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United Way of Southwest Louisiana is kicking off a new youth volunteer program to encourage philanthropy through volunteering. It fits perfectly with UWSWLA’s goal of stopping the summer brain drain.
The Summer of Service program is designed specifically for ages 12-18 and is free and open to all Southwest Louisiana youth. Forty volunteers will have the opportunity to do five different projects over a five-week period from the end of June through July. A full schedule is on the United Way of SWLA website, but highlights are: yard work and landscaping for elderly Lake Charles residents, clean-up and care kits for a veteran’s home, smartphone and email tutorial for the elderly and preparing/distributing care kits for the homeless. The volunteers will be able to choose all weeks of the program or a few.
All projects focus on developing youth’s compassion for the community while addressing unmet needs for some of the area’s most vulnerable. “This program encourages young community members to get involved in helping others, interact with new people and gain a greater understanding of the diversity in Southwest Louisiana. By teaching the rewards of volunteering, we believe they will continue to in some meaningful way throughout their lifetime and encourage those around them,” explains Denise Durel, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana.
UWSWLA’s four impact areas are the focus of all work done in the community; education, health, economic mobility and basic needs. Data collected by UWSWLA shows these are the building blocks for a more successful life. When everyone in the community has success, everyone benefits which is the basis for the “Live United” global campaign by United Way.
To be eligible to volunteer, a parent/guardian must fill out the online form, have transportation to and from the United Way of SWLA office at 815 Ryan Street on the days of projects and agree/adhere to the program rules. To register a 12-18 year old that you have custody of or get more details, visit WWW.UNITEDWAYSWLA.ORG/SUMMER-OF-SERVICE.
Alcoa Carbon Products funds the Summer of Service project. Alcoa and its employees are committed to making Southwest Louisiana a healthier, safer place to live. We're all in this together and their generosity benefits the entire community.
For more information on United Way of Southwest Louisiana, visit unitedwayswla.org or call 337.433.1088.