By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly 600 Bossier students, employees and parents spent Saturday morning participating in the largest one-day volunteer efforts in Bossier Parish.
On Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers spread themselves throughout Bossier Parish and parts of Caddo lending a helping hand as part of the United Way’s Day of Service.
A few examples of those volunteerism efforts include assembling snack packs and food boxes for those in need; paining murals at the Bossier Arts Council, landscaping; organizing neighborhood cleanups; striping parking lots and much more.
Jennifer Horton, community engagement coordinator at United Way of Northwest Louisiana, said, “Kids really enjoy helping others but they’re not always given the opportunity and that’s what United Way’s Day of Service is for. We enjoy seeing Bossier Parish students giving back to their communities. It’s empowering for students to feel that they can make an impact regardless of their age.”
This is a record-breaking year for Bossier Schools and the United Way of Northwest Louisiana,in their 4th Annual Day of Service. This event has grown each year to include hundreds of volunteers and 30 different projects that benefit non-profits and those in need. This year, there were a total of 594 volunteers and 30 projects. In 2017, there were a total of 371 volunteers and 23 projects.
Volunteering her Saturday morning to paint a mural at the Bossier Arts Council, Parkway High School Student Anna Wyatt wanted to give back to the council for all of their hard work that they do for the community and share a small piece of her talent with visitors there.
“I wanted a way to contribute to the Bossier Arts Council. I have been coming here since my 6th grade year. I’ve seen the murals and I have always wanted my art to be on the wall,” said Wyatt.
Bossier Schools Talented Arts Instructor and Artist Steve Porter said, “The Bossier Arts Council has done so much, not just for the community but for my students. They are always open to help them, to do whatever they can for them, and give them opportunities.”
Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith even joined in and lent a helping hand. Smith began his morning by assembling Geaux-Bags for foster families at the Family Justice Center of Northwest Louisiana in Bossier City, then in the later part of the morning proceeded to Bossier Elementary, where children picked up litter in the neighborhood and adults helped to refurbish the schools auditorium.
“It’s important that we’re teaching kids all about service. We are trying to change the community and part of that means to teach children to invest in their community now, so when they’re adults they will know the value of giving their time, talent and treasure,” said Horton.