Day of ActionFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2014

United Way of Dane County is proud to join United Ways across the United States in celebrating National Day of Action. Families in Dane County will join more than 250 communities across all 50 states using the longest day of the year, June 21, to take action and give back to their community through volunteer service.

“Families who volunteer together grow and learn together as they work as a team,” says Nolan Brown, Solutions Development Manager for Office Depot and Vice-Chair of United Way’s Community Engagement Capacity Building Team. “Volunteering is a great way to teach your family’s values and connect with your community.”

Now in its sixth year, United Way Day of Action is an invitation for people and organizations around the world to LIVE UNITED and take action to address a variety of challenges. This year United Way is encouraging families to volunteer for projects which improve the community in the areas of Education, Safety and Health, identified through our community’s Agenda for Change. These projects include gardening for food pantries, greeting at a zoo, serving dinners to seniors, and so much more.

Local highlighted projects include
(To sign-up for these projects or see more opportunities visit volunteeryourtime.org):

Plant! Grow! Feed!
Help feed the hungry by providing fresh vegetables to local food pantries! The growing season is underway, and volunteers are planting, weeding, and harvesting nutritious “veggies”. Work days or evenings at the Ken Witte Garden.

Be the Face of the Zoo!
Greet visitors as they arrive, direct them to their favorite animals and other important areas of the zoo.

Saturday Dinner Volunteers
Do you like to meet and serve older adults? We’re looking for volunteers to help with our senior meal program on the second Saturday of the month at the West Madison Senior Center. Volunteers are needed to set tables, serve coffee, serve meals, eat dinner with the seniors, clear tables, wash and put away dishes. The best part of this job is friendly visiting!

Rhythm and Booms Clean-up
Be part of the Rhythm and Booms Clean-Up Crew after the spectacular show and fun events! Volunteers are needed not only at the festival site, but also in the public parks around Lake Monona.
“It is inspiring to see families in our community come together and make change happen,” says Leslie Ann Howard, President & CEO. “Volunteers, like these, are the heroes in our community making Dane County a great place to live!”

Facts About Family Volunteerism

  • Research has shown that volunteering as a family:
  • Helps families learn about social issues and provides a new perspective on the world
  • Provides positive role models and passes on family values to children
  • Provides new learning experiences and development of new skills for both children and adults
  • Provides quality time for the family to spend together
  • Increases interpersonal communication and the problem-solving abilities of family members
  • Helps youth decide what they want to do with their life

Want to Volunteer?
If you want to be involved in Day of Action or are looking for a way to give back this week, log onto www.unitedwaydanecounty.org and click on the VOLUNTEER button.

About Our Community’s Agenda for Change

EDUCATION

  • Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
  • Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.

 SAFETY

  • There is a decrease in family homelessness.
  • There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.

 HEALTH

  • People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

 United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

About United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to change the human condition in Dane County.