In June 2008 I started working at UVA Health System. As a new employee within my department, my first task was to coordinate the UVA HS Volunteers for the 2008 United Way Day of Caring. At first, the thought of volunteer coordination seemed overwhelming, especially as a new employee. I thought to myself "how am I going to succeed at this?" Trying to find my way around the hospital was hard enough, now I had been asked to coordinate over 500 volunteers for the United Way Day of Caring?
I can now say that coordinating United Way Day of Caring volunteers from UVA Health System was one my most rewarding experiences. Through this effort, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with many of my colleagues that I now consider friends. I also had the opportunity to work closely with great community organizations to coordinate volunteer teams with their projects.
From assisting with team leader registrations, project selections, and volunteer recruitment, I remained very busy throughout the summer and fall. After months of planning and coordination, I was incredibly excited to see how the United Way Day of Caring would turn out and prayed that the day went according to plans. It was amazing to see so many volunteers at the United Way Day of Caring Kick-off Breakfast Rally. Seeing so many local agencies and organizations come together to make a positive difference in the community was awesome! UVA Health System had 550 volunteers at 53 projects all around the local community. Throughout the day, I visited projects and saw volunteers painting paw prints on school sidewalks, walking dogs at the local SPCA, landscaping around the buildings of local organizations, fence-building at local parks, and visiting with residents in a retirement community. These were but a few projects that occurred during the 2008 United Way Day of Caring. Over 2500 volunteers from local businesses participated in the United Way Day of Caring at hundreds of project sites. I was in awe of the dedication of volunteers to successfully complete their projects. The nonprofit agency staff were very thankful to the volunteers, their skills, and talents. So many new partnerships were formed throughout the community that day.
Posted by Guest Blogger Carrie Covey, Administrative Programs Coordinator | Community Relations, Outreach, and Service, University of Virginia Health System
With more than 3,000 volunteers expected to register this year, please consider all nonprofit agencies and schools (including child care centers) where you work, volunteer or support and encourage them to register projects. A Project Development Toolkit is available to help organizations identify needed projects, and United Way staff is eager to help, as well. Please visit our website or contact Shaele Wood for more information (434-972-1705).
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