United Way of Greater Topeka Thanks Community for Successful 2015 Day of Caring

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2015

Donna Swaffar, Communications Manager
Phone: 785.273.4804
E-mail: donna.swaffar@unitedwaytopeka.org

United Way of Greater Topeka Thanks Community for Successful 2015 Day of Caring

TOPEKA, KAN. (Sept. 18, 2015) – Staff and students at three Topeka elementary schools were the recipients of donated playground balls, jump ropes and other recess items today. Volunteers brought the toys to this year’s United Way of Greater Topeka Nancy Perry Day of Caring to help United Way encourage healthy activity for adults and children. UWGT representatives delivered equipment to Hope Street Academy, Highland Park Central and Stout elementary schools.

Highland Park Central Principal Kelley Norman got to surprise a class of kindergarteners in the school’s gymnasium with the donated toys. Balls of all colors and a handful of hula hoops were quickly put to use as the kids tried out the school’s new collection.DSC00051

“We were down to having just one cart of playground equipment for all the grades to share,” Norman said. “This donation is so wonderful because now we can give each classroom its own playground supplies.”

Oohs and aahs from students in the hallway followed United Way volunteer Barb Dominguez and her box of playground balls into the gym. Dominguez helped organize the equipment when it arrived on the Day of Caring and was glad to be at Highland Park Central for the delivery. For her, it was powerful to see how much joy came from adding all those individual toy donations together. “This is something so easy for many people to do,” Dominguez said, “and it makes these kids so happy.”

Vice President of Resource Development Kim Ribelin also helped make today’s delivery. “We are so grateful for the generosity of the Topeka community,” Ribelin said. “Thanks not only to those who provided playground equipment to get kids more excited about and active during recess, but also to our volunteers and those who support United Way financially during our campaign. We are all connected and passionate about making Shawnee County a better place.”

Day of Caring Final Numbers

Delivery of the equipment nearly caps off this year’s Day of Caring. UWGT Director of Volunteer Engagement Kimberly Wolff provided final numbers on this year’s effort.

  • Number of projects: 78
  • Number of volunteers: 841
  • Number of hours donated: 4,127
  • Value of hours don ated: $89,308.28

In comparison, Wolff said, the 2014 Day of Caring had about 700 volunteers working on 65 projects. Last year’s dollar equivalent was around $75,500, so the work done by volunteers this year freed up another $14,000 for participating nonprofits to use in support of their own missions.

Speaking about this year’s effort, United Way CEO and President Miriam Krehbiel said, “It’s an amazing thing to see and experience, when more than 800 of our friends, families and neighbors volunteer to help people they don’t even know. Thank you to everyone who participated and to the local businesses who made time available for their employees to be part of the event. This is what it means to Live United.”

One project is still on deck—a playground mural at Highland Park Central. Persistent rain and a requirement of 24 hours of dry pavement have frustrated efforts to complete the project. Volunteers from Day of Caring Platinum Sponsor Security Benefit are eager for a stretch of dry days that will let them work their magic on the playground.

The 2015 Nancy Perry Day of Caring was 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.

Twitter and Instagram photos from the Day of Caring can be viewed at http://www.tweetbeam.com/ using #NPDOC2015. Photos and posts from the Day of Caring can also be found on UWGT’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. United Way’s Twitter handle is @UnitedWayTopeka, and the Facebook page is www.facebook.com/UnitedWayTopeka. A small photo gallery is also available on the UWGT web page at https://goo.gl/igvfGd or by searching NPDOC.

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 $105 million into the community.