Since joining UNICEF USA in Dallas as a volunteer and UNICEF UNITE member, I have been given the privilege to take part in several events in which I help educate, advocate and fundraise. One of the recent opportunities took place at the annual Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival, which gave the UNICEF UNITE group from both Houston and Dallas the opportunity to come into contact with people from all over Texas and beyond. The start of my shift began with an awesome team introduction from Nelson Bowman, Regional Managing Director of the Houston office. Nelson explained to me the services we would be providing and why they mattered. The most obvious factor of our service was the hand-washing area, conveniently situated near the restrooms.
The service was not only helpful to the festival-goers, but it was educational too as most were drawn to the informational messages placed above the handwashing stations. These messages informed them on the detrimental sanitation conditions children face around the world. For example, one of these messages read, “Girls and women around the world spend 200 million hours a day gathering water.” This brings awareness to how lack of clean water takes away time and opportunities for girls in developing countries.
Historically, the Austin City Limits Festival provided a place for festival-goers to store their chairs; however, this year UNICEF USA provided this chair storage service for free. Our chair storage was an invitation for conversation between volunteers and patrons, and I was surprised to find that many people hadn’t heard of UNICEF before. Luckily, all of the volunteers I worked alongside were very friendly and informative and struck up great dialogue with patrons.
This experience was also educational for me. I was able to meet several staff from the Houston office as well as other college volunteers and supporters of UNICEF UNITE. Pictured on the left is Mr. Champ. I got the opportunity to hear all about his position in the Houston office where he does research for UNICEF USA. Although he majored in the arts in college, he ended up working for non-profits like UNICEF USA. Since I am a college student, what I should major in is a continual concern since I’m not sure exactly what I want to pursue. Mr. Champ was someone I was grateful to have the opportunity to meet. Although I only spoke about a few of my fellow volunteers, everyone was so welcoming as well as a show of the excellence UNICEF brings out in people.
You can learn more about how to be involved with UNICEF USA and the UNITE team in Dallas at unicefusa.org/unite.