United Way to hold ‘Day of Caring’ to kick off this year’s campaign

Officials say they've already raised 30% of $2 million goal

The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton will officially kick off its 2016 campaign with its annual “Day of Caring” on Tuesday (September 13) with about 200 people hard at work throughout Lambton County assisting non-profit agencies in need with a variety of projects.

Now in its 23rd year, the Day of Caring is a structured volunteer opportunity that provides participants with a sneak peek at volunteering.  Businesses and organizations make a commitment to offer their employees a chance to get away from their desks to provide hands-on, volunteer labour for a variety of identified projects across our community.

“Day of Caring is an event that promotes the spirit and value of volunteerism, increases the awareness of local human service needs and demonstrates what people working together for the community’s good can accomplish,” says Pamela Bodkin, event coordinator. “It has become more and more important over the years as our population ages, we have seen an increase in the number of seniors and those with disabilities living in their own homes in need of assistance with home maintenance.”

Many of the home projects are things such as yard work, repairs to steps and decks, general cleaning, as well as preparing the home for winter by cleaning eavestroughs.  Many of the repairs needed are to fix safety hazards to the home owner.  In some cases these seniors could not live safely in their own homes if it were not for the “Day of Caring.”

Projects performed at nonprofit agencies are jobs such as painting, cleaning and general maintenance.  “This help allows the agencies to allocate more of their funds to human care services instead of building maintenance.  We are fortunate to have access to a number of skilled trades people through the sponsoring companies who are able to make these repairs,” said Bodkin.

This year 32 sponsoring companies will release employees for the day to go to work in our community at 38 different job sites.  These volunteers are given a unique opportunity to team build with colleagues while helping countless people.  They are able to see where and how their United Way of Sarnia-Lambton donations are being used and see firsthand the dependency so many people in our community have on the programs and services that are funded by United Way contributions.

The 2016 sponsors are; TODA Advanced Materials, CF Industries, Reliance Home Comfort, Enbridge Pipelines, Imperial, Libro Credit Union, Dupont, Steeves & Rozema, SNC Lavalin, Lambton College, Shell, TransAlta, Cargill, Pembina, Ineos Styrolution, Suncor, Point Edward Casino, Enbridge Gas Storage, RBC Royal Bank, St. Clair Ethanol Plant, Cabot, Arlanxeo, NOVA Chemicals, CHOK, K106, Fox FM, The Observer, The Sarnia Journal, TV Cogeco, The Independent Petrolia & Lambton, Lambton Shield, and the Royal Canadian Legion.

The United Way campaign is approaching 30% of its $2,000,000 goal.

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