Volunteer Program

Mighty Together | Volunteer Program

Launched in 2018, ASTRA's volunteer program aims to make an impact by giving back to our host city, New Orleans, by supporting the local community. Whether you prefer to get your hands dirty during our school cleanup or take a break from the trade show to stuff back-to-school backpacks, we're maximizing our impact with several community service projects throughout Marketplace & Academy and hope you'll lend a hand!

New Orleans Needs Your Help:

  • Over 40% of children in New Orleans live in poverty
  • 90% of students in many New Orleans schools qualify for free or reduced lunch
  • Schools struggle to provide the necessary school environment, supplies and equipment for students to be successful
These volunteer efforts will directly impact over 1,500 students and four schools. We want to thank you in advance for your support!

School Clean Up

When: Saturday, June 9
Time: 1:30pm - 5:30pm
Meeting Place: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Who: Open to Everyone

Come in early and volunteer for our school cleanup project and spend the afternoon with your peers helping New Orleans' schools. Volunteers will be tasked with various activities, such as classroom organization and painting, beautification and maintenance of school grounds, library organization, and more. Join industry peers in a fun afternoon of giving back on Saturday, June 9th. 

Register Now!

Sponsored by

Alex Brands

Backpack Stuffing

When: Monday, June 10 and Tuesday, June 11
Time: 9:30am - 5:00pm
Where: Ernest N Morial Convention Center | My ASTRA Center Booth 919
Who: Open to Everyone

Fill a backpack with back-to-school supplies on the tradeshow floor! Volunteers will have the opportunity to include a personal note of encouragement along with a toy from supporting manufacturers which adds a special touch from their friends in the toy industry. ASTRA has a goal of filling 1,000 backpacks with over 12 items for back-to-school readiness on Monday and Tuesday of the tradeshow. Stop by the My ASTRA Center booth 919 to stuff a backpack or two!

Sponsored by


Food Donation

ASTRA will be partnering with the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to donate leftover food from meal functions to the local community. In partnership with Bethel Colony food donations will be distributed to local churches, Second Harvest, woman's shelters and other assistance programs in the area. 

Important note: Please do not attempt to donate leftover food items on your own from ASTRA meal functions. We have a great partnership program setup to ensure food donations are handled in a safe and equitable manner.

Toy Donation

ASTRA will be partnering with Network NOLA to give back to the local community by donating toys, games, school supplies and juvenile products to underprivileged children and families in need. Exhibitors who are interested in donating should follow the steps below.

To donate:
  1. Sign up to donate at the GES on-site service desk located inside the exhibit hall during the show.
  2. Receive stickers to be placed on donated products and a donation form for tax purposes. 
  3. During exhibitor move-out, label all donated products with the provided stickers.
  4. Bring donated items to the designated area near the GES service desk or leave in your booth space separate from your return shipment. It is important to clearly separate any donations from your outbound shipment.
All products remaining in the exhibit hall after 10pm on Wednesday, June 13 that are not marked for return shipment will be donated.

Other M&A events of interest:


Positive Learning Environment

"Establishing a space where students can learn is good but creating a space that students can feel comfortable is even more significant. A positive learning environment can have a great impact on a student’s success."

Theodore Nathan, Executive Director of NetWork NOLA

Opening Reception

The specialty toy industry's biggest party of the year!


New Member Breakfast

Get to know ASTRA and our All-Star members at this breakfast designed to help you make the most of M&A!


Game Night

Try out Marketplace's newest games, enjoy food & drinks, and play with your specialty industry friends at this hands-on demo event.