Nearly 100 volunteer for Day of Caring

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Volunteers spreading mulch in the playground at P’raising Kids in Medina included Michelle Kingdollar and Elysa Rodriguez from Western New York Energy; Jim Punch from United Way’s board (center); Kathie Valley with P’raising Kids and P’raising Kids’ director Kimberly Southcott and her husband John.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 2 May 2021 at 8:41 am

The weather may have been cold and blustery, but it didn’t stop United Way of Orleans County volunteers from completing their mission.

Friday was Day of Caring, an annual event sponsored by United Way in which local companies allow employees to take the day off to do projects for non-profits in the county. An amazing 88 volunteers showed up at 8 a.m. at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds, where they were welcomed by United Way director Dean Bellack and enjoyed breakfast pizza and bagels from Papa Thom’s Rockin’ Bagels, along with coffee from HeBrews 5:9 in Albion.

Danielle Figura, Orleans County mental Health director, works in a flower garden at Cooperative Extension on the 4-H Fairgrounds during United Way of Orleans County’s Day of Caring on Friday.

Volunteers came from Baxter Healthcare, ARC Angels, Arc of Orleans/Genesee, Catholic Charities/Tri-County, Medina Sandstone Society, Takeform, Velociti, Albion village office, M&T Bank and Western New York Energy.

Also, as part of Day of Caring, local Boy Scouts on Saturday cleaned up around the canal Culvert on Culvert Road and Lions Park in Medina.

United Way director Dean Bellack welcomed the volunteers Friday morning and thanked them for their efforts. He also announced United Way in 2020 raised more money than in any other year.

“We’ve had some amazing things happen this year,” Bellack said.

He went on to announce the approval for a $450,000 grant written by Nyla Gaylord with Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern to hire a grant writer and second United Way employee for the next five years. Early Friday morning he also shared the news the county’s grant request, written by Robert Batt from Cooperative Extension, was approved for $364,000 to fund the county’s Digital Divide initiative.

Work sites where volunteers spent the day included the fairgrounds, Headstart in Albion and Medina, Arc of Genesee Orleans, Camp Rainbow, YMCA, canal culvert, Ministry of Concern and P’raising Kids Daycare in Medina.

Volunteers performed such duties as weeding flower beds, planting flowers, raking, painting picnic tables and spreading mulch.

Day of Caring is an annual event sponsored by United Way, except for last year when it was canceled due to Covid.

John and Tim Winters, standing, and Rachel Frasier rake and clean up around P’raising Kids Day Care Center in Medina on Friday’s Day of Caring.