‘Day of Caring’ brings volunteers to the aid of local nonprofits

Originally published: September 17, 2022

‘Day of Caring’ brings volunteers to the aid of local nonprofits

It’s a welcomed sound for Community Alliance as volunteers cut down overgrown limbs and clear debris.

They’re among close to 700 volunteers coming together for United Way of the Midlands, “Day of Caring,” to give back to 50 local nonprofit groups. Using Friday to complete at least 100 projects, from landscaping to building a house.

“Help us with some outdoor work, it always falls in the Fall. So, it’s a good time to be doing some yard work and clean up and get ready for Winter,” said Andy Johnson, director of administrative services.

Johnson said Community Alliance is used to serving people in need of mental health and substance abuse counseling, but “Day of Caring,” gives the nonprofit group a chance to lean on the community for support.

Volunteers put on their gloves, grabbed a rake or a saw and got to work.

“It’s just such a good feeling to be able to help somebody else out,” volunteer Phil Beckenhauer said.

Beckenhauer has volunteered for the last three years, getting his hands dirty to show local nonprofit groups the community cares.

“And that they’re interested in helping them succeed, and it kind of stretches their budgets,” he said.

United Way of the Midlands CEO Shawna Forsberg said that support is what pushes non-profits to keep going, especially as they recover from a tough couple of years.

“Our not-for-profit partners in this community do a lot. And they do it with really small number of staff in many cases, and not as many resources as they may need,” Forsberg said. “And as we’re kind of managing through the results of the pandemic, and going into inflation, the demands on not-for-profits have really gone up dramatically.”

It gives them a much-needed boost and leaves volunteers with a feeling of satisfaction.

“I feel really good,” Beckenhauer said.

For information about future volunteer opportunities, go to the United Way of the Midlands website.

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