Community Care Day

United Way of Central Ohio celebrates an important milestone with the 20th Anniversary Community Care Day, the largest single volunteering effort in central Ohio.

Over the past 20 years, Community Care Day has mobilized more than 75,000 volunteers
and provided an estimated half a million dollars in equivalent labor costs to United Way member agencies, other nonprofit organizations, neighborhood groups and local schools.

Community Care Day is a powerful example of how people come together through United Way to help strengthen our community. The thousands of hours of volunteer service given each year allows participating schools and nonprofit organizations to further their missions of moving central Ohio forward in the interconnected areas of education, income, health and home.

This year, 3,000 volunteers from 150 companies are participating in almost 200 projects throughout central Ohio.

Projects range from stocking food pantries and organizing clothing donations, to building a storage cabin, planting 100 trees, landscaping, mulching, and maintaining trails at Camp Mary Orton, which is part of the Godman Guild Association, a longtime United Way of Central Ohio member agency located in Weinland Park.

Maintaining and improving Camp Mary Orton will help the organization in its mission to provide children and adults with opportunities to develop leadership skills and learn about the natural environment.  In Weinland Park, we specifically want to thank Affinion Group who alongside volunteers from the Godman Guild and the Weinland Park Community Civic Association, donated more than 400 hours of volunteer labor in a single day at 4th Street Farms, Godman Guild, Weinland Park Elementary and Schoenbaum Family Center!

Starting with weeding and tying up the tomato plants, the afternoon goal was to finish one more cinder block raised bed garden at 4th Street Farms.

While one team worked to level ground, haul cinder blocks, and fill the bed full of rich soil, another team was hard at work landscaping the tree lawn along 4th Street.

First clearing the area of trash and debris, the tree lawn team then tilled and broke up the soil with shovels, clearing the land of all the weeds in the tree lawn and planting low maintenance aromatic perennial herbs like lavender and sage interspersed with colorful flowers like daffodils and tulips.

Truly, this Community Care Day was a genuine success not only in what we accomplished that day, but also in how it will resonate into the future…Transforming our neighborhood with positive action.

The outcomes include:

  • serving to connect community members across neighborhoods as well as within Weinland Park
  • improving safety at 8th Avenue and 4th Street where the D&J is located and a noted safety concern within the neighborhood
  • reducing litter along 4th Street which also leads to improved safety and civic pride
  • increasing pollinator-friendly plants which helps balance the eco-system
  • replacing weeds with beautiful low-maintenance aromatic perennial plants, such as lavender and sage, that are known to be relaxing, soothing, and healing
  • engaging the senses in a positive way when walking down 4th Street
  • brightening the area on 4th Street with tulips, daffodils, and other perennial colorful flowers
  • developing another cinder-block raised bed garden that is accessible to seniors and differently-abled volunteers
  • painting picket fences that will give 4th Street Farms more definition of the garden and sense of place while also being cheerful and inviting

Community Care Day is sponsored by Bob Evans Farms and the Kroger Company.  Their generosity supports the efforts of the thousands of volunteers who are working to advance the common good in central Ohio.

We also want to specifically thank The Columbus Foundation for their support of Directions for Youth and Families who supported the volunteer work in Weinland Park.  Thank you again Affinion Group!  It was a joy to work with you and hope you continue to feel inspired by your service on Community Care Day.

Invite everyone to come by 4th Street Farms at 1379 N. 4th Street and check it out!

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