First Day Festival Celebrates Education

The school year is upon us! Right before the kiddos of Charleston headed back to school this week, the city held its annual First Day Festival. Yesterday’s festival included face-painting, boat riding, and aquarium exploring! Along with these fun activities, students received school supplies donated by the community.

Hawkes donated school supplies ranging from notebooks to colored pencils to index cards to brightly colored folders. We had a few volunteers at the festival to welcome kids to a new school year! We wish everyone the best of luck on their new 2016-2017 adventure.

I’m Lovin’ Volunteering

Last month, volunteers from Hawkes spent their Sunday morning at Charleston’s Ronald McDonald House cooking breakfast for the families staying there. Pancakes, bacon, sausages, fruit, and more were cooked and served up on a beautiful May day.

Volunteers tested out their pancake-flipping and fruit-slicing skills, but more importantly, they got to spend time with a couple of the house’s special residents. Sarah, a Hawkes educational courseware specialist who has volunteered at Ronald McDonald House since kindergarten and all throughout college, said the day was very memorable: “We had the opportunity to meet one of the women staying at the house, and she introduced us to her son and daughter. We got to learn about her story, and she shared with us that she has leukemia and just gave birth to twins. She’s grateful to stay so close to the hospital during this time, and we’re grateful to have met her and her family.”

 

 

Make volunteering a habit: Hawkes volunteers with Habitat for Humanity

Laura peeks at the wooden boards.

Last weekend, Hawkes volunteers teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help build a local house. The building was in the beginning stages, so volunteers helped with adding some support to the start of the future home’s floor on the foundation.

Volunteer Venessa said, “I learned how to properly hammer a nail, and it’s actually more difficult than it looks. Despite the arm workout I was not expecting, I also felt a sense of gratification when we finished. Perhaps I provided at least a little progress towards the completion of the house. It was definitely a new experience for me and I am glad that I volunteered to help out!”

“Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is a great reminder about the importance of doing good work,” said volunteer Laura. “Each hammered nail and plank of wood is a small step toward creating a place of shelter and security for a family. And, my pathetically sore arms the next day gave me a whole new appreciation for construction workers. I think I’ll stick to English for now.”

 

Hawkes Volunteers at Local Nonprofit

This past weekend, we volunteered at Windwood Farm Home for Children, which provides kids with a variety of residential and community-based programs that work with families to ensure safety through supportive interventions.

It was a beautiful day for volunteering! Hawkes donated plants and soil for the landscaping project in front of the main building. Thankfully Marcel knows how to use a power washer, so we worked with volunteers from local businesses and high schools to clean the fences near the horses. Take a look at a few pictures from Saturday!

 

To learn more about this great nonprofit, check out their website: http://windwoodfarm.org/.

Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House: I’m Lovin’ It!

Ronald McDonald has quite the shoes to fill!

Last Friday, a group of Hawkes colleagues came together to volunteer at Charleston’s Ronald McDonald House. They prepared a meal of cornbread, salad, tortilla soup, and brownies for 60 family members. While there, they received a fun and informative tour of the facilities from the staff. One volunteer, Tim, said the tour was especially memorable because they saw all the hard work the House has put into recent renovations to make it a comfortable space for the families staying there.

Charleston Ronald McDonald House's newly renovated kitchen.

Betsy enjoyed her time volunteering. “It was touching to be in a space where families are part of a community that understands what the other families are going through during such difficult times,” she said. “I’m glad to have helped with preparing a meal so the families could have one less thing to worry about that day.”

The volunteers even had a chance to meet Gardy, the beloved dog who lives at the House and lends emotional support, tail wags, and lots of love to those who stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

Jen got to spend some quality time with the House's very own dog, Gardy.

Steven and the crew enjoy cooking, so this was the perfect opportunity to combine their love of working in a kitchen with their passion for helping others.

Tim and Doug help prepare the main course.

Doug recalled that while they prepared the tortilla soup, Tim started cutting several onions at once. Suddenly, all the volunteers in the kitchen started crying. We promise they weren’t crying because of Tim’s cooking skills! The meal came out delicious. We’d like to thank the Ronald McDonald House for the wonderful opportunity of volunteering there, and we hope to come back soon.

The team pausing for a quick photo during meal prep.