Mediacom Day of Caring Video 2013

What’s Day of Caring?

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

Hello everyone, welcome to Mediacom Newsleaders, I’m Karol Kelly. Joining us from the United Way of East Central Iowa, Sue Driscoll. Sue, welcome back!

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

Thank you.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

You’ve got a great event coming up; it’s the Day of Caring. Tell us a little bit about that.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

The Day of Caring is one of the areas largest volunteer events. It happens usually the second week in May and it’s an opportunity for companies to provide employees to go out and work with non-profits in the area.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

So they get the day off from work and then they go and volunteer. Tell us about how that happens and some of the things that they do.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

Each year there’s roughly 55 companies that send anywhere between 11 to 1,200 employees out. They might be working half days, full days, just depending on what their employer provides for them. We connect them to almost 50 non-profit agencies or city organizations to do different projects and a good way to get involved is to contact United Way.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

Tell us a little bit about some of those things, an example maybe, that people would expect to do that day.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

Different projects, not only is the work getting done, but there are opportunities for them to learn more about the community and what agencies are out there and what services they’re providing. It helps individuals become more engaged. But some of the projects range from cleanup projects, landscaping, those types, to building ramps for elderly, stocking food pantries, working on raised bed gardens and providing plantings for fresh food for those individuals in need at the end of the harvest. Those are just different things that are available.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

Tell us a little bit about how this does support the community and then ultimately, support United Way.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

Non-profit agencies don’t necessarily have the staff in order to do all the things that they need to do so volunteers come in and like I said do some of those clean up projects so staff can focus on the clients and providing the services. That really helps them out.

It is an opportunity for them to also tell about what services they provide and so that more people learn about the services that they are providing. How it connects with United Way, it’s one of our main focus is to help connect individuals to volunteer opportunities to help in our focus areas of education, financial stability and health, so this is one way to get employees opportunities to learn about what’s out there.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

Because there probably are a lot of people that are watching, thinking, I want to volunteer, I just don’t know where to start.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

And this is a great place to start. A lot of times there will be volunteers who have never volunteered before but since the employer or company is providing this opportunity, they’ll take them up on it and some of them become life-long volunteers after engaging in this one day event. So if they do have an interest, talk to their employer or company and see whether or not they can have them give us a call and we’ll definitely get them involved.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

Let’s talk about it on the company side of it. What do they have to do to become involved in this Day of Caring?

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

Really all they have to do is contact us at United Way, whether it’s through the website or calling us on the phone. We’ll put them on our list. We reach out to the companies around the January/February timeframe. We do a little information session to kind of give them an idea of what’s all involved and so they can ask some questions. Then we get them signed up through an online process and we coordinate the event with the agencies and try to make it easy, kind of a one-stop for them.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

And what’s the benefit to a company to get involved in this day?

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

Well it’s important for their employees to be engaged in the community. Those individuals that volunteer are happier and healthier in their jobs. There are a lot of statistics out there that talk about that and so it’s important for their employees to be engaged.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

Let’s also talk about volunteer opportunities other than the Day of Caring.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

So if you’re not able to participate in the Day of Caring each May, you can reach out to United Way of East Central Iowa. Go to our website. We have a website that has over a 150 different volunteer opportunities and you can peruse through them, look at the different agencies, find out what might interest you. If you are not seeing anything that you like, you can reach out to us over the phone and we’ll try to get you connected.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

It’s probably varied as to time commitments.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

That’s true. They’re as easy as one day, ongoing maybe once a week, once a month, opportunities that might be just a couple months out of the year, so there’s a lot of different opportunities.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

And it all supports the local communities here in Eastern Iowa.

Sue Driscoll, Manager, United Way of East Central Iowa

It does. In our East Central Iowa five county area, we have opportunities in each of the counties.

Karol Kelly, Mediacom Newsleaders

We appreciate your time, Sue. Thank you so much for watching. This is Mediacom Newsleaders, your opportunity to get the full story from the most reliable sources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

GIVE1

ADVOCATE3

VOLUNTEER1


Sign up for our Email Newsletter





For Email Marketing you can trust

Volunteering is at an all-time high

Volunteer Tips

VOLUNTEER1
Wondering how to pick a volunteer opportunity? Here are some tips:

  • Look for an opportunity that matches your interests.  Research organizations that support a cause you feel strongly about.
  • Consider the skills you have to offer. If you are good at something and enjoy it share your skills with others.
  • Are you interested in learning a new skill? Sign up for a volunteer opportunity that will help you develop a new skill.
  • Think about what motivates you.  Do you enjoy social interaction, managing a process or leading a group?   Make sure you are in a position that is fulfilling and makes you feel good.
  • Find an opportunity that fits your schedule.  Are you available one hour a week, a month or just certain times of the year?  Consider when you are available- during the day, evenings or on the weekends.
  • Shop around and research different organizations.  Once you find a few organizations/opportunities you are interested in, request an interview.  Ask questions to make sure it is the right fit for you. Speak to other volunteers at the organization and ask about their experiences.

VOLUNTEER1

Volunteer recognition

Every April, United Way recognizes outstanding volunteers through our Volunteer of the Year awards.

Public voting for finalists in the categories of outstanding youth, adult, senior, and group volunteers will open March 17, 2014. The winners are voted on by the public and receive an award and a donation to a local nonprofit of their choice.

View the 2013 winners' stories here.

Click here to find a volunteer opportunity in the Cedar Rapids area
United Way of East Central Iowa 317 7th Avenue SE, Suite 401 Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 Phone: (319) 398-5372 Fax: (319) 398-5381