Keeping up with maintenance at Kennedy Elementary School can be tough. Gardens around the building regularly need care, and tasks such as clearing the gutters and painting door frames sometimes arouse too much curiosity from the students.
“You can’t do that stuff when the kids are around. They’re too curious,” said Crystal Harris, Title 1 reading specialist and PTO president at the school.
That’s why Harris responded to the United Way’s call for participant locations for the annual Day of Caring, set for April 16. Less than two weeks away from the event, the United Way still needs more than 180 volunteers to fill all the volunteering spots available around the Douglas County.
Gardening and painting at Kennedy Elementary is only one of 33 volunteer opportunities available that day. Only six have all the volunteers they’ve requested, and many do not have any volunteers signed up yet.
Shannon Reid, AmeriCorps member at United Way, said the event attracts a lot of community groups who volunteer together. Often, groups from businesses, churches and student groups will sign up for the same opportunity.
“It’s fun to get together with hundreds of people and go out at the same time,” Reid said.
Projects range from cleaning and performing building maintenance at Ecumenical Christian Ministries to building a bridge to planting trees at the Baker Wetlands.
Reid said the United Way matches volunteers with projects for the Day of Caring, which has been held each spring since 2003.
“It’s good for the soul,” Reid said. “It makes you feel good about yourself, and it’s especially good to go out with a group of people.”
To volunteer, visit volunteerdouglascounty.org, click on “Find a Volunteer Opportunity” and follow the link for the Day of Caring.