United Way Day of Action was just two days ago, but already the news about amazing volunteer work is streaming in from around the U.S. and the world. As I wrote last week, each year on June 21, United Ways around the world invite their communities to improve the conditions in which they live by volunteering with United Way.
This year, a number of projects had an added twist, thanks to the support of Depend. United Ways in 17 cities offered more than 30 projects on or around June 21 that incorporated activities underscoring that volunteering is part of an active, healthy and independent lifestyle. Many projects had volunteers engaged in hardy, healthy work, such as performing maintenance and repairs of nonprofit, school and camp facilities, tending to community gardens, and sprucing up homes and yards of seniors or people living with disabilities and needing an extra hand.
United Way of Harrison County (Clarksburg, WV) organized senior volunteers to fill 400 totes with a children’s board book and bookmarks that also had reading tips for parents. The “Books for Babies” totes will be distributed by the maternity ward at United Hospital Center to new parents to take home and help their baby get off to a good start in life by reading with them regularly. United Way of Fairfield County (Lancaster, Ohio) organized a sports equipment drive to encourage outdoor play for children in afterschool and Head Start programs. United Way also coordinated volunteers to lead outdoor activities for children during their Day of Action festivities. Local sponsors made it possible for United Way to give away bikes, helmets and a skateboard. Activities included street basketball, skateboard demonstrations, and even lessons on how to play marbles.
It took 700+ volunteers with United Way of Greater Mercer County (Lawrenceville, NJ) to pack 375,000 servings of oatmeal in 8-serving re-sealable packages that will be distributed to all of the food banks in New Jersey. The large number of servings represents the number of food insecure children in the state. This “Strike Out Hunger” project will help make sure that children who rely on free breakfast at school start their day in a healthy way during the summer months.
These and many other volunteer activities on Day of Action and throughout the year are part of a three-year partnership with Depend which is extending United Way’s ability to encourage healthy, active, and independent living at all ages, through volunteering. On Day of Action alone, the Depend projects mobilized more than 5,000 volunteers and impacted more than 310,000 people.
Learn more about the connection between volunteering and good health, and tell us, how do you stay active and healthy through volunteering?