I had the pleasure of volunteering for the United Way of Cass Clay's annual backpack drive this year. My 35 under 35 Women's Leadership group had a goal of collecting 170 backpacks (which we exceeded!) to contribute towards the UW's goal of 4,500. I had signed up my previous employer as holding a backpack drive which I still went and collected the back packs and delivered them to the Fargodome. It was much appreciated!
My first shift in volunteering was to start unloading supplies into different categories. There were pallets of donations to sort but the group of women that day is always motivated and we were all running around like crazy.
|Photo courtesy of the United Way|
My second shift was a few weeks later after the backpacks were stuff and ready for distribution. I didn't know what to expect that evening but it was amazing. First of all, when I arrived at the Fargodome, there was a line starting to wrap around the outside. I thought to myself, "Oh boy. This is going to be interesting." But the United Way was so extremely organized that even though I knew how long the line was, it never felt like it. At least where I was anyway! I was a "runner" which means I would go and retrieve the needed backpack. It would be for a male or female student in a select grade category. The kids were always watching you carefully as you picked out their backpack for the year!
It was an evening filled with "God Bless You" and "Thank You", but I think the moment that took my heart was when I handed a little boy a Superman backpack and he smiled and hugged it excitedly. That moment made all of the volunteer hours worth it. It's the moment that I will take with me. That little boy could have been Harvey. I'm holding back tears with a smile as I think about it now. It is why I am blessed to be a part of this women's group, this organization, this community. It's something we should all be thankful for daily; that we live in a community that is filled with people who will reach out to help someone in need at any time.
If you want to watch the backpack process in an extremely fun time lapse video, here it is!