Local volunteers share insights about being part of United Way Day of Caring

2013DCSaveDateUnited Way’s Day of Caring event is an annual celebration of the power volunteers provide for our area’s nonprofit sector, working with agencies that improve life for our community.

Whether it’s demanding yet satisfying work projects that beautify landscaping on agency grounds or working with children with disabilities, Day of Caring volunteers really make a difference.

This year’s Day of Caring event will be held Friday, August 23, with a morning kickoff rally at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in midtown Memphis. The kickoff rally also serves the official start of the Mid-South area’s United Way fundraising drive for 2013-14, led by General Campaign Chairman Bruce Hopkins. Hopkins is President, West Tennessee Region for First Tennessee Bank.

Bruce Hopkins

Bruce Hopkins

Allena Hutcheson is an employee at MLGW and a Day of Caring volunteer for many years. Hutcheson says the Day of Caring kickoff gets the blood running and gets you ready to go for the day’s tasks.

“Day of Caring is about getting out there, and the results are the gratitude of people,” she said.  “It’s such a boost for you as a volunteer. It’s a game changer. It’s a life changer. When you go to the kickoff, you get to learn what it is all about – helping our community.”

Hutcheson added that always seeing “bad stuff” in the news makes you appreciate Day of Caring that much more.

“By the time each one of us gives just a little, it ends up becoming so much… when we put forth our money, efforts, time and talents, what we consider a little can become quite a lot,” she said.

Annette Knox is a past United Way sponsored representative and volunteer for many years. Knox said working as a Day of Caring ambassador in Fayette, Lauderdale and Tipton counties in Tennessee given her the opportunity to see how spreading information about United Way has led to growing participation in the movement.

“The Day of Caring event helps pull people in. It’s getting people to say, ‘give me more information about how United Way can help me and my community,’” Knox said.

“Volunteering for Day of Caring events shows our devotion to helping our community. I have seen where more and more people who volunteer learn about the services that United Way helps provide to our region.”

Terrence Reed, Sr. is Vice President of Human Resources at Buckeye Technologies, Inc. Reed explained that serving as a Day of Caring volunteer has always been fun and exciting for his team.

“It gives Buckeye and our employees an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the community, while helping us build a stronger, team-based culture,” he said.

Hutcheson sees the Day of Caring event as a blessing for herself, and for our community.

“Day of Caring is about passing on blessings,” she said.  “I have been so blessed. Blessings don’t work unless you pass them on. The feeling you get is just awesome. It’s a humbling thing too.”

Also: Is your organization signed up for Day of Caring?

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