I still remember the first time I heard of the United Way's Day of Caring. I remember thinking, 'Oh, that's really cool,' then filed it away in the back of my head. Then the day arrived and I was positively stunned by how our community came together to help each other!

Over the years, I've served on several area non-profit boards and the resounding takeaway for me is that both giving and volunteering are down because of budget cuts,  the economy, etc... The good news? People locally are willing to pull out their own wallets and give their time to make sure our community doesn't go without important services provided by these many agencies under the United Way umbrella.

Whether it's painting a wall or sorting donations, I hope we can all come together again for the United Way of North Louisiana's Day of Caring Friday, April 27, 2018. If you haven't volunteered before, I can tell you from personal experience that when you give without expectations, you will reap the rewards.

Isaiah 58:10Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

I hope you'll let your light shine Friday, April 27th! Here's what the United Way of NWLA has to say about this year's event:

United Way of Northwest Louisiana will host its annual Day of Caring on Friday, April 27.  Day of Caring is the largest single-day, community-wide volunteer event in Northwest Louisiana. The event hosts about 600 volunteers representing nearly 50 local businesses and involves nearly 40 local nonprofits.

Volunteers are the backbone to nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits don’t always have the financial resources or manpower to hire outside help or to complete all the things that are needed for upkeep. That’s where volunteers come in. During Day of Caring, a team of 5-15 people are partnered with a nonprofit agency to complete a project such as repainting a wall, clearing out a storage shed, organizing recent donations and more.

“Day of Caring 2017 grew to its largest size in the history of hosting this event here,” said UWNWLA Community Engagement Coordinator, Jennifer Horton. “We are thrilled to see hundreds of people in our community get excited about volunteering. We’re also proud to help foster a love for philanthropy that may not have previously existed within a local business.”

United Way NWLA is currently seeking businesses and organizations who are interested in building employee morale and connecting with our community. Teams will have the opportunity to visit a local nonprofit and gain an understanding of their everyday operations.

The morning of Friday, April 27 will begin with a kickoff pep-rally style breakfast at the Horseshoe Bossier City Riverdome. Teams will receive their event t-shirts, get briefed on the day ahead, then spread throughout Shreveport - Bossier City to begin projects at their assigned sites. Completing the day will be a wrap-up party back at the Horseshoe DARE day club and pool.

To start a team or for questions on how to get involved by becoming a sponsor, please contact Jennifer Horton:

Phone: 318-677-2504 x123

Email: volunteer@unitedwaynwla.org

Minden will also celebrate Day of Caring Saturday, April 21, 2018 and will encompass Webster, Bienville and Claiborne Parishes. .