Friday, 09 June 2017 04:52

Support grows for United Way Day of Caring

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United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz was with volunteers after they received their Day of Caring T-shirts at the kick-off event hosted by Pioneer Co-op, June 5. United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz was with volunteers after they received their Day of Caring T-shirts at the kick-off event hosted by Pioneer Co-op, June 5.

The Swift Current United Way has seen growing support for the Day of Caring project and the initiative will soon transition into a year-round opportunity for workplace volunteer teams to give a helping hand to non-profit community organizations.

The launch of the Swift Current United Way’s 5th annual Day of Caring Week took place at Pioneer Co-op, June 5.
Volunteers from participating local businesses and United Way partner agencies received their Day of Caring T-shirts, posed for a team photograph and enjoyed coffee and snacks provided by Pioneer Co-op.
According to Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz there has been a significant increase in support for this year’s Day of Caring Week from June 5-9.
“This is the most businesses we’ve ever had participate,” she said. “Usually we have an average of six corporate businesses. This year we had 12, and then between all the 12 there’s a little over 100 volunteers, which is really awesome to see the community involvement, and then seven non profits are benefitting from that.”
The Day of Caring initiative provides local businesses with an opportunity to make a difference by helping out non-profit organizations to complete much needed tasks. Workplace teams will visit the non-profit organizations during the week to help with various projects, for example yard work at the nine Southwest Homes locations and the preparation of meals for the youth meal program at The Center.
“So it’s a big variety, from yard work to maybe building or cleaning up something for them,” she said. “It’s a lot of projects that often go pushed off to the side because the day to day stuff needs to be taken care of. It’s these projects that are often overlooked or just they don’t have the time for them or the manpower to do it.”
The Day of Caring event sponsor is Pioneer Co-op and there are volunteer teams from BMO, City of Swift Current, Farm Credit Canada, Innovation Credit Union, MNP, Pharmasave, RBC, Robertson Implements, Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Stark & Marsh, Swift Current SPCA, and W.W. Smith Insurance.
Schwartz believes the growing involvement of different workplaces in the Day of Caring Week is a result of increased awareness about the initiative in the community.
“From our end, we promoted it how we’ve always have,” she said. “I think just word of mouth, people starting to hear about it and get familiar with the name, and understanding for what it is about, as well having consistent businesses that have participated. I know they also were letting other people know what they’re participating in.”
The Day of Caring initiative will soon transition into a program that will be active during the entire year as a means to assist non-profit organizations.
“We really feel there are needs that occur throughout the year that often get missed and so rather than doing it just one week, when there are things to be done, but maybe it’s not high priority needs that are being completed,” she said. “We want to be able to offer that throughout the year and have that involvement from the community and with the non-profits, because there are lots that are also missed during this week because they just don’t have any during this week.”
During this transition, the Swift Current United Way will inform all the non-profit organizations of the change to the Day of Caring program.
“We’ve already had a few businesses that are participating said put us on your new list,” she mentioned.
The role of the Swift Current United Way will change and it will become the facilitator between needs and any help that is available from volunteer groups.
“We’ll find the needs and then put that out to the businesses or if there are community groups that want to be involved,” she said. “We’ve had already some churches that have some small groups that said they want to partake. So we’ll send that out to them and then it will be up to them to reach out looking at what the month’s needs are and reaching out and seeing if they can assist in whatever way. So it’s giving an opportunity to people to give back, because lots of people don’t even realize what needs are out there.”

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Matthew Liebenberg


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