Friday’s United Way Nancy Perry Day of Caring includes Memorial Garden project

For Immediate Release
August 26, 2015

Donna Swaffar, Communications Manager
Phone: 785.228.5111 | Cell: 785.383.7451

Friday’s United Way Nancy Perry Day of Caring includes Memorial Garden project

TOPEKA, KAN. (Aug. 26, 2015) — United Way of Greater Topeka’s Nancy Perry Day of Caring is set for this Friday, August 28. More than 800 company employees and community volunteers will take on 76 projects for 37 non-profits, schools and other organizations. One of this year’s projects is the makeover of a garden at Ross Elementary School in memory of former student Lily Coats-Nichols, who was killed last month in a drive-by shooting.

The day will begin with a kick-off breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at Ag Hall across from Capitol Plaza Hotel. Volunteers will enter the breakfast through an interactive display explaining United Way’s work in education, financial stability and health.

“The Nancy Perry Day of Caring is an amazing opportunity for local companies to share the value of volunteering with their employees.” said Kimberly Wolff, United Way director of volunteer engagement. “The spirit of caring which surrounds this special day is a tribute to the greater Topeka area.”

The Day of Caring is a true expression of United Way’s motto: “GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER.” While it has traditionally signaled the kick-off of United Way’s annual workplace campaign, the day also now focuses on United Way’s work in the community. Speakers will include Miriam Krehbiel, United Way president and CEO; Larry Robbins, United Way board chairman, Dr. Martin Stessman, United Way campaign chair, and Nancy Perry who served as president and CEO of United Way of Greater Topeka for 24 years.

“This is a win-win situation for the Topeka community,” Wolff said. “People get a chance to give back to their community, and the hours which will be donated Friday will be worth more than $70,000. Day of Caring projects are a perfect example of how volunteer hours allow local nonprofits the ability to complete projects leaving more of their resources to further their services, missions and goals.”

The Nancy Perry Day of Caring is made possible through the generous support of Platinum Sponsor Security Benefit; Gold

Sponsors Capitol Federal and Prairie Band Pottawatomi Nation, and Silver Sponsors Stormont-Vail HealthCare and Federal Home Loan Bank Topeka.

Project listings can be viewed on the Get Connected volunteer web site, by clicking on Day of Caring. The following projects offer good photo and video opportunities for news media.

 Best photo/video opportunities:


Ross Elementary1400 SE 34th These projects are scheduled to be in progress from approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Actual schedules may vary at each site, and volunteers will take a lunch break around noon. Garden makeover/ memorial honoring Lily Coats-NicholsVolunteers from Platinum Sponsor Security Benefit
Highland Park Central Elementary2717 SE Illinois Ave Paint the Playground in Color (US map and math dartboard)Volunteers from Platinum Sponsor Security Benefit
Kansas Children’s Discovery Center4400 SW 10th Ave Serious Fun at the Discovery Center—outdoor projectsVolunteers from Gold Sponsor Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
Pine Ridge 1100 SE Highland Ave. THA Pride Day at Pine Ridge—grounds beautification, Born Learning Trail Cleanup, 75 volunteers totalVolunteers from Gold Sponsor Capitol Federal
475 SE 33rd Terr Hi-Crest Neighborhood Revitalization—Habitat for Humanity will be painting its 8th home as part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative for graduates of the NETReach program

United Way will be sharing photos and posts on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Search for #NPDOC2015. United Way’s Twitter handle is @UnitedWayTopeka, and the Facebook page is


United Way brings together people, companies and nonprofits to create positive sustainable change in our community. By focusing on education, income and health, we help more children graduate and get stable jobs, help families become financially stable and improve the overall health of our community. United Way remains dedicated to Basic Needs including food, shelter, rent and utilities, health and prescription access and safety from domestic violence.

For more than 80 years United Way of Greater Topeka has been improving and changing lives. Since 1980, United Way has invested more than $110 million into the community.