Everything we do is made possible because of our amazing volunteers. We highlight many of these great individuals throughout the year in our Volunteer Spotlight. For more information on this program or to suggest a volunteer to spotlight, click here.
Blanche’s first information about the National Inclusion Project was on the sleeve of Co-Founder Clay Aiken’s CD in 2011. And then, after watching Clay on Celebrity Apprentice, she fell in love with what he and Co-Founder Diane Bubel had done for the children. Her passion for children and a few friends from Clay’s fan club finally convinced her to go to the 2013 Champions Gala. “That was all it took. I’ve never experienced anything so touching and loving and it made my heart want more. The experience was so amazing that I started saving for the next year’s Gala when I got home, I just had to be a part of this again”, says Blanche.
She started following the events of the Project and made contributions when she could, but always wished she could do more. Her passion was to volunteer and help with things she truly believes in – children being on top of that list. When she heard of some of the events people were doing for the Project, she had to do something too. “Well, I definitely do not wrap gifts well so Wrapping for Inclusion was not an option. I began to think about what it is that I do well and enjoy”, Blanche remembers. “Dance! That was it! And with help from Tonya and other staff at the National Inclusion Project, “Dancing for Inclusion” was set up and ready to go.” She started getting people to sponsor her by pledging a dollar amount per each dance that she was going to do in a given time period or to pledge a flat sum for the event.
Her initial goal was to raise $500.00 to send 2 children to camp. It was a lot easier than Blanche expected. “All I had to do was talk about the Project, about the children, about what I wanted to do and the sponsor list grew and when everything was finished, 9 children were able to go to camp! It was a wonderful and fun time and a good feeling to have been able to do something for an organization that truly cares for the children. Just remember, everyone can make a difference in their own way whatever that may be.” Blanche has the “Dancing for Inclusion” event in progress again this year.
“I want to thank The National Inclusion Project and everyone involved for being so open and encouraging people to join in. Everyone has hidden talents and it is no surprise to see how easy and rewarding it can be to put those talents to work for a good cause. The National Inclusion Project is there to help and support in any way possible. So, why not give it a try?” – Blanche Jennings
To learn more about how you can volunteer for the National Inclusion Project, contact Christy Thompson.