Monday, March 19 , 2018, 6:21 am | Fair 39º


United Way Issues Call for Day of Caring Volunteers

More people are needed to help meet record demand; the sign-up deadline is Friday

This year, more than ever, local nonprofit organizations need help to improve our cities’ facilities and shared areas. Already, there has been a striking increase in the number of requests for Day of Caring volunteers this year — up nearly 30 percent, with 1,150 requests to date, compared with 900 requests in 2008 — and potentially more on the horizon.

United Way of Santa Barbara County’s 2009 Day of Caring will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 19. Individuals and teams from schools, employers, faith groups and families will volunteer on-site at more than 50 local nonprofits, schools and other community organizations. The deadline for volunteers to sign up is this Friday, Sept. 11.

“With current economic conditions, nonprofits and public agencies are struggling for survival. The needs are great, and we already have a record number of work requests,” said Randy Weiss, vice president of community relations for Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. “Our dedicated volunteers accomplish a year’s worth of work in a few hours — that’s what makes Day of Caring so special ... and so critically important.”

This year, United Way is placing a special emphasis on youth volunteering for Day of Caring. Teams from Santa Barbara High School’s Dons Net Café and Westmont College will have special opportunities to connect with the community through projects such as playground stenciling, garden planting, assembling learning kits for special pre-kindergarten enrichment programs and a variety of other activities.

Volunteers of all ages are needed for a wide range of projects, including planting a sidewalk garden at Casa Serena Women’s Recovery Home, assembling care packages at the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, participating in habitat restoration for the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, assisting with general cleanup and landscape maintenance at Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People and aiding in cleanup of many local beaches.

With last year’s volunteer hours estimated to be worth $150,000, the Day of Caring has a significant impact on the area in which we live and work and is a testament to the spirit of volunteerism in the community.

Day of Caring volunteers will be treated to a kickoff breakfast at the Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave. in Goleta, before heading out to more than 50 scheduled project sites throughout Carpinteria, Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez.

To sign up or for more information, click here or contact United Way Day of Caring project manager Juli Askew at 805.965.8594 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

— Candice Tang is a publicist.

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