October 26, 2013

300 Volunteers, $68.9K Worth of Labor, One Day of Caring

POUGHKEEPSIE – 300 local volunteers rolled up their sleeves to make an immediate and positive impact in the community. United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, in partnership with The Poughkeepsie Journal and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, sponsor Make A Difference Day on an annual basis to provide opportunities for community volunteerism.

In partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County and Thrivent Financial, United Way engaged volunteers consisting of businesses, organizations and individuals to revitalize 45 homes on the north side of Poughkeepsie. Volunteers accomplished interior and exterior painting, porch and railing repairs, calking and yard work. Volunteers from Hudson Valley Young Professionals, United Way, Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Astor Services for Children and Families, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and students from local schools such as Arlington High School, Dutchess County Community College and Marist College were some of the groups who devoted their time.

“This is our first volunteer initiative and we are really excited!” said Director of Dutchess County Youth One Stop, Susan Grecke. “Our youth don’t often get to experience other environments and Make a Difference Day has given them a great opportunity to do so. They are using this experience to better our community.” 

Through a partnership with Adams Fairacre Farms, volunteers packaged meals from a non-perishable food item collection and paired them with turkeys donated by Adams to provide complete holiday meals to families and individuals through Dutchess Outreach. Mercedes-Benz of Wappingers Falls donated a vehicle from their fleet to transport the food from Adams. 

“50 families will be fed with the meals that we are collecting,” said Young Leaders United Chair, Matt Paquet. “Our volunteerism efforts are going to have a direct impact on our neighbors and Young Leaders United is proud to be a part of this initiative.”

 13 freshmen athletes volunteered from Trinity-Pawling School and painted a porch, trimmed shrubs, raked leaves and painted posts at the John Kane House on Friday, October 25. All supplies were donated by Trinity Pawling School.

“At United Way, we believe that it takes an entire community to affect change. Today’s volunteerism is an example of the commitment of so many individuals and businesses that are dedicated to making our community a better place,” said United Way President and CEO Don Hammond.

Make a Difference Day is one of three Days of Caring United Way will be engaging the community in throughout the year. Days of Caring connect volunteers and businesses with local nonprofit groups to complete projects that benefit our community. It is a strategic volunteer engagement opportunity intended to advance goals in education, income and health. As part of the Campaign for the Common Good, Days of Caring are an effort to recognize the passion, expertise and resources committed people bring every day to build a better life for all. Make a Difference Day volunteer initiatives are an example of how United Way builds a stronger, healthier community by raising funds, developing resources and forging partnerships that make a measurable difference in people's lives.

Established Days of Caring

  • June 21, 2013 –Day of Action
  • October 26, 2013 –Make a Difference Day
  • April 6 – 13, 2014 –National Volunteer Week

Make a Difference Day is the nation’s largest recognized day of community service and is sponsored by USA Weekend Today.

The independent sector values the volunteer time of New Yorkers at a rate of $28.73 per hour.

To learn more about volunteering in your local community visit www.uwdor.org or contact United Way at volunteer@uwdor.org.