What happens when thousands of volunteers come together on behalf of the common good?
Big, awesome lasting change. United Way’s Day of Caring has been a staple of community impact for decades. These all-day events connect corporate employees with local agencies for a concentrated dose of hands-on volunteerism.Projects included everything from mulching a playground to weeding a garden to sorting Lego parts for an after-school robotics program.
The biggest benefit for non-profit agencies—many of which simply do not have the time, budget or staff-power to handle these projects—is the raw savings of resources. For every hour that it takes an Executive Director of a small, local agency to cover a wall with coats of primer, that’s an hour of impact to the community that is lost. But you can’t do the work if the building is falling apart either.
United Way’s mobilization of these volunteers, armed with rakes, shovels, leaf-blowers and paint-flecked LIVE UNITED t-shirts, represents much more than a day outside of the cubicle. Partner companies, through their participation, are offering sweat equity on behalf of the common good. The value in real dollars for a day’s worth of manual labor registers at just north of $100,000. Those are real, tactile savings in budget and time, a net benefit that is funneled directly into the community.