For the 22nd year, Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) mobilized hundreds of volunteers from nearly 30 local companies to contribute to Days of Caring, a massive one-day volunteer effort. In Orange County, 170 Publix volunteers concentrated efforts to repair, better secure and beautify homes in specific neighborhoods. Eight homes owned by the Hannibal Square Community Land Trust, a nonprofit that provides affordable housing within the Winter Park Community Redevelopment area, were enhanced with home safety features by utilizing hurricane preparedness and theft mitigation techniques.
In Seminole County, volunteers from Fifth Third Bank supported HFUW partner agency SafeHouse of Seminole and its You Are Never Alone (Y.A.N.A) Project, which provides a facility where parents can safely see their children when a court has determined that their visit must be supervised. Fifth Third Bank volunteers restored a playground at the Y.A.N.A Project office by installing a privacy fence, washing the equipment, weeding and completing other general maintenance.
Throughout Central Florida, more than 500 volunteers from Publix, Fifth Third Bank, Nordstrom and FedEx, among others, donated their time to the service effort in HFUW’s tri-county area, which equates to over $36,000 in value to the community (based on average value of volunteer hours as determined by Independent Sector).
“Through this project, we’re able to offer our residents a more secure home and greater community pride,” said Denise Weathers, Hannibal Square Community Land Trust. “United Way’s team and the volunteers from these local businesses continue to make Central Florida a better place to live.”
“Through this project, we’re giving more families the opportunity to connect with one another,” said Trisha Whitmire, SafeHouse of Seminole. “United Way’s partnership with our organization and the volunteers from Fifth Third Bank continue to make Central Florida a safer place for these children to live and play.”
Many companies that participate in workplace giving campaigns use Days of Caring to demonstrate the widespread value HFUW brings to Central Florida.
“Days of Caring is about rolling up your sleeves and seeing the collective impact that can be made by coming together,” said Traci Blue, director of HFUW’s Volunteer Resource Center. “Financial contributions are an important piece of the puzzle, but time and talent are often just as valuable. We’re thankful for our volunteers who ‘live united’ before, during and after business hours.”