United Way of Dutchess-Orange Holds Day of Caring

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region recently hosted its second Day of Caring in 2014. The event is part of the organization’s Campaign for the Common Good and is the second of three Days of Caring to be held during the year.

Dozens of volunteers participated in activities that support United Way’s core impact areas of education, income, health, and women’s leadership. Employees of Paychex’s Fishkill office collected household goods, including basic necessities like toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper. The collected items were donated to Safe Homes of Orange County to be distributed to inpiduals and families living at the agency’s shelter.

Volunteers from Young Leaders United, Dutchess Youth One Stop, Girl Scouts, and Poughkeepsie High School prepared 6,000 books for distribution to low income children at their first well visit to physicians at Children’s Medical Group in Dutchess County and Crystal Run Healthcare in Orange County.

Team members from Target and Frontier Communications got their hands dirty for the Day of Action in Beacon and Middletown. Target staffers planted and cared for a garden at South Avenue Elementary School in Beacon while Frontier employees cleaned, organized, and painted playground equipment at Middletown Day Nursery. “We are grateful for the support from those community members who participated in the recent Day of Action,” said Dr. Donald Hammond, President & CEO, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. “By connecting volunteers and businesses with local non-profit groups, we are able to help them complete projects that benefit the residents of our community. The volunteer support also helps many agencies stretch limited budgets that much further.”

As part of the Campaign for the Common Good, Days of Caring, like the recent Day of Action, are an effort to recognize the passion, expertise, and resources committed people bring every day to build a better life for all. Day of Caring volunteer initiatives are one way United Way works to build stronger, healthier communities by raising funds, developing resources, and forging partnerships that make a measurable difference in people’s lives.

“The Day of Action is an opportunity for people to get involved in the community while helping to advance United Way’s goals in education, income, and health,” said Steve Howell, Board Chairman. “We recognize that not everyone who wants to give back to the community is able to do so financially - that’s why we encourage those who can to join hands, open their hearts, lend muscle, or share their voice in order to make a difference.“

“The garden built by Target employees at South Avenue Elementary School will have many positive benefits for the students and the surrounding community. The first graders were inspired that a group of adults would volunteer their time to help with their garden,” said Ava Bynum Executive Director of Hudson Valley Seed who coordinated the project.