Southbridge, MA – After two years of a multi-day, socially distant, Days of Caring, United Way of South Central MA was delighted to be able to offer a single Day of Caring event. The annual United Way Day of Caring took place on Friday, June 17th, with over 125 volunteers from 15 workplaces (MAPFRE Insurance, Cornerstone Bank, Savers Bank, UMASS Memorial Health – Harrington, OFS Fitel, Webster First Federal Credit Union, Webster Five, Starkweather & Shepley Insurance, Incom Inc., Southbridge Credit Union, bankHometown, Community Legal Aid, Our Bright Future, JLA Contracting and Town of Southbridge) tackling projects at 13 local agencies, schools and municipalities. Our largest team came from MAPFRE Insurance which had 50 volunteers sign up for the day. “We are grateful to have Fundación MAPFRE not only as a grantor, but as a partner who believes strongly in volunteering in the communities they are located.” Said Mary O’Coin, Executive Director of UWSCM.
United Way Day of Caring sent volunteer teams from local organizations to provide much needed assistance to local agencies through projects. These included repair work, gardening, painting, and cleaning. The day was organized by the staff at UWSCM that has been hard at work for months, identifying projects, recruiting teams, organizing equipment and materials.
“We are excited to be back in person and to have such an amazing response from volunteers, sponsors and agencies this year. Day of Caring is a great opportunity for volunteers to learn more about agencies, schools and town recreation department in their community and see firsthand what they do to help individuals. We are thankful for this year’s sponsors, Incom Inc., Rotary Club of Southbridge, Old Sturbridge Village, Stop and Shop and Ocean State Job Lot. Their donations make the day possible.” Stated Mrs. O’Coin.
Over the past two years, Day of Caring was modified to adapt to pandemic restrictions with a Stuff the Truck Food Drive in 2020 and multi-day single projects in 2021. This year, the day began at 8:00 a.m. at all the project sites with most volunteers working until 12:00 noon. Each volunteer received a goodie bag with lots of treats and drinks, along with a complimentary pass to Old Sturbridge Village to thank them for their hard work.
Project locations were:
Charlton: Charlton Helping Hand Society and YMCA of Central MA Camp Foskett
Sturbridge: Cedar Recreation Area and Community Food Collaborative Garden
Southbridge: WCAC Head Start, Catholic Charities, and Ruth Wells Center for the Arts
Dudley: Tri-Valley Inc., and the Dudley Town Beach
Webster: WCAC Head Start, Care Central VNA and Park Ave Elementary School