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United Way Blog

Volunteers Help Kids Start the Day Right

Starting the day with a healthy breakfast helps with school performance.  And so, one Saturday last month United Way Silicon Valley (San Jose, CA) rallied volunteers to assemble 'Healthy Snack Bags' for elementary school students taking state tests two days later.

Clearly the project struck a chord with volunteers; registration for the event filled up in two days. A large number of kids and teenagers made up the group of 85 volunteers who decorated 4,000 bags with inspirational words and filled each with a granola bar, cheese and crackers, fruit snacks, animal crackers, pencil with mini sharpener, and juice.

While the snack bags helped the kids eat well before their tests, the volunteers benefitted, too, because volunteering is part of a healthy lifestyle. Depend sponsored the event as part of its partnership with United Way to promote healthy, active and independent living throughout an individual’s life, with a focus on volunteering.

More than 2,000 3rd – 5th grade students in struggling neighborhoods benefitted from the snack bags distributed to 10 local schools. Volunteers completed 255 hours on this project, a value of $5,882.85 to the community. Perhaps the impact of the project is best summed up by a 5th grader named Jenny who said,  “After receiving the special goodie bag, I realized that those people who helped prepare these bags actually cared about us. It really motivated me to try harder, think harder, and think positively. Thank you so much.”

Volunteers really did care about the kids, even though they didn’t interact with them. This notion of coming together in support of the greater good is what it means to Live United. That’s one of the great things about volunteering: our action today will benefit others and ourselves for years to come. Contact your local United Way to learn how you can make this kind of difference.