Since August, students at Webb Middle School participated in Volunteer Project Leader (VPL) training to learn how to better their community by leading volunteer projects. The group recently finished their first project: raising money for, making and donating warm fleece blankets for kids who need them. The program, which was adapted from UWCA’s Hands On Central Texas program specifically for Webb’s middle school students, aims to transform casual volunteers into active community leaders by equipping participants with the leadership skills and tools they need to make meaningful and lasting change in their communities. It focuses on providing volunteers with the basics of how to lead projects; how to manage and recruit volunteers; ways to identify needs in the community; adopt existing or create new volunteer projects; and ways to locate and utilize resources. During their time in the VPL training program, Webb’s seventh grade students performed an exercise that required them to reach out to their teachers, peers and community leaders to identify what the need was in the St. Johns neighborhood. Once this was completed, the exercise turned into much larger projects that focused on addressing those identified needs. One of the student leaders, Noel Mondragon, worked with his teacher, Mrs. Eckhart, to develop the idea of putting together warm fleece blankets for underprivileged children at orphanages or early childhood centers in the surrounding area. “Noel was the leader of the project but the whole school really got invested,” said Nikki Krueger, who runs HOCT and the Volunteer Project […]Read More
Fall Day of Caring: 800+ volunteers come together!
On Friday, September 23, United Way Capital Area closed its doors as employees joined over 800 volunteers to complete 35 projects throughout the community. In total, volunteers gave 2,982 hours of service for UWCA’s Fall Day of Caring. Individuals from 22 Austin-area companies came together in teams to build community gardens, support local organizations, mentor students in career skills and much more. The event also boasts a key record: 28 projects were led by UWCA-trained Volunteer Project Leaders– each of them participated in a 2-hour session to learn how to make meaningful and lasting change in their community. Over the past 6 years, UWCA has taught hundreds of volunteer leaders as part of this national training initiative. To say thank you to our dedicated volunteers, we put together a YouTube video featuring clips and photos from throughout the day. Random quotes of kindness: Austin Nature & Science Center– I was amazed at how everyone worked together to get the project done. The people from the Austin Statesman really did an awesome job. The place looks remarkable, more than I expected. I really like that we are able to be a part of the Days of Caring with United Way. We always get so much done on those volunteer days. Thank you so much! – Project Leader Mainspring Schools– I absolutely loved this event. Sometimes when I volunteer, I don’t get to see the full impact of what my time and energy is buying. In this instance, I was able to see the […]Read More