25 Years of Day of Caring

Kenzieby Kenzie Knight

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

Day of Caring 2017 will be held on Thursday, September 14.

Day of Caring through the years:

United Way’s role in Day of Caring is to connect corporate and community groups to projects hosted by local organizations in the four counties which we work. United Way of Salt Lake also hosts several projects to support our work in community schools (read more about our place-based initiatives here. On Day of Caring, thousands of volunteers participate in dozens of volunteer projects and complete tens of thousands of volunteer hours, saving our community almost half a million dollars. However, Day of Caring was not always an event this large. 25 years ago, only a few hundred volunteers were engaged through Day of Caring. Dallen Robinson, a member of the Day of Caring Committee, has been involved since the very beginning. “It took a lot of work to get things going,” he told me as we discussed the event’s evolution. Dallen and many others who were instrumental in making Day of Caring what it is today have volunteered their time for 25 years to help plan and execute the various parts of the event. Dallen began volunteering on the committee after volunteering at the very first Day of Caring with his workplace, Holly Frontier, in 1992. When I asked Dallen what has kept him volunteering on the committee for over two decades, he told me, “It’s seeing what gets done every year. You get to help so many people.”

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Dick Bollard, another Day of Caring Committee member who has been involved for over 20 years, says that Day of Caring has shifted and evolved significantly since 1992. Dick told me about how Day of Caring used to be a much smaller operation. Volunteers, especially committee members, used to be involved in every single aspect from start to finish – even helping serve and cleaning up after the breakfast for the volunteers! Dick said that he’s always really loved to visit the different agencies who host projects on Day of Caring, and loves seeing the collaboration between the agencies and the volunteers. I asked Dick what he finds most rewarding about volunteering on the Day of Caring committee, and he replied,  “I like to see the faces of the people who we’re serving. The ones that stick in my mind are the kids in the schools that we work with.”

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What’s new this year:

In an effort to continue improving the experience of our volunteers, there have been several changes to Day of Caring this year. One of the more notable changes this year is that there will be no breakfast prior to volunteer projects. The breakfast that was previously a part of Day of Caring will now be taking place at Stuff the Bus, a family-friendly day full of volunteerism that will provide school supplies to over 10,000 students! Stuff the Bus is on Saturday, August 12. You can register online today to participate at StufftheBus.uw.org!

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This year, we also made changes to the Day of Caring matching process. In previous years, companies and groups that wanted to volunteer would submit the details for their group, while agencies would sign up to host a project – this part of the process has essentially stayed the same this year. In years past, United Way of Salt Lake would match each volunteer group to a project. This year, however, some projects were matched, while many of them were posted online at DayofCaring.uw.org for volunteer groups to view and select as their Day of Caring project.

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If you have a group that is interested in volunteering on Day of Caring, please visit DayofCaring.uw.org to view available projects and select a project for your group.

THANK YOU to our loyal volunteers for supporting Day of Caring for 25 years!

Questions? Contact Kenzie Knight: 801.746.2560, mackenzie@uw.org

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