Volunteering with BTL Foundation is Easy !

Michael Magruder, A Volunteer with BTL Foundation writes …..

Have you ever wanted to volunteer but think you don’t have the time? Then BTL Foundation is the place for you. Everyone is busy these days but you can make a big difference to other people without taking too much of your time. You can participate for just a few hours at a time at various events that BTL sponsors throughout the year.

The BTL Foundation is a community service organization dedicated to providing humanitarian services to the needy of Northern Delaware, India and other locations around the world. Some of the BTL events right here in New Castle County are the highway cleanups in spring and fall, serving Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and even marching in the Hockessin 4th of July parade to raise awareness.

A section of Route 40 in Bear is cleaner and looks nicer thanks to the BTL volunteers. In a few hours on a spring or fall weekend morning you can help clean up the side of the highway and have a nice walk and make new friends all at the same time. When you are done you have a better appreciation of what it takes to keep the highways neat and tidy.

On Thanksgiving Day, before you sit down to a sumptuous meal with your own family you can spend some quality time at a local social service group serving a much appreciated meal to those in need. You can also help to prepare and deliver meals to the elderly who can’t make it out to the places. The people who come to dinner are very nice and friendly.  Afterwards, you will have a good feeling that you made someone else’s day just a bit better.

On Christmas Day, after you open all of your presents under the tree you can also spend some time at another local social service group sharing the holiday cheer and serving another meal to those less fortunate. It really puts joy in their hearts as well as your own and helps you recognize the blessings in your life. Meeting and working with new people is always good too.

And finally, on the 4th of July, the BTL volunteers march in the Hockessin parade to spread the good word about BTL. It is a nice walk down Old Lancaster Pike and you get to see the lovely town from a different perspective. The friendly people along the route are always glad to hear more about BTL and it is fun to be right in the middle of the big event.

So if you only have a few hours to spare and you want to participate in any of these events you can check out the BTL website at www.btlfoundation.net to find more information. And then if you want to get involved and make a difference in your community you can contact Mona, the BTL Executive Director, by email at btlfonline@gmail.com. Hope to see you at a future BTL event!

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Book Drive for the Children of Developing countries

In October 2010, the BTL Foundation launched its Book Drive for Children. Education in developing countries is one of the key areas where the BTL Foundation lays its focus on and makes a difference. The children of Vidyavahini schools in India under the BTL Educational Trust are in need of preschool – middle school level books. The children in Haiti will immensely benefit from donated new or gently used books since hundreds of children are still deprived of school facilities after the devastating earthquake and lack access to books. Founder Chairman Mr. B.T.Lakshman personally made a trip to Haiti this April to explore potential sites for rebuilding schools. To this end, the BTL Foundation has encouraged volunteers and others across Delaware to lend a hand in collecting books — both story & educational, new/gently used. Dedicated volunteers of the BTL Foundation collected books for children from libraries, homes, schools and businesses and helped to put up a collection of over 1500 books. One volunteer herself collected about 1000 books and brought them to the office neatly organized and packed. We are proud of our volunteers and a Big Thanks go out to all of them.

Now, there was the challenging task of sorting, organizing and packing the books, so they can be shipped overseas to different countries. BTL Foundation was looking for volunteers, when an Education coordinator of the Networks program of the Christina School district contacted the office. She said that her students from the clerical co-op class at the Networks School for the Entrepreneurial Sciences can offer to sort and pack the books. The students were ready to take on the responsibility even though some of them had limited reading abilities. Thus a schedule was set up, where the group of students stopped by the Foundation office every Wednesday of the week, picked up 2 or 3 containers of books and took them to their school in their van, where they counted and sorted the books according to grade level. The boxes of books were then returned by the school the following week and so on. Specially 11 students of the networks program need mention who participated. They sampled a variety of packaging techniques, shopped for packing materials and supplies, and researched postal rates and regulations. The students eventually came up with the idea of recycling the shredded papers from another enterprise as cushioning material inside the boxes of books packed. By the end of the project the group sorted and packaged 27 cartons of books. Each student spent 25-40 hours on the project. BTL Foundation labels were also put on tops of boxes for identification.

This voluntary project undertaken by the students is by no means an ordinary one. Their outstanding contribution motivated the Foundation to honor them with the Award for “Best Volunteer of 2011”. The volunteers were presented with the award on the Annual Benefactors & Volunteer Appreciation Day in March 2012 amidst benefactors, supporters and distinguished members of the BTL Foundation.

 

Thank you for reading !