inc||Home Restoration|
|Haughton Middle School||—||Neighborhood Clean-Up|
|Meadowview Elementary||United Way of Northwest Louisiana||Snack Pack Assembling|