Press Release: United Way mobilizes record number of volunteers for Days of Action

SPRINGFIELD – United Way of Central Illinois will mobilize a record 375 people in our community to participate in Day of Action. In its fifth year, this spring’s community-wide day of service is the largest such event since United Way organized its first biannual Day of Action in 2010. Participants will work on 22 projects organized through 21 participating nonprofit organizations throughout Springfield this Friday, April 25th, 1:00 p.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday, April 26th, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This spring’s event is marked by the addition of two new types of volunteer opportunities for participants. The event has been expanded to include projects on both Friday afternoon and Saturday morning to accommodate families, students and those unable to volunteer on Friday. In addition, United Way has identified projects which will allow children ages 8 and older to participate, thereby allowing families to volunteer together.

Day of Action will kickoff with a volunteer rally and luncheon at United Way’s office on Friday, April 25, 2014 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch is provided to Day of Action volunteers courtesy of Schnucks, Cold Stone Creamery, Michael & Teena Myers, Party Creations, and an anonymous sponsor. Following the rally, Friday’s group of 270 volunteers will head to afternoon service projects.

United Way anticipates 200 – 300 Day of Action volunteers will be present at the rally, offering great visuals and media interviews. Lunch will also be provided to media who attend the rally.

Day of Action is held each spring and fall, giving individuals and groups the opportunity to complete community service projects. The event is organized to raise awareness of volunteerism in our community and demonstrate what volunteers can accomplish when working together.

Last October, more than 275 volunteers participated, contributing nearly 825 hours of service. Volunteers from a record dozens of local businesses and organizations, along with UIS students committed to this spring’s event.

Nonprofit organizations with volunteer projects being completed on Day of Action include:

American Red Cross Ronald McDonald House Charities
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois Salvation Army
Central Illinois Foodbank Springfield Community Federation
Contact Ministries Springfield Green
Family Service Center Springfield Housing Authority
Girl Scouts of Central Illinois Springfield Park District – Southwind Park
Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County Springfield Southwest Baseball Association
Helping Hands of Springfield Springfield YMCA
Henson Robinson Zoo United Way
M.E.R.C.Y. Communities Youth Service Bureau
Mini O’ Beirne Crisis Nursery

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Independent Sector, each hour of volunteer service in Illinois provides $24.08 of economic value. This spring, Day of Action volunteers will contribute more than 1,100 total service hours to the community, providing more than $26,400 in economic benefit to local agencies.

Friday suggested sites to visit:

United Way Lunchtime Rally
Activity: Day of Action kickoff event with a lunch provided to all volunteers.

Henson Robinson Zoo
Activity: An afternoon at the Henson Robinson ZOO doing a variety of projects, including, but not limited to: Hosing walkways, raking, weeding, planting bulbs, and decorating for spring. 20 volunteers from St. John’s Hospital & U.S. Bank

Springfield YMCA –
Activity: Camp Wa-Kon-Tah Summer Camp (at Lake Springfield) grounds cleanup including spreading mulch, brush clearing, scraping paint off buildings, cleaning buildings. 20 volunteers from Hanson Professional Services & Marine Bank

Central Illinois Foodbank
Activity: Food sorting & packaging. 20 volunteers from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Wells Fargo has the largest participation of any local company with 63 volunteers participating in Day of Action.

Saturday suggested sites to visit:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois –
Activity: Extreme Club Makeover Kick-off! In partnership with Comcast Cares day, a group of nearly 80 volunteers from Comcast and United Way to remodel landscaping, reseal the BGC outdoor dual basketball court, paint, and spread 10cu yards of fresh mulch as a soft bed for our outdoor playground. Comcast will have 40-50 volunteers as part of its Comcast Cares Day (Comcast volunteers are not included in the 375 Day of Action volunteers mobilized by United Way).

United Way staff will be available at various sites throughout the day. Please provide of advance notice of visits to site to alert the project managers, volunteer coordinators and UW Staff. Please call Jarid Brown, Director of Communication by email at jbrown@uwcil.org for more information.

Download the full media advisory here.