Volunteers donate $211,000 worth of work through United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring

Mary Sue HobanAnnouncement, Community Engagement, United Way Events

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring volunteers at project

Did you see them on June 13? Teams of people wearing lime green or lemon yellow t-shirts and working like bees in a hive? When you did, you witnessed our 32nd Day of Caring in action. More than 1,400 volunteers – mostly teams from local employers – worked at 53 locations around Christian, Greene, Taney and Webster counties. Altogether, on that single day in 2024, Day of Caring volunteers donated work worth $210,969 to our community’s nonprofit agencies.

For nonprofits, Day of Caring volunteers do work that the organizations don’t have the budget or staff to do on their own. Projects range from clearing brush and waterways to writing thank you notes to cleaning and painting – whatever the nonprofit chooses.

All charitable, 501(c)(3), organizations in United Way of the Ozarks’ 14-county service area are eligible to host a project. This year, 42 nonprofits joined in. Thanks to local sponsors, there is no fee for any agency or volunteer to participate. We’re proud that Day of Caring is the largest one-day volunteer event in Southwest Missouri!

Gathering together

The happy day began at the Springfield Cardinals’ training facility, where hundreds of volunteers mingled and enjoyed a free breakfast donated by generous local merchants.

Ned Reynolds live from 2024 Day of Caring, with United Way of the Ozarks' Brandi VanAntwerp and Greg Burris

Ned Reynolds live from 2024 Day of Caring, with United Way of the Ozarks’ Brandi Van Antwerp and Greg Burris

Together, they encountered a lively greeting from the Queen City Ukulele Club, photo booths, music, $1,000 worth of donated door prizes and a colorful sendoff from Grupo Latinoamericano dancers.

An extra bonus for those attending the breakfast? Local sports legend Ned Reynolds broadcasting his radio program live onsite.

 

Day of community, purpose and fun

Brandi VanAntwerp, incoming United Way of the Ozarks president/CEO, wished the crowd well during the morning program, “Thank you all. I hope you have a safe and happy and fulfilling day as you give back to others.” Greg Burris, outgoing president/CEO, reinforced the importance of the day’s work, “You are making a meaningful and positive impact on agencies that do necessary and often difficult work. Your community ownership makes a real difference.” Later, he put it in perspective. “It would take Brandi and me – as a team of two – 423 days to accomplish what volunteers did in one day. It gives me goosebumps!”

From breakfast, volunteers ventured out to project sites, going on to perform more than 6,700 hours of labor in an eight-hour day. That’s the power United Way loves mobilizing to create and celebrate positive change in the Ozarks.

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring Committee

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring Committee

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring Grupo Latinoamericano performance

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring volunteers

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring volunteers

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring volunteers

United Way of the Ozarks 2024 Day of Caring volunteers