Last Wednesday, April 24th, we celebrated National Volunteer Week and the generosity of the Charlottesville community with our first United Way Day of Sharing. Similar to the United Way Laurence E. Richardson Day of Caring, the goal of the Day of Sharing was to bring the business and nonprofit communities together to fulfill wish lists of our local nonprofits.
As a first time event, we weren’t sure what to expect. From December through April, we worked with a talented group of community leaders from The Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Charlottesville program to collect wish lists from local nonprofits and engage businesses in donating. From recording public service announcements to finding a location for the event, the group helped us to make this inaugural event as successful as possible.
On the day of the event, we all showed up in our Live United t-shirts, set up boxes, arranged a food table, and hung balloons and signs at Pen Park. What we worried could turn into a waiting game for donors to arrive turned into something so much more than we could have expected. By 10:00 that morning, we had a row of cars starting to line up waiting to drop off markers, office chairs, non-perishable snacks, dog treats, mattress pads and much more. By 10:30 that morning, we had people buzzing around the picnic shelter, wonderful conversations taking place, and local media crews shooting footage for the news at noon.
By the end of the day, we had almost half of the wish list requests filled by local businesses! First time events can be unpredictable, especially when the event is so dependent on the response of others. Yet, the generosity of people in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties always comes through to help others in need. From children’s karate classes to large businesses, we had hundreds of items come in during a four hour event that will help our local nonprofits reach more people (and animals!).
The success of this event would not have been possible without the hard work and efforts of the Leadership Charlottesville group, Cville Coffee for their donation of delicious coffee, Paul McDaniel from AVIVA Rentals for the audio equipment, and all of the press coverage from our local media outlets (Newsplex, NBC29, Comcast Spotlight, Monticello Media and Charlottesville Radio Group). We thank all of these sponsors, donors and volunteers for making this event a huge success in its first year. As one of the Leadership Charlottesville participants shared, each and every small difference added up to a big impact!
Submitted by: Jessica Snyder, United Way Volunteer Center director
Please enter your email address. You may unsubscribe at any time.