Empowering Change: Reflecting on the Impact of Westside Future Fund’s Volunteer Corps in 2023

In 2023, Westside Future Fund’s Volunteer Corps went hands-on in our mission to revitalize the Historic Westside. With 2,270 dedicated volunteers contributing a staggering 6,810 hours of service, their commitment translated into a remarkable $216,558 in value of volunteer hours invested into the community.

This tremendous impact was made possible thanks to special events, community events, and corporate events that united our community behind a common cause to transform the Westside into a community Dr. King would be proud to call home.

“Volunteers have made a huge impact on the Westside. Their contribution of their time and energy have helped to change the quality of life for our community. I can see the difference their efforts have made,” said Raquel Hudson, Volunteer Director for Westside Future Fund.

The year of meaningful service kicked off with the MLK Day of Service last January as volunteers paid tribute to the Westside’s own Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in nearly a dozen service projects throughout the Westside community. Weeks later, the Earth Day Community Clean-Up saw volunteers uniting to beautify streets, parks, and public spaces, removing tons of litter and fostering a cleaner, healthier neighborhood.

The second annual “Ride for the Westside” in September not only promoted health and fitness, but also raised essential awareness and funds for community projects, demonstrating the strength of collective action as cyclists, runners, walkers, and volunteers joined together to rally behind our mission.

In the spirit of the holidays, the WFF Volunteer Corps came together in support of children and families of the historic Westside. In November, the Thanksgiving Meal Delivery program in partnership with Hudson Grille provided meals to 262 households supporting a total of 838 individuals in need. In the days leading up to Christmas, WFF’s Holiday Gift Giving event distributed toys to 220 youth, bringing joy and good tidings to homes throughout our community.

“WFF’s volunteer program is more than just volunteers. WFF’s commitment to the communities it serves is constant. The impact to our community has been invaluable,” said Annie Moore, leader of the local Friends of the Park serving Lindsey Street Park and Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park.

The impact of the Volunteer Corp wasn’t limited to special events – the program regularly engaged community volunteers in an additional 20 events throughout the year. Bingo at the senior center, field days at schools, and fall festivals brought the community together, fostering connections and providing moments of joy for all ages. Monthly community clean-ups were a highlight, with volunteers filling a remarkable 30 30-yard dumpsters with trash. In total, 90 tons – 198,416 pounds – of waste were removed, revitalizing entire blocks and vacant lots while contributing to a cleaner, safer environment for Westside residents. 

The WFF’s Volunteer Corp received tremendous support from 18 corporate sponsors who held a total of 20 volunteer events in partnership with the organization through 2023. These corporate events were not just about financial support – they symbolized a collaborative effort between the private sector and the community, demonstrating that positive change is achievable when various stakeholders come together with a shared vision. Thank you to those who joined and offered their time for the betterment of our community: 

FirstKey Homes
GA Power
Grant Thornton
Hudson Grille
The Coca-Cola Company
The Home Depot Foundation
Warner Media
WM Events
Workday Atlanta

The WFF Volunteer Corps made 2023 a year to remember, leaving an indelible mark on the historic Westside community. Through their dedicated efforts, they demonstrated the power of collective action and the transformative impact of volunteerism. 

2024 is only just beginning, but it’s looking to be a record year for the program, and we could use your help. Visit www.westsidefuturefund.org/volunteer today to view upcoming volunteer opportunities and get involved today.