Wednesday, May 29, 2024

United Way Hosts 39th Day of Caring with Over 600 Volunteers

by BIZ Magazine

United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) hosted its 39th annual Day of Caring on Thursday, May 2, with the participation of more than 600 volunteers. The event was sponsored in part by Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino, Chesapeake Energy, and Brookshire Grocery Company.

Day of Caring stands as the largest single-day, community-wide volunteer event in Northwest Louisiana. During this event, volunteers are paired with nonprofit agencies that may lack the financial resources or manpower to complete intensive projects independently. This year, volunteers from over 50 local businesses and organizations supported 19 nonprofit agencies, completing 28 projects to make a significant impact across Shreveport-Bossier.

The Hollywood-themed event commenced with a pep rally breakfast at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino. Volunteers gathered to learn more about the impact of their efforts, displayed their volunteer spirit through team chants, and enjoyed a lively performance from the Caddo Heights Math/Science Elementary drumline. Following the breakfast, volunteers dispersed across Shreveport-Bossier to undertake projects for local nonprofits such as Geaux 4 Kids, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army. Projects varied from painting facilities to organizing warehouses, assembling care packages for children in foster care, restoring an art center, and assisting with food distribution.

Expressing gratitude, UWNWLA President and CEO LaToria W. Thomas stated, “On behalf of our board, staff, and the community we serve, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our volunteers for their unwavering dedication and the tremendous difference they have made. As Northwest Louisiana’s largest volunteer initiative, we are proud to see how this mission has evolved in its 39th year.”

Director of Community Impact Raavin Evans added, “On the darkest nights, it is the gathering of stars that give us our guiding light, and Day of Caring: Lights, Camera, Volunteer would not be possible without our volunteer stars of change. Thanks to volunteers, the Shreveport-Bossier nonprofit community saved roughly $99,465 in labor costs within four hours of service work based on the value of a volunteer’s hour.”

Following the completion of their projects, volunteers returned to Sam’s Town to celebrate their accomplishments at an afterparty. The event featured lunch, music, and karaoke by Treetop Entertainment, a dance-off competition, raffle prizes, and the announcement of the 2024 Day of Caring Spirit Award winner. This award is presented to the volunteer team that demonstrates the most enthusiasm, engagement, and impact through dressing up, participating in spirit games, social media involvement, and overall morale boosting. The Omni Specialty Packaging team received this honor for their outstanding spirit.

UWNWLA takes pride in its partnership with local nonprofits and the success of another year of giving back to the community. Through events like Day of Caring, excitement around volunteerism is fostered, and the importance of community engagement is highlighted.

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