"Every year we’ve had a large base of volunteers, at least 200 or more, but I think the reason for doubling that is people were at home during COVID…They knew what was going on, people losing their jobs, their housing, not being able to afford food…It may have come to light more during COVID and people want to do their part,” says Chair of the United Way Day of Caring committee, Michele Finney.
“Workplaces have not been together in the last two years, so it’s an opportunity... to come together and have some camaraderie that they were missing,” she adds.
Team projects include repair work, gardening and cleaning. Some of the agencies that will benefit from the Day of Caring include Home Base Housing, Kingston Youth Shelter, Dress For Success, Extend-A-Family, Hospice Kingston, and The Integrated Care Hub.
Through the pandemic, Day of Caring focused on more individual acts and financial donations. Finney says this is still an option this year.
“If anybody wants to make a donation to support a program in lieu of participating in Day of Caring, United Way will welcome that.”
Finney helped start the Day of Caring 22 years ago.
“I work for Hydro One…we have a charity campaign we run ourselves, someone at the meeting said ‘I’ve heard about how workplaces can go in and work at these agencies I wonder if this would be a good opportunity for Hydro One employees to know what’s going on in their communities' and I said I’m going to reach out to United Way and ask..They said, ‘we would welcome you’.. And that’s how it started," says Finney.
The day kicked off at 7:30 this morning at Community Food Redistribution Warehouse; it will wrap up with a barbeque at the Army Navy Airforce Club.
Listen to the CFRC interview with Michele Finney below: