Tuesday, 15 January 2013 14:44

United Way brings Day of Caring to Swift Current

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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The Swift Current United Way has launched a new initiative to provide a helping hand to local community organizations.

Their first annual Day of Caring Week will take place from June 3 to 7, but the Swift Current United Way is already looking for submissions from charitable organizations and volunteers that want to be part of this act of giving.
According to Swift Current United Way Executive Director Darla Lindbjerg the event will be an opportunity for organizations and individuals from the area to volunteer their time and to make a difference.
“We're trying to show the community the need and create a solution for that need within that week,” she said.
Day of Caring is a United Way initiative that has already been successful in other communities across Canada.
“I think it's definitely a good event to bring to Swift Current because we don't have anything like this currently that will pair everybody together and have a consolidated effort to get people out,” she said.
During the Day of Caring Week the volunteers from workplaces that support United Way will help out community organizations with a variety of tasks and projects.
“Generally it's corporate volunteers and their workplaces sponsor them to do that,” she explained. “They will go out for four to six hours and help out in the community. They get paired with non-profit agencies, both member agencies of the United Way and other community agencies, that may need help.”
According to Lindbjerg there are three key benefits from the Day of Caring event. The community agencies are able to get things done that they otherwise might not have time to do, the volunteers learn more about the non-profit organizations in their community and the difference they are making and the businesses that allow staff members to participate are able to show their community spirit.
The Day of Caring event fits in well with the United Way approach of achieving more by working together.
“Collaboration is key,” she said. “We have a stronger voice when we work together and we can get way more things done when we work together.”
Charitable organizations that want to be involved will have to follow a two-step registration process. The first step is to register their organization by Feb. 28. This will serve as an indication of their intention to submit projects for the Day of Caring Week. Organizations then will have time until April 8 to submit their projects.
“It could be big jobs, little jobs, it could be administration, it could be renovations, whatever they need done,” Lindbjerg said.
Details about these projects will be compiled in a catalogue for distribution to volunteers. The catalogue will assist them to see what kind of projects are available and to decide where they want to get involved during the Day of Caring Week.
Workplace volunteer teams must be registered by March 28 to receive the project catalogue, which will be distributed on April 17. Teams will then have until May 1 to submit their project selections to the United Way.
Details about the Day of Caring Week and how to register are available under the events and resources sections of the Swift Current United Way website at http://swiftcurrentunitedway.ca/
Another important activity for the United Way this year will be the revival of their golf tournament, which will take place on June 15 at the Elmwood golf course. Tournament registration and sponsorship forms are available on the Swift Current United Way website or otherwise contact Scott Cassidy at 306-741-6319.
Proceeds from the tournament will support programs and services provided by United Way member agencies and community partners in the Swift Current area.
Tickets are still available for the third annual Get Away with the United Way Trip Lottery. The five trip draws will take place from June 17 to 20.
“We're hoping, if we can sell out all the tickets this year, that we can give over $20,000 to the agencies in Swift Current purely from that alone,” Lindbjerg said.
The Swift Current United Way has reached its 2012 campaign goal of $100,000. The money raised every year through various initiatives support local programs and services in the area.
The 13 member agencies of the Swift Current United Way offer over 60 programs and services in the region. Family Resource Centre and Southwest Homes are the newest partner agencies.
The others are the Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Paraplegic Association, Canadian Red Cross, CNIB, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Early Childhood Intervention Program, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Saskatchewan Association for Community Living, Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Southwest Crisis Services and St. John Ambulance.

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