By Angela Loucks
Special to the City Times
United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center experienced a record year during the 2016 Day of Caring event on Oct. 22, 2016.
A total of 435 volunteers helped rake a total of 77 yards during the event and in the weeks prior and afterwards.
Additionally, five grocery bags of personal essentials were collected and donated to Acorn Apartments, a low income apartment building for individuals with special needs. Day of Caring is an annual day of volunteering, organized by United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center.
“For the first time ever, we were able to rake every single person’s yard – that we promised – on Day of Caring,” said Amy Fluno, Day of Caring Coordinator. “We had additional folks on a waiting list but we already had volunteers committed to rake the week after, and we had volunteers from Mead Elementary Charter School raking before Day of Caring. With everyone’s commitment and hard work, we were able to make a big impact on our community and help these homeowners get their yards ready for winter.”
During Day of Caring, volunteers enjoyed a pancake breakfast and received a t-shirt. “They did a terrific job,” said Amy. “We greatly appreciate everyone coming out to help our neighbors in need.”
The residents who had their yards raked also appreciated the volunteers. Some comments from their follow up survey include:
“This program has really helped me as I’m 81 years old and have health issues. 32 bags of leaves were raked.”
“Because my husband and I aren’t able to do lawn work anymore we greatly appreciate the help.”
“I am unable to do the job so I truly appreciate it!”
United Way of Inner Wisconsin would also like to thank the following sponsors who made the 2016 Day of Caring a success:
-Wisconsin Rapids Noon Rotary and Wisconsin Rapids Kiwanis for sponsoring the t-shirts.
-Grand Rapids Lion’s Club for hosting the event, providing volunteers, and donating food, napkins, paper plates and utensils.
-Pepsi Co. for donating water.
-Ocean Spray for donating juice.
-Quality Foods IGA for donating butter and syrup.
-Wal-Mart for donating a gift card used to purchase supplies.