Volunteer opportunities come back again

Greene County United Way, a local nonprofit located on High Street, held their first Day of Service in four years on Sept. 25. 

The agency sent 34 volunteers to four different locations for service, and had a donation drop-off booth for Catholic charities, Dress for Success or Corner Cupboard Foodbank set up in front of the United Way office.

Executive Director of GCUW, MaChal Forbes, said local organizations were asked if volunteers were needed for any community projects, and the event grew from there.

“It was a really great group. We had people from West Greene, Carmichaels, Central Greene, etc.” Forbes said. “So we had a really great mix of locations throughout the county that came. It was really wonderful!”

Forbes said the volunteers were split between Carmichael’s Senior Center, First Baptist’s Touch A Truck event, Corner Cupboard Food Bank and Greene County CASA. 

According to Forbes, volunteers of all ages participated in painting, building accessibility ramps, passing out lunches, weeding and maintenance of community gardens, building shelving for coat drives in the winter, as well as hanging up and sorting that clothing and picking up donations.

“We had ages as young as sixth graders with their parents, all the way up to retired teachers and other older community members,” Forbes explained.

Volunteers met at Lions Club park at 8 a.m. to receive their t-shirts and transportation to their respective sites. Later, they regrouped at the Lions Club park to eat lunch and reflect on their service opportunities.

Due to complications from the pandemic, this year’s Day of Service was more like just a morning, but Forbes is excited to expand back to a full day next year. She said she received great feedback from the volunteers who all seemed to enjoy what they did.

“I know the agencies that we worked with were very happy with all of the volunteers and all the help that they received,” she said. “We’ve already had people say that they definitely want to do it again next year and have given some suggestions about extending the timeframe so people can do more or have more projects to go to.”

Forbes said the United Way is always proud to support the community in ways like this.

“Through funding, through that grant process that we do, we really want to get out into the community and work with the people and show that we are here to support not only the residents, where the residents are going and the agencies that are really, truly helping the people in our community,” she said.

Because of the success of this day, Forbes will be working on incorporating a new page on Greene County United Way’s website, greenecountyunitedway.org, that will list local volunteer opportunities at various different organizations in Greene County, called the virtual volunteer center. She wants volunteers to be able to easily sift through partner agencies and opportunities they provide.

“This is so exciting for us to be able to do these kinds of things and start gathering our volunteers to do something as a collective event,” she said. “We’re just looking forward to how much more we can offer as each year comes around!”