Volunteers provide a helping hand during United Way’s Day of Caring

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Always held on a Friday in mid-May, the United Way of Bartholomew County’s Day of Caring attracted a dozen different companies helping the community.

When inaugurated in 2015, the first Day of Caring drew about 1,700 participants from companies throughout Bartholomew County who tackled about 30 projects.

This year, about 265 volunteers had been recruited to work 40 shifts to complete 12 projects, United Way Communications Manager Magen Pillar said. It’s a level of participation that has remained fairly steady the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any attempt to raise participation levels at this time creates a two-fold problem, Volunteer Action Center director Alicia Monroe said.

“There are still some nonprofits not back to normal that don’t have staff to do things like this or oversee volunteers,” Monroe said. “In addition, there remains a number of corporate sponsors that are still not allowing their employees to volunteer.”

However, the development of an online volunteer system has helped recruit several individual volunteers, she said. And the overall objective of Day of Caring, which involves matching a volunteer’s passions and skills with projects that benefit the less fortunate, has not changed.

For more on this story, including more photos, see Saturday’s Republic.