During the Day of Caring breakfast, Crescent View Public Charter High School, one of many participants, pose for a United Way employee for a group photo. They were just one of 25 businesses that participated in this community effort.
Roe Borunda / The Collegian
The 18th edition of Day of Caring, coordinated by United Way of Fresno County, called attention Sept. 8 to the importance in helping others.
The Day of Caring is a nationwide event allowing businesses to give back to the community through volunteering and fundraising. In Fresno County, the day began at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast. Volunteer teams gathered in Fresno State’s O’Neill Park. Here, community members came together to show care and kindness to others. They were serving on a day off, donating their time for free.
Twenty-five business participated in the event, providing more than 400 volunteers.
The volunteer teams are assigned to a local non-profit organization needing help with a variety of projects. Many volunteer teams hold fundraisers for the United Way effort. Many team members also donate money.
Without these donations, non-profits are limited in their ability to help community members.
Vicki Landin, an employee with Fresno County Child Support Services, has been volunteering and campaigning on behalf of United Way for three years. She views fundraising and donating as equally important to volunteerism, noting that this year, 57 percent of her department co-workers gave money.
“We try to provide all the proof we can about where the money goes. It stays locally and that’s a big hit with a lot of people,” Landon said. “By us coming out and actually getting involved we see the programs and what’s contributed, too.”
Those contributions are now proving useful for the United Way’s Community Impact Partners. These impact partners are organizations such as Community Food Bank, Catholic charities, Fresno Barrios Unidos, Hinds Hospice, San Joaquin Valley Workforce Funders Collaborative, the Fresno Rescue Mission, and more.
SimplexGrinnell, a company specializing in fire suppressants, is in its second year of volunteering with Day of Caring. The company has also participated in several fundraisers for United Way. SimplexGrinnell employees such as Victor Rodriguez and Umberto Guiez helped out last year by rebuilding the roof of a church. This year, both men, along with some of their co-workers, will be removing garbage from the Lost Lake recreation area.
Bank of America employees made up an 80-member team. Sales representative Ruddy Torres was excited to volunteer.
“It feels good knowing you are giving back,” Torres said. He and a few members from the Bank of America team worked with Community Food Bank.
The United Way of Fresno County will coordinate with Fresno State Athletics for Operation: Fresno Shape Up on Sept. 22. The event, scheduled at Warmerdam Field at Fresno State, is free and open to children ages 6 to 14. Fresno State athletes and former NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal will be at the event that teaches kids about proper nutrition and healthy living.
This is a corrected version of the article published in The Collegian on September 10, 2012.