Students Move from "Me" to "We" through Volunteerism

Evidence in support of encouraging youth volunteerism is vast, with benefits ranging from creating a stronger community, better performance in schools on average and long term success through access to mentorship. The culture of volunteerism is on the rise, with younger generations embracing the movement in both traditional and non-traditional variations. The number of teens volunteering doubled over the past 25 years, with a recent poll by Volunteering in America reporting that "in 2010, 4.4 million teens dedicated 377 million hours of service to communities across the country." What does this mean for you? With youth contributing more than 1.3 billion hours of community service each year*, a lot of progress could be made.


Empowering youth to participate in philanthropy sparks a lifetime commitment to community service. The growing trend of student volunteerism is testament to the fact that potential barriers to allowing young people to volunteer are being reevaluated. An estimated 15.5 million youth, or 55% of youth between the ages of 12 and 18, participate in volunteer activities. With 39% of those volunteers considered "regular" volunteers, those who volunteer at least 12 weeks per year[*], opening up opportunities to a wider age bracket is both good for the community and the organization as a whole.


With levels of youth civic engagement growing in tandem with the increased use of social media platforms, more projects and community needs can be promoted and shared by peers. Communication via social media encourages volunteerism, allowing for local, national and global sharing of information, initiatives and partnerships. Students often times drive volunteer efforts, making lasting impressions on communities and causes. These efforts are increasingly effective through active broadcast through social media.


[*] "Youth Helping America: The Role of Social Institutions in Teen Volunteering" Corporation for National & Community Service, November, 2005. 


From Our June 2014 Newsletter

Improve Your Bottom Line with Strategic Philanthropy

In order to get the competitive edge, companies of all sizes must continue to adapt to reflect changes in consumer behavior. Under the constraints of resources, including time and finances, the "bang for your buck" mentality often prevails, but not all strategies to rise above the noise are equal. Enter Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The emerging trend of strategic CSR stands out as a way for companies to support short- and long-term business goals while strengthening existing relationships in communities and fostering new ones. When done well, CSR supports marketing activities, enhances corporate image and builds good will through improving and engaging with communities.

CSR supports marketing activities and positively impacts a company's bottom line. According to a recent study, 80% of Americans would be likely to switch from one brand to another if the other brand is associated with a good cause - compared to just 66% twenty years ago. Millennials (age 18-24) are rated even more likely to switch under the same conditions at a noteworthy 88%[1]. Consumers around the world also believe that corporations should do good work, and that doing so is good business. Globally, 64% of people believe that it's no longer enough for corporations to merely give money away, but that they must integrate good causes into their day-to-day business[2]. All of these numbers suggest that not only must businesses engage in philanthropic activities, but communicate these efforts to the correct audiences.

Furthermore, having a strong CSR plan enhances corporate image and attracts like-minded employees that value contributing to areas of need. Companies that invest in their communities are also investing in the lives of its employees and potential employees. Corporate philanthropy and volunteerism fosters a team building mentality that benefits the workplace. There is a direct correlation between a company's level of involvement in the community and its image rating. A quality CSR plan that is well communicated to its communities will ultimately aid in the achievement of business goals and are more likely to create a loyal following of customers and team members.

It is no longer sufficient to limit donations to an alma mater or to sponsoring the occasional event. The real game changers are those who create giving strategies that have tangible results through getting the team involved in hands-on projects, not just writing checks. Success comes when philanthropic efforts are well researched, communicated to the desired audiences and have results that can be measured.

[1] Cone, 2010, Cause Evolution Study

[2] Edelman's, 2010, goodpurposeTM Consumer Study


Monday, March 3, 2014: More than 215 attendees of Microsoft Dynamics' Convergence in Atlanta's historic Martin Luther King Jr. neighborhood spent the day improving the community and impacting the lives of its residents.

The neighborhood has fallen into a state of disrepair, but the Convergence Day of Service let people know they do matter and that people still care!

Volunteers were able to make needed updates to the Wheat Street Gardens, one of the largest community gardens in the Southeast –located right in the heart of the MLK District!  Here’s what our volunteers achieved:

·        Built a block of new fencing

·        Built and planted 20 raised beds

·        Built an extension to an existing outdoor pavilion, tripling its size

·        Built and painted 10 new benches

·        Built a new chicken coop

·        Built a new children's pavilion!  


Just one block from the garden is a low-income senior living high rise, Wheat Street Towers, and there volunteers made a big difference, too! Volunteers:

·        Worked in more than 90 apartments helping to clean, make small repairs and visit with local residents

·        Assembled and installed 10 new rocking chairs for the front entrance

·        Donated and installed a big screen TV and games for the community/rec room!  


Plus, a third group painted the interior of the historic SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) Women's Building!   And yes, all of this was in one day!!!


Then inside the convention center Convergence attendees made a huge impact as well.  Within three days in the Convergence Experience Center, volunteers:

·        Painted and planted 250 individual pots that were delivered to the senior citizens living in the Wheat Street towers

·        Prepared 1000 care packages and messages of hope for mom's and their infants at a nearby homeless shelter

·    Assembled 500 food packages for children living nearby who are often fed during the school day, but often go hungry on the evenings/weekends.


Saturday, November 16, 2013: Over 500 Thorntons team members completed a major renovation in Fort Lauderdale, FL  as part of their 2013 Humanitarian Day.

The transformation of the Ann Storck Center included building and painting  one-thousand feet of pipe fencing, painting a mural on the playground, painting and redecorating of 26 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms in 4 residence homes for clients, installation of more than 25-hundred sidewalk brick borders, creation of new outdoor music and art classroom space, cleaning all vans, mobile mini and playground equipment and installation of new storage space which volunteers finished off with shelving, building of a new covered outdoor maintenance workshop and new signage for the building. 

Thornton volunteer day with Projects With Purpose


Thursday September 18, 2013: Federal City gets facelift from 300 Bechtel Volunteers 

On Thursday September 18, 300 employees from Bechtel Corporation, the largest construction and engineering company in the United States, committed a day to renovate and restore Federal City in Algiers, LA. 

Once a Naval support facility, Federal City is located on the West Bank of New Orleans and is now a mixed use development. Working in conjunction with Rebuilding Together New Orleans and the local YMCA, employees assembled snack packs for troops overseas, refinished tennis courts, restored grandstands, dugouts, bathrooms and a concession stand.

The greatest transformation of the day was the overgrown baseball field. Weeds and brush in the outfield was cleard, dirt was spread and new chalk lines and bases were placed. To add a bit of nostalgia, signs were painted for the outfiled wall with some old-type ballpark brands like Coca-cola, Louisville Slugger and Cracker Jacks. Also to pay homage to the history of Federal City, signs were created for each branch of the military along with local New Orleans brands. 

The work day kicked off with a proclamation from the New Orleans City council and the day ended with a ceremonial first pitch. 

Bechtel corporate teambuilding in New Orleans with Projects With Purpose

The local paper, The Times-Picayune sent a photojournalist to record Bechtel's commitment. View the photos here:

For more photos of the day, please visit our Facebook album "Bechtel Corporation." 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013: What the Brees Dream Foundation is doing, and why we like it!

Projects With Purpose was founded on the concept of giving back, doing good, and making a difference.  The source of PWP's existence came from our mission of "Rebuilding Communities. One Business. One Person. One Day at a Time."  When the Brees Dream Foundation partnered with Companies with a Mission, encouraging the Greater New Orleans business community to volunteer on behalf of local non-profits, we had to be a part of the challenge!

The Super Service Challenge offered a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with non-profits, ultimately having the chance to win between $2000 and $25,000 for the charity.  On Friday, January 25th, 2013 the participating volunteer groups will find out if their selected charity will receive funds to further its charitable mission.

Projects With Purpose chose to submit our entry on behalf of Dress for Success New Orleans, an organization who helps low-income and/or disadvantaged women become financially independent by providing professional attire and professional development that will allow them to find and keep employment.  Our work consisted of 6 months of  storage unit inventory management volunteer days.

It is important that DFSNO wins the challenge, to develop programming, acquire a new facility, develop ‘mobile’ client services, and hire a 2nd full-time staffer.  These elements are vital in the future of disadvanated women in the Greater New Orleans region.

Now we need your help.  Please take action, volunteer your vote!  Vote today and everyday (up to 10 times per day) until Friday, January 18th, at 5:00pm. Thanks in advance for your support - we really appreciate you!

Voting Link:

  • Search for Projects With Purpose or Dress for Success New Orleans in the search box
  • Watch the video & read our submission
  • Vote for us on a 1 to 10 scale (10 being the best)
  • Do it again tomorrow


PitchNOLA 2012: Lots of Progress // $10,000 Total Cash Prizes // Due October 22, 2012  

Submit your idea to transform or utilize a vacant lot(s).  APPLY NOW.  Want to run your idea by us?  Email

*NOTE:  All winners will need to factor in closing costs for their lot(s) of choice.  Closing costs are 10% of property value or a minimum of $775. (See Details)

Don't Have a Pitch, But Still Want to Support Your Fellow New Orleanians? 

Register to be in the audience! The event is FREE and OPEN to all community members. 

Families Helping Families of Southeast Louisiana Open House

FHF of SELA has made the big move to Crowder Boulevard and we would like to celebrate it with the community and the families we serve. Please come to hear some local speakers, take a tour of our new facility, meet the staff and enjoy some refreshments. Whether you are a family interested in our services, a community member interested in supporting us or someone who is just curious about what we do, please come on November 2, 2012!

Register today with Alex by emailing her at or calling 504-943-0343 Ext. 201.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Families Helping Families of Southeast Louisiana is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to educate and empower individuals with disabilities, their families, professionals and communities by providing resources, training and family-to-family support.

FHF of SELA envisions a region where people with disabilities live and are fully included in school, work and recreational activities.


Dance for Life November 10th Event  at NOCCA  

WHAT: Dance for Life—the only event of its kind in Louisiana--will take place Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Dance for Life is a free artistic music and dance experience, which is open to individuals of all ages.  This year’s event will feature interactive workshops in prenatal yoga, body conditioning, hip hop, jazz as well as West African, Haitian and Brazilian music and dance.  All classes are designed for  individuals with beginning, intermediate or advanced dance experience.  Pre-event registration is required and is available at

PURPOSE: Dance for Life is an annual event that showcases New Orleans’ professional artists, teaches local and international music and dance history and promotes health. The event is presented by Nfungotah, Inc.— a New Orleans based nonprofit dedicated to the survival, education, and promotion of music and dance culture rooted in the African Diaspora.

WHEN: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM

LOCATION: NOCCA (Dance Studio), 2800 Chartres, New Orleans, LA  70117

COST: Free to participants of all ages.

CONTACT:  For more information or to register, visit or call (646) 504-4325.