The “Day of Action” originated locally after many local businesses and industries said they wanted to be even more involved in helping during the annual fall fundraising campaign, according to Patrick Long, vice president of Development for United Way.
Nearly a dozen projects have been lined up for these volunteers, he said.
“We appreciate our partners for helping make this a success by coming up with several projects, and also appreciate all of those who will be volunteering to work at these sites on that day,” Long stressed. “These men and women wishing for a more hands-on connection with our partners is very gratifying.”
Projects will include work at several of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland units, with the Home-Delivered Meals program, at the Lee University Developmental Inclusive Classroom (LUDIC), and with the Cleveland Family YMCA, Cleveland-Bradley Community Services Agency and Head Start.
Volunteers for the “Day of Action” include employees from Life Care Centers of America, Ace Hardware, P&G/Duracell Brand, Cleveland Utilities, Target and Whirlpool.
“Ace Hardware is not only providing a team to work on a project at the Blythe Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs, but is the primary underwriter for the ‘Day of Action,’” Long explained. He said that Ace Hardware is providing funds for purchase of materials at the business for these projects.
“[Cleveland store manager] Randall Slack and [Regional Marketing Director] John Rutter came to us and wanted to get involved with a volunteer day, and when our discussions were complete, they not only wanted to help with the materials needed for these projects, but wanted one for a team of their own,” Long said. “Ace is really going above and beyond to make this a successful event.”
The “Day of Action” volunteer project work will take place Friday morning, then those volunteers will join others at the United Way’s Campaign Kickoff Luncheon, to be held at the Cleveland Family YMCA. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. with the program beginning around noon. Guest presenters for the luncheon will be motivational speakers Lesley Scearce and Joe Smith.
Tickets are available for the luncheon for $12, and can be purchased by calling United Way at 423-479-2020 or by visiting the United Way website at www.unitedwaybc.com. Seating is limited so tickets should be reserved soon. The deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 21.
With this being the first time for a “Day of Action” event, organizers limited the number of companies providing volunteers to the number of available projects. However, Long said this will be a “great opportunity” for others in the community to volunteer for projects at area schools, churches or other non-profit agencies.
“The key word for this ‘Day of Action’ is opportunity,” said Matt Ryerson, United Way of Bradley County president and CEO. “We want to make this a positive opportunity for our volunteers, but also give them information about not only how their donation of time is helping, but what each of these partners do for our community and their connection with our United Way.”
Ryerson added, “We want these to all be positive experiences for our volunteers, and use them to build even more relationships between those giving to help others, and those receiving who will in turn use that to help others, too.”
Ryerson and Long said they hope the event will blossom, and that next year, there could be double or triple the number of volunteers and opportunities available for the “Day of Action” event.
While all of the volunteer opportunities for Friday at United Way partners have been filled, there still is the opportunity to help document the event.
“If you have any skills in photography or cinematography, and your own equipment, United Way would love for you to volunteer your time to help with photos and video of the projects,” according to Allen Mincey, United Way vice president of Communications.
For more information, contact Mincey at the United Way office at 423-472-9876.