Volunteers spruce up Bartlesville locations

Each year, several Bartlesville residents come together for the United Way of Bartlesville Day of Caring, an event that provides an opportunity for businesses and organizations to perform service projects throughout the community.

This year there are over 300 projects for the Day of Caring taking place, ranging from painting, planting, organization and mentoring individuals. Over 1,500 people volunteer during the 2018 Day of Caring to better the community.

At Madison Middle School, Phillips 66 volunteers helped on Wednesday.

“We had two groups come out to the Day of Caring today. We have two more coming out tomorrow. We are creating a green belt around our playground, and the Days of Caring have been an incredible help in achieving our goals. We have partnered with the PlayForBurk Foundation and the Madison Parent Support Association to purchase the dirt, trees and sod, said Principal Joey Eidson.

“We also will build two planters out of reclaimed materials from old Madison and install an entrance to the playground with an antique school bell to call our students in after lunch. All of the labor is volunteer, and it has been extensive. The United Way Day of Caring has truly been a blessing to our site each year, and we look forward to meeting professionals in our community. They set an example of community service for our students that is expected in the corporate world,” he said.

This week, three groups visited the Delaware Child Development Center in Bartlesville for the Day of Caring.

“We love this day and the kids loved it,” said Family Services Manager Jan Boomer. “We had about 20 ConocoPhillips volunteers.”

On Tuesday volunteers participated in a field trip to Sunset Ranch for hiking, a picnic and outdoor experiences with the children, she said.

“Another group was there to rock, read and play,” Boomer said.

On Wednesday, other volunteers gardened with the preschool classes, age 2 to 4, at their child development center on the Delaware Tribe’s campus.

“We have some main focus areas at the center and one of those is outstanding nutrition for the children. Our menus are very intentional with high contents of fruits and vegetables ... so gardening is a huge part of that. Gardening is the thing they really love. They prepared one bed for the fall planting. The Day of Caring group worked with them to remove leftover plants. The kids loved working with the soil to get the plants ready. The volunteers weeded,” Boomer said. “We have a lot of herbs in the garden and our plants are intentional for attracting butterflies.”

“After gardening, they got to have lunch with them — family style with the bowls of food and pitchers of milk. The volunteers were amazed by their routine of setting the table; they were with the toddler classrooms,” she said. “It was a beautiful day and great to see how much the volunteers enjoyed helping us and interacting with the kids.”

The Day of Caring continues in Bartlesville Thursday. Here are some of the groups and what they’ll be doing. Volunteers from ConocoPhillips will do landscaping at Elder Care. At the Washington County SPCA and Samaritan Counseling, Phillips 66 volunteers will landscape and do yard cleanup.

In early December, volunteers will continue the Day of Caring by assisting the Salvation Army with sorting, packing, and filling bags of toys and clothes for children signed up for the Angel Tree program. Organizers say this is a very detailed and systematic process to ensure the accuracy of bags filled for specific children. Historically, they fill about 900 bags for children over a one-week period. Most bags are donated by caring community donors, but still must be checked for appropriate content. The project requires lots of bending and moving through the gym with sometimes awkward sized items.