United Way hosting ‘Day of Caring’ tomorrow

Event is a long-standing opportunity to launch annual campaign

The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton will officially kick off their 2019 Campaign with the 26th Annual “Day of Caring” tomorrow, Tuesday, September 10.

Over 240 people will be hard at work across Lambton County; an increase over last year’s numbers.

Day of Caring is a day that brings the community together to complete jobs for local individuals and organizations that would otherwise be left undone due to health or monetary restrictions.

“It’s a unique volunteer experience that gives employees a chance to work together in new ways or meet and work with volunteers from other companies. Employees feel more connected to our community and it is also a great team-building opportunity,” said Pamela Bodkin, event organizer.

“Volunteers are able to use their individual talents to help so many in our community”, she added.

Since 1993, United Way of Sarnia-Lambton has seen it all! Jobs ranging from painting, cleaning, gardening and yard work to building wheelchair ramps, decks, storage sheds or minor plumbing installations.

Each year, applications are reviewed, jobs are assessed and individuals having work done have completed a means test.

“By connecting volunteers, area businesses, employees and retirees, this signature, one-day community-wide event is the day to give time and energy. Volunteers see those in need in the community and not only get a hands-on gratifying experience of helping others but also see exactly how donated dollars are used for human services in Sarnia-Lambton.

Long term relationships between volunteers and clients or nonprofit agencies are often formed as a result of this event”, says Bodkin. “Many of the seniors and those with disabilities that we help also enjoy the social aspect of the day, a lot of them live alone and do not have family nearby to visit or help on a regular basis.”

The work at individuals’ homes to be completed this year will include cleaning eaves troughs, painting, repairing damaged walls from wheelchairs, clearing overhanging branches, replacing rotten wood on entrance way decks, yard work, cleaning windows, caulking windows and doors, replacing doors, installing handrails, and other home maintenance.

Projects performed at nonprofit agencies include painting, cleaning, building storage areas, other small building projects and general maintenance.

“This help allows the agencies to focus their funds and energy on human care services instead of building maintenance,” said Bodkin. “We are fortunate to have access to a number of skilled tradespeople through the sponsoring companies who are able to make these repairs.”

This year, 29 sponsoring companies will release employees for the day to go to work in the community at 50 different job sites; 72% of these jobs are at the homes of seniors, or those with a disability.

Volunteers see firsthand the dependency so many people in our community have on the programs and services that are funded by United Way contributions.

The United Way campaign is approaching 20% of its $1,900,000 “Needs Target.”

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