Jackson County United Way’s 24th Annual Day of Caring has been postponed to Friday, September 11th, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the original date was scheduled for Tuesday, May 12th; we now believe that it will be in the best interest of the community if we postpone this event to a time when we can mobilize more volunteers and ensure plenty of meaningful project sites.
Tonja Couch, Executive Director shares, “This annual event is just what our community will need when it is safe to serve one another once the social distancing restrictions are lifted. We anticipate that the day will look and feel different with a focus on the National Day of Service and on smaller projects.” Karen Brooks and Ron Duncan, this year’s co-chairs, virtually met with the planning committee last week and committee members agreed it was time to postpone the event.
Karen Brooks, Day of Caring co-chair, shared “United Way’s 24th Annual Day of Caring now on Tuesday, September 11th will be a great event for the whole county! The event is about dedicated volunteers coming together to work to make wonderful things happen across the county. Whether we are helping a senior citizen by planting fall flowers or cleaning up a community park, these volunteers are making life better for all of Jackson County.” Brooks continues “It’s amazing what a few volunteers can do and we encourage more volunteers to sign up now to serve and make an impact. I am proud to once again be a part of this event as we work together to make Jackson County even better than it was before.”
“In offering help to those who need it, we create the opportunity to pay it forward making Jackson County a better place to live and raise our families; to be proud of where we live by the direct impact we can make. We don’t just change the way things look, we change the way we look at things.” Ron Duncan, Day of Caring co-chair agrees with Brooks.
Last year was another record setting year as over 1,600 volunteers completed over 170 projects throughout Jackson County. “While we anticipate disruptions to this day based on the number of volunteers available, we are seeking projects in all of Jackson County. Specifically, this year, we are looking for projects in Brownstown, Crothersville, Freetown, Seymour or Medora.” states Bonita Dobbs, JCUW Program Manager. “A wide variety of projects are needed to fit the wide variety of skills our volunteers bring to this annual event. We will be able to do any outdoor projects such as light landscaping to painting to power washing to washing outside windows to organizing a shed.” Dobbs added, “if we want to be known as a place where we work together for solutions to take care of neighbors and generations, calling your neighbor to see if they’d like help from the Day of Caring is the first step.”
One new strategy, United Way planned to implement into Day of Caring is to expand the outreach and support of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed) households in Jackson County. Statistics show that forty-two percent of Jackson County homes are ALICE or those who are working hard and struggle to make ends meet. ALICE households earn income that is just above the threshold to receive public assistance while they struggle to meet basic needs. This year, United Way is partnering with the City of Seymour and the town of Medora to focus on Neighborhood Clean Up. United Way has asked City and Town officials to assist in identifying neighborhoods and seniors who would benefit from this type of support. Letters will be co-written by City officials and Town officials and delivered to those individuals. In the event they chose to participate, the homeowner will need to provide proof of insurance and sign a waiver.
While most projects are accepted, volunteers cannot do any roofing projects, ramp builds or enter homes. Projects must be able to be completed between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm, a certificate of insurance, and liability release must be provided. Project sites are also asked to provide materials for the projects while volunteer groups may be asked to bring their tools from home to assist with completion of some projects.
To register a project or volunteer visit www.jacsy.org/dayofcaring. If you know a neighbor who could benefit from the Day of Caring, you may register them online or request a paper copy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812.522.5450 ext 4.