April 7-13 is National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to promote volunteerism and celebrate the dedicated volunteers who generously give their time and talents to improve the world around them.
When a representative from the United Way visited her workplace seven years ago and spoke about the Karing for Kidz backpack program, Lisa Lamoureux jumped at the chance to participate in a program in which she could also involve her young daughter. Since then, the two have spent one evening a week packing meals for local students who might otherwise go hungry on weekends.
Mark Horeanopoulos began volunteering with the United Way when a friend invited him to attend a Combat Hunger food packaging event in 2013. He’s since been a fixture at the events, diligently helping assemble nutritious meals for local food pantries and shelters. After he retired, Horeanopoulos took on more volunteer activities, including serving on the Day of Caring steering committee and participating in charity bike rides.
Participants in the United Way’s Day of Caring likely recognize Mike Fleek, a volunteer who can be seen each year flipping burgers at the event’s culminating barbeque. Fleek also helps plan the barbeque, as his employer, Hannaford Supermarkets, donates all of the food used in the cookout. “I spend time reaching out to different stores asking for donations, and they are happy to contribute,” says Fleek. “On the day of the actual event I also run around and collect everything.”
When her employer, Affordable Interior Systems Inc (AIS), moved to downtown Leominster a few years ago, Diane Encarnacao immediately began looking for opportunities for AIS to give back to the community.
For five years running, Cheryl Becotte has served as the Chair of the United Way’s Day of Caring Steering Committee, overseeing an initiative that sends out hundreds of volunteers to help local non-profits for one day every September. Becotte says she is inspired by the event because of it makes such a noticeable and significant impact, enabling volunteers to “complete projects that might not otherwise get done due to lack of funding or resources.”
Join Us! As is celebrating the meaning behind Living UnitedWith our 39th Annual Thank You Event. We invite all of our donors, volunteers and advocates for night filled with laughter, entertainment and celebration. To learn more about this event, click here
Local students once again showed off their entrepreneurial spirits and passions for making a difference at the fourth annual United Way Youth Venture Showcase Recap on March 14.Hosted at the Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg, the event gave more than 250 parents, teachers, and business and community leaders the opportunity to view the inspiring work of 50 student “Venture Teams” from 14 local elementary, middle, and high schools as well as one girl scout troop.