United Way of Wayne County has concluded this year’s Day of Action through a successful collaboration with local nonprofits, volunteers, civic groups, and local businesses. The yearly event, held on June 21, 2022, was a day chosen by United Way to engage and mobilize the community in a single-day volunteer effort. This year, United Way of Wayne County received thirteen project requests from ten local nonprofits and had almost seventy volunteers participate in completing the projects.
The projects that were completed during Day of Action included personal care items assembly for Totes of Hopes with the American Red Cross (to benefit the homeless vets in Wayne County and Eastern North Carolina); Meals on Wheels food delivery for WAGES; DIY furniture-making with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore; landscaping work on the Healing Garden of Carver Heights Elementary School; clean up and laundry room make-over at the Wayne Uplift Domestic Shelter and admin office; food sorting for the Salvation Army’s pre-summer food giveaway; library makeover of the Boys and Girls Club-Goldsboro location. Collection drives were also hosted for baby items for Wayne Pregnancy Center, school cleaning supplies for Communities Supporting Schools, personal care items for Totes of Hope, and a late entry to collect professional clothing for Wayne Community College’s students in need of interview attire.
Volunteers who gave of their time were as diverse as the projects and came from organizations like Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, American Red Cross-Eastern NC, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Wayne County Public Library, Goldsboro Rotary Club, JSmith Civil, Atlantic Casualty Insurance, TownePlace Suites-Goldsboro as well as unaffiliated residents. On this Day of Action, volunteers put in 268 hours of work cumulatively which translates to $7404.84 savings in labor dollars by the participating non-profit agencies. This value of volunteer time is based on the most current value of volunteer time as calculated by the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute.
Gale Lewis, Success Coach for Communities Supporting Schools serving Carver Heights Elementary School, who is also the point of contact for the Tranquility Garden project said “We are grateful for the tremendous amount of support and labor given by all the volunteers on the Day of Action. The garden is a place of healing for over 400 students who come to the garden to experience the beauty and wonders of nature as they breathe deeply and absorb the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes that the garden provides”. Johnny Jernigan of the American Red Cross-Eastern NC, who coordinated the Day of Action project reported that 320 kits were created for Totes of Hope, 270 of which were given to the dental clinic and deploying units of Seymour Johnson AFB, and 50 kits going to homeless vets or vets who have fallen on hard times.
The success of the Totes of Hope project and other collection drives was made possible by the generous response from the community. Wayne Pregnancy Center reported that they received donations valued at $1500 and these donations will benefit 52 families. Communities Supporting Schools estimated they received $2500 worth of cleaning supplies and these donations will be divvied up among the schools they serve. Wayne Community College received 250 pieces of professional clothing. Donations poured in from businesses like Classic Stone Supply, Anchor Coupling, Piedmont Natural Gas, Seymour Funeral Homes, JSmith Civil, Worrell Contracting, Jackson and Sons Heat Atlantic Casualty Insurance, Hampton Inn Goldsboro, TownePlace Suites, and nonprofit entities like Habitat for Humanity and the 4th CMS PMEL unit of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.