“United Way is uniquely positioned to create community solutions that engage people, companies, faith communities, government, labor, nonprofits and more to create community solutions that drive lasting change and results in communities around the world”.
– Mei Cobb, Director, Volunteer & Employee Engagement at United Way Worldwide
On June 23 2015, the Volunteer Resource Center team at the Heart of Florida United Way strategically partnered with several local organizations and schools to host a day of reading and literacy for underserved students in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. This event entailed mobilizing volunteers to participate in fun, interactive literacy games in an effort to promote reading and foster literacy in children over the summer months. Additionally, we engaged nearly 50 corporate and community organizations who hosted their very own book drives in advance of Day of Action by collecting new & gently-used children’s books.
This focus on reading and literacy originates from the phenomenon called “Summer Reading Slide”—or the gradual decline of reading proficiency while children are away from the classroom. In fact, a recent study shows that while in middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of age-appropriate books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 for every 300 children.
Over 400 volunteers contributed nearly 1,000 hours of volunteer service for our Day of Action initiatives. With the help of our community and corporate partners, we collected over 31,000 books, which was enough to provide at least six books to each participating student on Day of Action. Any additional books were distributed to other funded partner agencies. A few of the sites in which Day of Action activities took place included, but were not limited to:
• Numerous Boys and Girls Clubs
• Orlando Day Nursery
• Three Points Elementary School
The Heart of Florida United Way is overwhelmed by the generosity of those who participated in our Day of Action initiatives in the Central Florida community, and we cannot thank everyone enough for their support. We would also like to thank Depend for being a supporter of this initiative and helping make this possible. We are already looking forward to next year!
Day of Action was sponsored by Depend.
Depend and United Way are coming together to promote healthy, active, and independent living throughout an individual’s life, with a focus on volunteering.