Last month hundreds of United Ways across the U.S. and the world brought thousands of volunteers together in a worldwide Day of Action on June 21. United Way Romania, for example, rallied 300 adults and 500 children to promote the importance of a good education by playing Scrabble simultaneously in three cities. This feat set a record as the largest Scrabble event ever in Romania.
United Way teamed children and teenagers from a school drop-out prevention program with adult volunteers from partner companies and the greater community to play Scrabble. The children each received a game to take home so they can play and keep their learning skills sharp while school is out. In Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca the event was held in two of the local schools that United Way partners with and in Timisoara it was hosted by the Viennese Ballroom.
In addition to recruiting volunteers, corporate partners provided other great support - from storage and transportation of the Scrabble games and other materials, water and snacks for the participants, pens and Post-its to keep score, printing the Scrabble rules, cleaning services and more. Companies supporting the event included: TNT, 3M, Coca-Cola, HBC Romania, Xerox, Wave Division, Vertex Cleaning, Elixir Press, Astrid Media Production, Webspire, Prima TV, City Nights Bucharest, and The Timisoara Viennese Ball Foundation.
For United Way Romania and all United Ways, our goal is to ensure that children receive a quality education and a chance at a better future. Education extends beyond the classroom. An entire community can help educate our children. Through games like Scrabble, children practice their vocabulary and math skills, learn to play fair and boost their creativity. And at the event in Romania, hundreds of adults showed at-risk kids that they care about them doing well in school and in the future.
This year, at least 290 United Ways in all 50 states and 12 countries mobilized volunteers on Day of Action for projects focused on education, income and health. You don’t have to wait until June 21, 2015 to help children achieve their potential. Join more than 307,000 people who’ve pledged to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor, and contact your local United Way to learn about other ways you can volunteer to make a difference.