Nonprofits: United Way of NWLA, Bossier Schools exceed project goals

United Way of Northwest Louisiana’s (UWNWLA) socially distanced essential needs drive, an alternative to their traditional Day of Service, yielded more than 10,000 essential items and $16,000 of economic support from 24 Bossier Parish Public School teams. During October, schools in Bossier Parish were paired with one of 14 participating local nonprofits of their choice and given a list of the nonprofit’s essential needs. Once paired, teams of students, staff departments, and individuals volunteered to collect essential items. 

UWNWLA’s annual Day of Service for Bossier Schools and Caddo Parish Schools presents many benefits to Northwest Louisiana; it allows students, teachers, and staff to get involved with their community and emphasizes the importance of volunteerism to students. “Being a member of the Elm Grove Pride Line, we always strive to be the light in someone’s day that you wish you had in yours. The opportunity of delivering a donation to the Friendship House reinforced how you never know what someone else is going through and how a small act of kindness can go a long way,” says Adleigh Junkin, eighth grader at Elm Grove Middle School. 

Volunteers are crucial for nonprofits to complete projects that may be delayed due to staff and labor costs. In 2019, 341 Bossier School volunteers completed projects that saved participating nonprofits $23,283.48 in labor expenses.  “Every year, United Way has more than 2,500 volunteers serving more than 6,000 volunteer hours to benefit our community,” says Harper McKnight, community engagement coordinator. “With needs rapidly increasing in communities due to COVID-19, our volunteer force is more critical than ever. We are grateful to Bossier Parish Schools for helping us provide these essentials to our community partners.” 

UWNWLA happily welcomed the mass of donations that quickly filled a large portion of their office. Despite altering the annual Day of Service out of necessity, Bossier Parish Schools’ Month of Service and their contributions continue to provide opportunities for students and staff to learn about essential human service needs, as well as how to give back to our community.   

Participating schools and the nonprofit of their choice: 

Bossier Evaluation Center Christian Service Program & Holy Angels 
Bossier Educational Service Center St. Luke’s Episcopal Mobile Medical Ministry, Inc 
Haughton High School Student Council MLK Health Center & Pharmacy 
Benton High School Holy Angels 
Bellaire Elementary School Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana 
Platt Elementary Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana 
Cope Middle School Girls PE United Way of Northwest Louisiana 
Princeton Elementary United Way of Northwest Louisiana 
Curriculum Department of Bossier Parish Schools – Individual Project, Martha Patten & her family The Hub: Urban Ministries 
Haughton Elementary Staff The Hub: Urban Ministries 
Central Park Elementary Independence Lodge – Volunteers of America North Louisiana 
Bossier Parish School Board Bossier LightHouse – Volunteers of America North Louisiana 
Individual Project, Sonja Bailes & her son Keep Bossier Beautiful 
Legacy Elementary School Keep Bossier Beautiful 
W.T. Lewis Elementary Providence House 
Waller Elementary Student Council Providence House 
Benton Elementary Geaux 4 Kids: Project Geaux Bags 
R.V. Kerr Elementary Geaux 4 Kids: Project Geaux Bags 
Kingston Elementary Geaux 4 Kids: Project Geaux Bags 
Elm Grove Middle School Prideline Community Renewal Barksdale Annex Friendship Houses 
Apollo Elementary Community Renewal Barksdale Annex Friendship Houses 
Rusheon Middle Cafeteria worker, Delores Ward Community Renewal Barksdale Annex Friendship Houses 
Elm Grove Elementary Robinson’s Rescue 
6th Grade Science Dept- Greenacres Middle Robinson’s Rescue