This year’s Day of Action had more than 350 volunteers from businesses and organizations, dressed in matching baby-blue T-shirts, assist nonprofit agencies in Calhoun County with improvement projects.
Fifteen of those volunteers came from the Young Leaders Society of United Way to paint the museum. They were joined by other volunteers from Jacksonville who pitched in to help.
“What these groups do is partner up with a business to help non-profits spruce up their buildings,” said Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) director Denise Rucker, who helped paint. “This year, since we are redoing the Dr. Francis Museum, we put in our request with United Way to see if they had a group to paint the museum. We were lucky to have the 15 volunteers step up and help.”
“I hope what we’re seeing is a trend,” said marketing and communications director for the local United Way Shannon Jenkins. “We love being able to partner volunteer teams with these agencies and get some work done.” Jenkins said the number of volunteers increased slightly from last year and said he was pleased that volunteers logged more than 2,100 hours of service.
Jenkins said United Way tries to pair nonprofits and business volunteer groups by their first and second preferences, which are presented to them between March and April.
“We try really hard to match them with their first choice but we usually have projects that are very popular,” he said. “There have been some pretty cool relationships developed.”
Jenkins said he thinks the best thing about the Day of Action is that people are seeing the world through different eyes.
“It brings folks a window that they may not be familiar with,” he said. “It helps them see a side of things they might not see every day.”