Today was a “full circle” moment for me at Classroom Central.
For the last six months, I’ve had the opportunity to stock shelves, sort and package items in the warehouse, and assist with drive thru pick-ups. With each task, I am able to interact with educators directly or indirectly. However regardless of the interaction level, my efforts maintain the same reach: to assist Mecklenburg county and surrounding area children.
Now back to my “full circle” moment. Today, I was able to volunteer on a new task which was teacher shopping. My role in the shopping experience was to assist with “checking-out” area teachers with their allotted classroom supplies.
I enjoyed the conversation with various teachers across subjects and grade levels. In particular, I reunited with a teacher I assisted at Elon Home for Children with another Hands On Charlotte project. It was great chatting with her and hearing the school’s library progress from my prior visit two months ago.
Throughout the shopping experience, I was taken back by the number of “Thank You’s” received. My help at Classroom Central pales in comparison to educators’ dedication to today’s youth. So through this blog I not only want to capture my experience, but say “THANK YOU” Educators for your selfless efforts, dedication, and time!
Hands On Charlotte Volunteer
Marketing and Communications Committee Member
[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).]
Volunteers prepare kits for teachers at Classroom Central
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