by Michelle Bennett
Hands On Asheville-Buncombe Director
NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association reached out to us this summer regarding an all-day volunteer project for their employees to promote team-building and further build a connection with the community. These reasons are pretty common among companies looking for volunteer projects. We suggested Enka Middle School because of the existing Community School partnership and thought this opportunity with NTCA would be a good time to accomplish several projects. The school principal referred to the day as the “middle school makeover.” Since it was a teacher workday, students returned to a cleaner, greener and updated campus.
Approximately 84 NTCA employees collectively volunteered 400 hours from 9 am to 3 pm. That's the equivalent of saving $5,400 in labor based on the hourly rates of similar type work performed (landscaping, cleaning, painting, administrative work)! Volunteer teams worked on various projects at the school including sprucing up the Enka Jet area, mulching areas at the school, painting indoors and outdoors, deep cleaning classrooms, and building/assembling picnic tables, raised bed gardens, benches and other items. Volunteers also assisted teachers with lexiling, organizing classroom libraries and creating educational sets.
Not did NTCA help with the labor to accomplish these projects, they also donated funds for half the supplies. The other half were paid for by a Lowes Toolbox for Education grant. NTCA also invited school staff to enjoy lunch with them.
We are excited that NTCA committed an entire work day to volunteering at Enka Middle to create a welcoming environment and that they provided support for supplies.
Hands On Asheville Buncombe is the volunteer center of United Way. Hands On staff provided project development/management and was the onsite coordinator of volunteers. If you're interested in the benefits of employee volunteerism or to schedule a workplace volunteer project, please contact Michelle.Bennett@UnitedWayABC.org or (828) 239-1033.