600 United Way Volunteers Complete 140 Projects on Day of Caring

Story submitted by United Way of Payne County

600 volunteers completed more than 140 community service projects across Payne County during United Way of Payne County’s Day of Caring on Thursday, September 15th

“Day of Caring is a continuing tradition in Payne County that showcases community spirit, generosity and the willingness to work together to help those in need, “ Ruth Cavins, United Way of Payne County Executive Director, said.

The Day of Caring, beginning in Payne County in 1996, is an annual single-day event where volunteers support the United Way’s 22 nonprofit partner agencies and local community service organizations.

Some of the benefiting agencies included Stillwater Mobile Meals, YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Stillwater Group Homes, Our Daily Bread, Stillwater Senior Residences, Yale Public Schools, Cushing Youth Center and many more. Volunteers completed projects in Stillwater, Perkins, Cushing and Yale.

Volunteers assisted with projects including lawn work, painting, cleaning, building fences, major repairs and much more. These projects support the United Way’s partner agencies and their clients, improve and beautify public spaces, and foster comradery among the participants. 

Day of Caring is also the official launch of the United Way’s “United We Thrive” annual fundraising campaign. For the first time its 70-year history, United Way has set a fundraising goal of $1,000,000.

“The needs of our community are greater than ever,” Cavins said. “But when we care together, we thrive together. Seeing the support of friends, family and neighbors on Day of Caring, gives us hope that we can reach our fundraising goal.”

For the 19th year in a row, retired Captain Kyle Gibbs of the Stillwater Police Department coordinated projects and volunteers as a Day of Caring co-chair. Angela Pradia with Shelter Insurance also served as a Day of Caring co-chair.

“By people volunteering their time and sponsors donating their dollars and materials, that’s money that these partner agencies and organizations don’t have to take out of their budget for maintenance needs,” Gibbs said.

Local businesses make Day of Caring successful by contributing necessary materials and supplies to complete projects. Stillwater Medical Center was the presenting sponsor with their $5,000 donation for supplies. This year’s major sponsors included Enbridge, Kicker, BancFirst, Simmons Bank, Exchange Bank, Bryson Homes and OSU Division of Institutional Diversity.

Additional sponsorship came from Payne County Bank, Udoka Law, Community Escrow & Title, Central Rural Electric Cooperative, Edward Jones, Legacy Village of Stillwater, Manhattan Construction, Metro First Realty Unlimited, OnCue, OSU Foundation, RCB Bank, The Bank NA and the United Way Board of Directors.

Arvest Bank, Casey’s, CBEW, Dearingers, Dr. Stephanie Kendrick, InterWorks, Quilting Post, Razook’s Drug, Tiger Drug, Nate’s Tree Service, OK Quality Printing and Iron Monk also contributed resources. 

Day of Caring was originally a national United Way event held all over the country on a specific day in the fall. “Days” of Caring are now scheduled throughout the year in thousands of communities.

When you donate to United Way of Payne County, you support the work of 22 nonprofits, which collectively impact more than 73,000 Payne County individuals and families each year. To learn more or donate visit www.unitedwaypaynecounty.org or call 405-377-2161.