[Editor's Note: This blog post is the second in a series of bi-weekly blog posts we'll be featuring from some of our volunteers and volunteer leaders under our "Volunteer Experience" category. This week's post is by Leticia Foster. You can take part in a project like Leticia's and enjoy serving as well by signing up for our 9/11 Week of Service projects today! No orientation or background checks required for projects during this week (unless otherwise noted).]
I decided to challenge myself to a new project last week. Since relocating, I have volunteered with HandsOn Charlotte for more than a year now and wanted to expand my project horizon. With the upcoming school term around the corner, I felt that it only made sense to help those in the education industry.
HandsOn Charlotte provides volunteering opportunities at Classroom Central at least three times a month. Classroom Central distributes free school supplies to Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding county teachers. A volunteer can choose to either prepare for teachers’ visits — i.e. supply sorting, or assist teachers while they shop. I chose to assist with the warehouse. After a brief orientation and tour of the facility, we began to package booklets for the teachers to use as part of their fall curriculums. Even though this may seem like a small endeavor, we packed almost two pallets worth of materials. This was a great help to Classroom Central given that just days prior they had more than 150 teachers visit their store to shop in one afternoon!
My biggest takeaway from this project was the interaction among volunteers. I was able to interact with individuals from various backgrounds that had a strong affinity to education and teacher dedication. In addition, I was amazed to learn that many teachers purchase necessary supplies for not only themselves but also students out of their own pockets! This is a jaw-dropping fact to learn, given the most recent budget cuts; however, this is a testament to the teachers’ dedication to the community. It is great to be reminded of that dedication our local teachers have for our community’s children.
Classroom Central is an excellent organization here in Charlotte to support. Even if time is of the essence to volunteer at the facility, one can always donate school/office supplies. Donations are accepted at your local Charlotte library as well as through the United States Postal Service. You can leave your donations for the mail courier to pick up and they will deliver to Classroom Central on Monday.
Classroom Central volunteer