Despite the rain, the United Way Day of Caring was still a success, rallying over 1,600 volunteers to do projects in the next few weeks.
“While most of our outdoor projects had to be re-scheduled due to weather-related safety concerns, the indoor projects went very well,” said Bartlesville Regional United Way Marketing Manager Abigail Singrey. “The outdoor projects will be happening over the next few weeks.”
Day of Caring occurs each year in September during the annual United Way Campaign. This year, the volunteers took on 153 projects at 51 agencies for a huge impact on the local nonprofit community. Projects took place in Bartlesville, Nowata, Dewey, Caney Valley and Bowring. Many of the projects occurred on Day of Caring – Sept. 26 – but others occurred in the weeks around the “official” date.
“We are so appreciative of each company that allows their employees time off work to help out our local nonprofits,” Singrey said. “The best part of Day of Caring is seeing all the smiling faces helping our local nonprofits accomplish tasks that they would have a hard time getting done on their own.”
Corporate partners who provided volunteers for Day of Caring include Arvest, Chevron Phillips, ConocoPhillips, EY, Jane Phillips Medical Center, Phillips 66, Tri County Technology Center, Truity and Siemens.
Each group of volunteers chose a project that benefitted a local nonprofit or school. Volunteers helped students with an arts project at Dewey Elementary School, packaged supplies at CONCERN, sorted donations at The Cottage, and worked on landscaping at Ranch Heights Elementary School, among many other projects.
One ConocoPhillips group worked at Boys & Girls Club of Bartlesville, measuring furniture and inventorying supplies to help them prepare for their move to their new building in the months ahead. The same group also sent volunteers to Ranch Heights Elementary to spruce up rooms to make inviting spaces for students to learn.
“The best part of participating (in the Ranch Heights project) was hearing so many children tell us thank you for making their school prettier,” volunteer Creighton Wayne said.
Teams from Phillips 66 painted at the United Way office, helped Dewey Elementary students with a rock painting project and cleaned storm shelters out at Camp Wah Sha She, the local Girl Scouts camp, among many other projects.
“We live by our core values of safety, honor and commitment in our neighborhoods as well as at work. Our company’s charitable giving is often accompanied by the voluntary efforts of employees who donate their time and talents to benefit their communities,” said Jenny Brown, Phillips 66 community engagement advisor.
For some nonprofit agencies, it was their first time to get involved in Day of Caring. OK Mozart participated for the first time, submitting a project to paint their green room, which was selected by a team from ConocoPhillips.
“It was a great experience! The employees knew what to do and got started right away. They seemed to enjoy the change of pace and it was fun to meet some new people,” Susan Albert, director of marketing and public relations for OK Mozart, said.
Day of Caring increases the awareness of needs in our community, what nonprofits meet those needs and demonstrates what people working together can accomplish in our community. United Way coordinates Day of Caring for the benefit of all area nonprofits.
“Each of these volunteers helped fill a need at one of our local nonprofits,” Singrey said. “It was so thrilling to coordinate all of us these projects, and see the volunteers fulfilling our United Way mission of Living United. By working together, we truly are changing lives in the Bartlesville region!”