United Way Day of Caring brings out volunteers

Kelsey Roehrich

Story County is promoting was to give back to the community with the United Way Day of Caring.

This Friday, Sept. 7, will be all about helping others and what volunteering can do for the health and well-being of a community.

The Day of Caring is put on by the United Way of Story County which is a group who says that their vision is “to improve the quality of life in our community for individuals and families.” They strive to address four main areas; financial education, hunger, mental health and transportation.

Tom Hill, chairman of the United Way of Story County and ISU senior vice president of Student Affairs, said the Day of Caring is the kickoff for the United Way’s yearly campaign, which allows citizens of Story County to help give back to their community. Each year goals are set and citizens are asked to pledge to contribute to the United Way.

“The goal for Iowa State this year is to raise $330,000 for the cause,” Hill said.

There are many ways to volunteer throughout the community, Hill said, such as painting houses, raking leaves, landscaping, as well as setting up donation boxes for clothes and other items. 

Lynn Scarlett, marketing director for the United Way of Story County, said more than 800 people nationwide volunteered during last year’s Day of Caring. 

Scarlett said there are many special projects going on during this years Day of Caring. There will be groups reading to children, helping the elderly with housework that they are unable to do themselves, and cleaning and organizing libraries throughout the community. Some will also be helping the Ames girls’ softball team by painting dugouts and organizing equipment sheds.

“A group of us will be going to One Heart Equestrian Therapy in Central Iowa to help out because it is said that children and elderly with disorders perform better when on a horse,” Scarlett said.

Scarlett said Iowa State’s College of Human Sciences has been a huge sponsor of the Day of Caring over the years, and about 300 students from the college volunteer each year. 

“We try to get freshman involved in helping out on the work that needs to be done on Iowa State’s campus,” Scarlett said.

There is so much work to be done on Iowa State’s campus in order to keep one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Whether it is putting down mulch, picking up trash, cleaning campus art or tidying up the residence halls, no job will go unnoticed.

Throughout the year there are many more ways to help out the United Way of Story County. Scarlett said there are many things such as pizza sales on campus and events through the greek community that donate the proceeds to the United Way campaign.