Volunteer Appreciation Night with the New Orleans Baby Cakes

Each year during National Volunteer Week, we take the time to recognize the people and organizations that inspire us to serve, recognizing and thanking volunteers who lend their time, talent and voice to make a difference in our community. 

On April 17th, we teamed up with Volunteer Recognition Partner, The New Orleans Baby Cakes, to honor those individuals and organizations who go above and beyond in their volunteer efforts and who have been exemplary in our call for all of us to come together and Live United. View the photo gallery. 

Prior to the game, we honored our Top 5 Volunteer Organizations:
5. United Parcel Service
4. Loop LLC
3. Coca-Cola Bottling Company United
2. Shell
1. The Folger Coffee Company

Congratulations to The Folger Coffee Company whose employees led a tremendous effort to build a new house in the Lower 9th Ward and for accumulating 1599 volunteer hours in 2017-2018!

We also honored outstanding individual volunteer, Bea Forlano with Enterprise Holdings, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch that evening. Bea is the Chair of United Way's Young Leaders Movement (YLM) and has been instrumental in its growth and outreach as we engage young professionals to become the next generation of philanthropic leaders. 

Thank you to all of those who volunteer with us throughout the year - from serving on committees to getting families back in their homes, you are creating a better place to live, work and raise our families right here in Southeast Louisiana. This year, in conjunction with The New Orleans Tricentennial, United Way of Southeast Louisiana has partnered with the 2018 NOLA Foundation, HandsOn New Orleans, and NetWork Volunteers to launch the Tricentennial Volunteer Challenge. The challenge aims to engage residents and tourists through 300 unique volunteer projects to accumulate 300,000 hours of service over the course of 2018. 

Upon the successful completion of the challenge, 300,000 Hours for the Next 300 is estimated to generate more than $7.2 million in community impact over the course of 2018.

Read to kids. Plan an event. Plant a garden. Decide how United Way dollars are spent. Volunteers make our community an amazing place. Find opportunities here. 

Finally, we're happy to announce the winner of our National Volunteer Week contest. We sought out personal volunteerism stories throughout the week to highlight the impact of being a volunteer. The winner of two tickets to Jazz Fest is Kayla Riley of Riverdale High School and Board Member of UWSELA's Mission Ignition. Congratulations Kayla - be sure to check out her story below. 

Volunteering in my community has shaped me into the young woman I am today. I have had countless opportunities to work with HandsOn in their partnership with United Way and Mission Ignition. My experience in our community has taught me that everyone is entitled to a good life and sometimes they are not given the same chances as others, as it has become my duty to advocate for those people. My work in the New Orleans area volunteering has taught me everything I need to know about volunteering and it has led me to a passion for leading my peers to do the same.