Every September, United Way of the Greater Seacoast rallies hundreds of volunteers to serve at local nonprofits on a single, coordinated day – here’s what the impact looked like this year.
By: Damaris Gibaldi
It was hard to miss the bright blue convoy of Lindt employees outside Dover Children’s Center during United Way of the Greater Seacoast’s 26th annual Day of Caring.
The well-oiled machine of volunteers in Live United t-shirts were hauling brush, raking leaves, weed whacking, and painting signs outside Dover Children’s Center to spruce up the property… a task the nonprofit childcare facility would not normally have had time to tackle. Chris, the team leader from Lindt, energetically pointed to a newly visible fence line and explained, “It was really overgrown here, so it’s great that we were able to take care of this for the teachers since they didn’t have enough time to deal with it.”
Similarly in Rockingham County, many volunteers recognized Day of Caring as an opportunity to invest in local agencies and projects that were personally inspiring and hit close to home. Ashley Clark, a Day of Caring team leader for Bottomline Technologies in Portsmouth, stated that “Bottomline continues to participate in the United Way Day of Caring to stay connected to the community and to help lend a hand to our local organizations.” This was a common theme across all teams who were enthusiastically donating their time. An employee from Amadeus who volunteered at the Seacoast Mental Health Center explained how her daughter has Asperger’s, and it was meaningful for her to give back to a place that offers mental health coaching. Another Amadeus employee joked that their office building was a ghost town that morning because they had so many employee teams out volunteering, and he was glad to make the time to give back.
These are just some examples of the 53 projects tackled at 45 different agencies across the Seacoast for Day of Caring, which engaged over 700 volunteers hailing from 41 local companies. The purpose of the day is to harness the collective power of local community members and work together to create positive change. The synergetic efforts of participating companies and nonprofits collectively returned over $100,000 in donated time across the Seacoast communities. The pockets of Live United t-shirts scattered at different sites were a unique manifestation of the simple phrase “together, we will.” Together, we painted playground equipment, we removed invasive species, we built benches, we cleaned homeless shelters… and together we will continue to support those most in need in our local communities.
The 26th Annual Day of Caring was not only a success, it was a monumental gathering of people, resources, and ideas. It answered the question, who will fight to help people in need?
Together, we will.
Day of Caring could not have been possible without the support of our sponsors: Bottomline Technologies, Lindt, Amadeus, NextEra Energy, TE SubCom, Eastern Bank, Green Pages, Heinemann, John Hancock, Optima Bank, Paradigm Health Plans, and Unitil.