With inflation running near a 40-year high, more people are having difficulty making ends meet. That also goes for groups and organizations that help those in need.
Last week, United Way of Morgan County held its annual Day of Caring.
On Tuesday, more than 200 volunteers helped complete 32 projects for various community organizations. For example, some volunteers went to the Oak Park Boys & Girls Club, where they painted a new science, technology, engineering and math lab.
“We have a STEM teacher that comes in two days a week,” said Maurice Ayers, director of the Oak Park Boys & Girls Club.
Ayers said the volunteers help with his organization’s expenses.
“We would have to contract someone out to come in and paint that; it probably would have been over $1,000,” he said.
Maybe $1,000 doesn’t sound like a lot of money, especially given how much more almost everything costs nowadays, but that’s $1,000 that the Boys & Girls Club can devote to its main mission instead of facility maintenance.
Each year, United Way’s Day of Caring gives local businesses and individuals a way to help out their community, and each year, those volunteers answer the call.
This year, United Way of Morgan County is going a step further, with an encore Day of Caring for civic clubs. It takes place this coming Saturday.
Kathleen Ross, president and CEO of United Way of Morgan County, said Saturday’s event is a combined effort of several civic clubs: Rotary Club of Decatur, Rotary Club of Decatur Daybreak, Decatur Lions Club and Kiwanis Club of Decatur.
“Representatives from all of them are getting together and they’re going to mix in, so it won’t be one group doing one project and another group doing a different project,” Ross said. “It’ll be some Rotary folks and some Kiwanis and some Lions Club all working on the same projects. Just to kind of remind everyone that we’re all in this together and we’re all about improving our community and serving within our community.”
The groups are working on Saturday, Ross said, because the weekend better fits their schedule than the the work week, which better suits the businesses that give their employees time to volunteer.
While events like the Day of Caring bring attention to the community’s needs, those needs don’t vanish the rest of the year. There is always a call for people to volunteer their time and money to help those who are less fortunate — or, as with the Boys & Girls Club, those who just need a little extra attention.
For ways you can help, see today’s How to Help on the Inspirations page, D4.