Today’s blog post is by Communities In Schools of Puyallup, Wash., AmeriCorps VISTA member Nicole Green.
Each year at Communities In Schools of Puyallup, we coordinate an annual district-wide community service campaign called March Gladness. Students and staff throughout the school district come together, volunteering countless hours of service to various causes and organizations.
Last year, during the March Gladness “Be the Change in 2012” campaign, 10,000 participating students collected more than 40,000 pounds of clothing for the local Goodwill, gathered more than 10,000 pairs of shoes for Soles4Souls and raised almost $40,000 for various charities – $31,663 of which went towards cancer research.
These are just the big numbers. They do not include the hours students spent helping clean up their schools, sorting clothing at the local thrift store, feeding the homeless, picking weeds at the local nursing home garden and reading to children.
March Gladness started over seven years ago, with students completing service projects throughout the month of March. Now March Gladness projects start in January and run through the end of March. This year, a 30-member Student Leadership Team will meet monthly, throughout the school year, to work on service projects and promote this year’s campaign, which they have named “32 Schools Making 1 Big Difference.”
I can’t wait to see the positive difference they make in our community in 2013!