In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year, United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) integrated volunteerism into a Day of Service.
On Monday, January 15, UWECI staff and several Youth Achievement AmeriCorps members had the opportunity to volunteer during morning and afternoon shifts at several local nonprofit agencies. Not only did this make an impact for clients at each agency, but staff also learned more about the nonprofits' missions and how needed their services are in our community.
The four volunteer opportunities included:
Renaissance Fair Prep at the Cedar Rapids Public Library: Staff met at the Cedar Rapids Public Library to help library staff and volunteers prepare for their upcoming Renaissance Fair that weekend. United Way volunteers sewed, ironed, and organized decorations and centerpieces for the fair. More than 3,000 people attend this event.
Youth Activities at Boys & Girls Club of Cedar Rapids: At their Olivet Church location, Boys and Girls Club welcomed UWECI staff to join in on activites with youth. They decorated cupcakes, colored, read stories, played board games, and had a dance off with children and teens. Staff enjoyed the smiles they received as thanks for volunteering!
Cleaning at the Willis Dady Shelter: At Willis Dady, staff helped clean up several areas of the shelter including client areas, lobby, upstairs, and donation room. Their hard work ensures clients have a safe and clean environment.
Cleaning at The Arc of East Central Iowa: To combat the spread of germs and illnesses during this flu season, United Way staff participated in multiple cleaning projects at the Arc. They also helped prepare projects for their upcoming summer program for children.
In addition to volunteering, United Way staff also attended Downton Rotary's Service Above Self awards luncheon at the DoubleTree in honor of MLK Jr. Day. We hope to have this Day of Service in the future, as well.
Thank you again to the nonprofits and staff who served our community through one of these opportunities and allowed each of us, together, to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life.