United Way’s Step Right Up! Carnival Encourages Community to Get Out and Volunteer


Hundreds of Central Floridians turned out for a free, family-friendly carnival, which Heart of Florida United Way hosted to celebrate National Volunteer Week.

Themed Step Right Up! the event featured family-friendly games, activities and hands-on volunteer projects, which supported United Way’s main focus areas: education, income, health and safety.

Five United Way partner agencies benefitted from the projects, which included creating educational coloring books, reading to children, sorting food donations, teaching children about the importance of savings and playing kickball with at-risk youth.   

In all, 13 agencies hosted carnival games, including a bean bag toss and spin the wheel, which also offered players a chance to learn more about the agencies’ missions and volunteer opportunities.  

“The carnival was a fun, creative way to recruit new volunteers,” said Hedy Bass, a volunteer coordinator for the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Orlando (RSVP). “And everyone had a great time learning about how they can make a difference in our community.”

Besides RSVP, other participating agencies included the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Apopka Family Learning Center, Federation of Congregations United to Serve (FOCUS), the Salvation Army of Orange County, Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, the Christian Service Center and the Rescue Outreach Mission of Sanford.   

Step Right Up! showed how fun and easy it is to make a difference,” said Lorri Highet, Director of our United Way Volunteer Resource Center (VRC). “Each of the volunteer projects highlighted one of our community’s greatest challenges, so the event was a learning experience for everyone who participated.”

United Way would like to thank Target, Chase Bank, Publix Super Markets, Karl’s Event Rental and the United Way Emerging Leaders Initiative for their support in sponsoring Step Right Up!  

If you, your family, company or other group would like to learn more about volunteering, click here to visit the VRC’s website.


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