Hundreds of volunteers came together to lend a hand to area non-profits, schools, and other community-focused organizations for UWNCM’s 26th Annual Day of Caring on Friday, September 17.
UWNCM’s largest event of the year, the Day of Caring deploys teams of volunteers to carry out short-term community service projects throughout North Central Massachusetts. This year, more than 450 volunteers completed 43 projects, from painting handicapped ramps to sewing book bags, cleaning up outdoor spaces and running a bottle collection drive.
One team helped Leominster Trail Stewards create a new hiking trail at Mt. Elam Road in Fitchburg. The organization’s president, Neal Wynne, states, “We had a wonderful time and a very productive trail project. The volunteers were just amazing! We had 37 volunteers putting in 130 hours that day.”
Another team picked apples at the Community Harvest Project’s orchard in Harvard. Wayne McAuliffe, Manager of Volunteer Programs, says, “Thank you for your work in helping us coordinate a great group of volunteers out at our orchard, which resulted in over 3,600 lbs. of apples being harvested, sorted and packed. All of these apples have already been distributed to our hunger relief partners throughout Central and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Finally, Lynn Fiandaca, Assistant Principal of Fall Brook Elementary School in Leominster, praised her project’s volunteer team for helping clean up the school’s butterfly garden, stating, “We so appreciate your volunteer efforts and could not be happier with how the space looks now. The students are in disbelief, as well as the staff!”
Day of Caring event logistics were modified slightly in response to COVID-19, as the kick-off breakfast was held outdoors with grab-and-go options, and the concluding barbeque featured packaged meals. However, the event retained the same spirit and energy as previous years—and made a significant impact in the local community as always.
“The Day of Caring is an inspiring opportunity to bring together volunteers to make a real difference by completing projects that organizations would not otherwise have the resources to do,” says Randi Vincent, UWNCM Data Manager and the lead staff member for the Day of Caring “We are so grateful to all the volunteers, as well as our Day of Caring Steering Committee members, for participating in this incredible event.
Thank you as well to all of the 2021 Day of Caring sponsors that made the event possible!