Our second annual Volunteer-a-Thon, held in April of 2016, was an amazing success! We sent JLA and community volunteers out to four local non-profits: Claxton Elementary, Helpmate, MANNA FoodBank and Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Families.
At Claxton, volunteers weeded and mulched flowerbeds on the property. They also prepped some raised beds for Claxton Elementary to use for future hands-on science learning.
At Helpmate, volunteers worked diligently performing landscaping and improvements to the property. We trimmed back bushes, weeded flowerbeds, cleaned outdoor furniture, raked out bags of leaves, mowed and trimmed the lawn and put out new “No Trespassing” signs. The Helpmate liaison expressed gratitude for our efforts, stating that because Helpmate is an emergency shelter, things like mulching, weeding and planting flowers—even mowing the lawn—often get overlooked and the work really helped brighten up the property.
At MANNA FoodBank, we assembled over 700 MANNA packs for kids in our community. These food packs are sent home with kids on Fridays who might otherwise go hungry over the weekend. “Every Friday, a bag of nutrient-dense food is discreetly slipped into thousands of WNC school kids’ backpacks. The food in the pack changes from week to week, but the key elements remain the same: High-nutrient, shelf stable food, the makings for a family meal, breakfast and snack items, and fresh fruit when available.” (MannaFoodBank.org) Site Leader, Melissa Fish, had this to say about her experience: “Knowing that every pack we made meant one less child went hungry, we all worked with a sense of urgency to assemble as many as we could. It was such a rewarding experience. As our volunteer shift ended, everyone asked how they could sign up to come back.”
At Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Families, volunteers worked most of the day at the West Campus. They cleared brush and planted ground cover on a hill behind the main hall as well as worked in one of the old camp cabins deep cleaning and painting. There were a total of 25 volunteers—sixteen JLA members, nine additional volunteers (friends of members as well as students from Christ School). It was a very rewarding day!