Day of Caring workers call experience ‘uniquely rewarding’
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Scores of UHS employees volunteered on dozens of projects at venues all across the county, an incredible show of support for the annual charity activity.
Teams deployed to the locations early Friday morning and immediately began pitching in to spruce up the nonprofit campuses under the direction of site supervisors.
UHS is one of the largest participating organizations in the event, which commemorates the heroism and self-sacrifice of Americans in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The high level of participation is evidence of UHS employees' devotion to reaching out to help others, whether in the workplace or the community, said John Carrigg, president and chief executive officer of UHS.
John has volunteered on a Day of Caring team every year since the United Way inaugurated the event in 2002.
Once a group of employees completes a project at a Day of Caring work site, they can see immediately how much they were able to accomplish in a short time.
The various UHS groups and individuals joined hundreds of other volunteers from across the community in reaching out to local health and human service agencies, parks, attractions and other nonprofit sites to clean, sweep, paint, dig, plant and repair.
The work takes a lot of perspiration and elbow grease, but there also is time for refreshments, camaraderie and moments of fun.
Employees were able to choose either a morning or an afternoon session, or volunteer all day long if they wished. UHS annually approves a half-day of paid time off for those who volunteer.
United Way leaders had high praise for the volunteers and their dedication to improving the ability of charity agencies to furnish their services.
Day of Caring volunteers like those from UHS provide the support needed to accomplish projects that many nonprofit organizations don’t have the resources to complete on their own, United Way executives said.
Project types cover a vast array, from assisting with office clerical work to helping with gardening, painting and cleanup projects.
The impact extends well beyond beautification. The volunteers’ contributions of time allow many agencies involved to reallocate funds that would have been spent on capital projects back into programming and direct services for local residents.
Day of Caring was conceived as a remembrance to those who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to honor the many heroes who emerged from the events of that day.
It has continued through the spirit of local volunteers and has grown into an annual tradition. In Broome County alone, hundreds of volunteers pitch in to help each year.