Great Rivers United Way hosts annual Day of Caring

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:24 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - More than 100 volunteers spread throughout the Coulee Region Wednesday to lend a hand to different nonprofit organizations.

For the 27th year, Great Rivers United Way hosted its Day of Caring event, which connects local businesses to nonprofits in need of help with larger projects.

Volunteers from 15 businesses worked with 12 United Way partner agencies, and after being hampered by the pandemic, Development Director Katie Sparks says 2022 was a return to form for the Day of Caring.

“The last two years have been difficult, we haven’t been able to have that many people together,” Sparks recalled. “This year, we have 144 volunteers, so we’ve more than doubled our 66 from last year, and we’re hoping for the future that we’ll be able to continue to grow that number more and more.”

The Coulee Recovery Center, Hunger Task Force, New Horizons, and Salvation Army were among the organizations that had a variety of projects worked on by volunteers.

The Gateway Area Council also needed some much-needed landscaping done at Camp Decorah, which 15 employees of La Crosse’s Dakota Supply Group assisted with.

“Camp Decorah was one of the larger places that needed help as far as the number of people, and we had a large group volunteer within the branch this year,” Branch Manager Nate Reiman said. “I’ve also got a little past here with my brother-in-law, who used to be a camp counselor here way back in the day, it’s a great organization and they needed some help, so what better to do than be outside and help at the camp.”

Sparks says the nonprofits who participate in the event are grateful for the temporary boost to their staffing numbers each year.

“They don’t have the capacity to keep up some of these projects throughout their annual, daily jobs, and so having these volunteers be able to do these projects, I think it really helps them, and they do really like being involved in Day of Caring,” Sparks expressed.

The United Way says the volunteer work done during the Day of Caring represents a more than $12,000 investment in the Coulee Region.

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