More than 1,000 people took time to make an impact in the community by participating in the United Way of Bartholomew County’s second Sept. 11 Day of Service.
On a day that marked the 14th anniversary of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that claimed thousands of lives, local residents — many on company time from willing employers — showed their caring hearts and eagerness to help.
United Way of Bartholomew County established the event locally last year as a way for the community to join others in remembrance on the national Day of Service.
The assistance is important and appreciated, because helping hands make a significant difference in the lives of residents and the community. More individuals this year experienced a direct benefit because the Day of Service was expanded to include residents after focusing only on local nonprofit organizations last year.
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Here are some examples of how Bartholomew County benefited from the work of 1,049 volunteers who completed 71 projects:
The Hope Town Square was revitalized by 60 Cummins employees with painting, mulch and planting of flowers in preparation for the Hope Ride and Heritage Days events.
Thirty-five fourth-graders from Columbus Signature Academy — Fodrea Campus delivered flowers to neighbors next to their school as a way to brighten their day.
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. had a Youth Day of Service for its iCARE program. Seventy-three high school students from North and East participated at 11 elementary schools to mentor after-school care students one-on-one. The children loved having the teenage mentors, and some of the high school students vowed to come back on their own time.
Bankers and financial professionals presented financial life skills, such as the importance of budgeting and investing, to freshmen through seniors at North and East as a way to create a positive impact on the financial lives of young people.
More than 100 sixth-graders from Southside elementary and a class of East special-education students participated in the City Park People Trail Cleanup, which beautified the trails.
Toyota, Dorel and Cummins employees helped 21 residents with their landscaping and outdoor painting needs in the Lincoln-Central, Eastside, Hope and Candlelight neighborhoods. Their efforts addressed outdoor needs and increased their feeling of safety, well-being and pride.
The fact that more than 1,000 people volunteered is impressive considering 850 participated in a similar United Way event, its first Day of Caring, which started June 12 but was completed in July after a portion was delayed by rain. On Day of Caring, United Ways worldwide participate in their local communities, to bring volunteers together to give back to the community. The result in Bartholomew County was 57 projects completed.
Volunteers who shared their time and talents on the Day of Service deserve special thanks because their efforts helped improve the community and the lives of residents.