Caring for the community
Published 7:38 pm Saturday, September 10, 2016
Several companies and organizations got out of the office and into the community for the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ 25th annual Day of Caring on Friday.
Since 1991, the organization has hosted the event to encourage volunteerism and demonstrate how working together can have a great impact on the community.
“This is a way for our companies to get hands-on experience,” said Katie Rogan, resource development coordinator at United Way’s South Hampton Roads office. “People don’t realize how much help they need unless they’ve been there.”
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There were more than 60 companies conducting 124 service projects around the region. In Suffolk, Mercer Health and Benefits, Damuth Trane and The Lawson Companies were among more than 20 companies volunteering at local schools, parks and other facilities.
“We look forward to these projects every year because they get work done that we normally couldn’t,” said Jeffrey Zeigler, community relations coordinator at The Children’s Center. “These are projects you typically hire people for, but they did it as volunteers.”
Zeigler said both Damuth Trane and Target helped at two of the center’s facilities.
The volunteers washed the center’s vehicles, added mulch to the flowerbeds and also cleaned inside the buildings.
The Lawson Companies assisted at Driver Elementary School, primarily with beautification projects.
Volunteers painted portions of the building’s exterior and playground equipment, several classrooms and the gym. They also cleared out the brush in the courtyard.
“Having attractive colors will help with the kids’ learning environment,” said Nick Vogel, marketing specialist at The Lawson Companies.
Steve Lawson, chairman of the company, said the students’ gratitude was reassuring.
“They all waved and said thank you,” he said.
Melodie Griffin, the school’s principal, was appreciative of the company’s services.
“This is a small thing that means something great to us,” she said.
Mercer Health and Benefits performed landscaping work at Bennetts Creek Park.
“I appreciate what those folks did,” Zeigler said.