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September 5, 2013 in Education, Poverty, Volunteering

American Student Learns Valuable Lessons

by MaryBeth Zins

As the summer draws to a close and I prepare to return to finish my last year of undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin – Madison, I reflect on a great opportunity that I had this summer as part of a three-week volunteer trip to India. I know not all young people and children around the world are returning to the same circumstances as me – not all schools are created equal, but witnessing first-hand the vast inequalities around the world is eye-opening and enlightening.

Sector 3, Faridabad, IndiaDuring my visit I very quickly learned the first rule of India: there is always more. There is always more room, more time, more people, more food, more prayer. But sadly, for Indian school children, there may not be more school supplies, more seats in the classroom, or more teachers to teach them. Three other female volunteers and I were placed to teach English in Little Angels Public School in Faridabad, 25km south of New Delhi. The 15-minute walk to school from our home stay was an adventure in itself as we sidestepped cows, bicycles, burning piles of trash, stray dogs, and bathing men and children. READ MORE

14 Ways You Made an Impact on August 14

August 15, 2013 in Events, Volunteering

Thanks to you, we made a huge impact during the second annual United Way Action Day! We’re so grateful to everyone who volunteered downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, the teams who raced at Mall of America and those who donated to our Back to School drive.
Action Day Beneficiaries_8.14.13
14 ways YOU made a difference:

  1. Serving breakfast to 300 people in the early morning hours
  2. Granting $7,200 to deserving United Way partner agencies
  3. Joining over 775 volunteers for the largest speed volunteer event at the Mall of America
  4. Creating 130 blankets to keep kids warm
  5. Doing 14,000 loads of laundry for families in need with 7,000 laundry kits
  6. Teaching kids and adults healthy oral care habits with 5,030 dental kits
  7. Feeding 4,000 kids who can’t afford lunch with snack packs
  8. Assembling 600 early education kits to make learning fun for 600 pre-K children
  9. Helping 200 seniors stay active with exercise kits
  10. Providing kits to help 300 individuals find job search success
  11. Encouraging activity for kids with 200 fitness kits
  12. Finding a new way to re-use donated T-shirts by constructing T-shirt bags
  13. Designing hand-crafted flash cards for students
  14. Putting together 40 essentials kits for homeless individuals

See pictures from all our events by searching #uwactionday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Or check out Action Day news coverage on:

United Way Action Day

July 30, 2013 in Collective Impact, Event, Volunteering

Enjoy a Day of Fun, Service & Community

Action Day logo

In the greater Twin Cities area, more than 116,000 children live in poverty. These children live in families that are barely able to afford basic needs much less school supplies. The goal of this campaign is to raise donations, both monetary and physical, for much needed school supply items to make a difference in a child’s life by giving them a great start to the school year.

The third annual Action Day Supply Drive & Volunteering activities include putting together snack-packs, laundry and dental kits, plus so much more that will benefit 15 United Way agencies. REGISTER

Can’t make it on Aug. 14, but still want to get involved? Donate now to our school supply drive. Or visit our booth in the Mall of America rotunda Aug. 10-14 to drop off an item to help a child learn. All school supplies will be donated to Project for Pride in Living and Keystone Community Services.

Presented by: Land O’Lakes
Event Sponsors: The Mosaic Company and Wells Fargo
Additional support by:, cmoto, Ecolab, Inc., Kellogg Company, LDI, Mall of America, Nemer Fieger and UPS