Dallas Nonprofit Hosts Community Event to Kick Off National Volunteer Week

It was a celebration to recognize volunteers and encourage more people to donate their time and talents.

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Hundreds of people gathered in Oak Cliff Sunday for a celebration to kickstart National Volunteer Week, which runs through Saturday.

The event was hosted by Dallas-based nonprofit Volunteering While Black. 

Outside bookstore Pan-African Connection, a community gathered to recognize volunteers like Chimeka Donnell and Anita Crethers -- both board members of Volunteering While Black.

“Coming from South Dallas, I understand the need and opportunities that the community has,” Crethers said.

The women both said they understood the importance of volunteering first-hand. 

“My mom is a school teacher, and my dad is a minister, so it was just instilled in me from Day 1,” Donnell said.

The event featured fruits and vegetables given away by the Oak Cliff Veggie Project and booths with information on community resources and volunteering. 

“These people who came out to help us helped us continue the work in the midst of a pandemic,” said Shawana Carter, the founder and executive director of Carter’s House, a clothing bank and parent support group that serves North Texas.

“It’s been amazing to see the community come together and assist those that are truly in need. It has been awesome. It’s like they never titled us as essential but this is essential work,” Carter said.

Many of the nonprofits at the community event are powered by volunteers and could always use more.

Members of Volunteering While Black have helped give away PPE, water and care packages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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