Lowell, ARK – United Way of Northwest Arkansas will host LIVE UNITED Day 2010, formerly known as Day of Caring, on Thursday, April 15. LIVE UNITED Day 2010, generously sponsored by GE Consumer Finance, is an event that facilitates volunteerism and community engagement throughout the Northwest Arkansas region.
This is one of the largest one-day volunteer events held in Northwest Arkansas, during which volunteers from across the area give their time and sweat to complete much needed projects at nonprofit agencies. Employees who are unable to volunteer were invited to wear jeans to work for a $5 donation to the United Way – this is the first year for Jeans Day to be incorporated into LIVE UNITED Day, though it has been hosted as a separate event before. With both of these methods to participate, LIVE UNITED Day is a far-reaching event for residents to stand united to advance the good of all in our community.
Volunteers come from local workplaces that recognize the value of being involved in the community in a significant and direct manner. This year, there are 726 volunteers donating 3,970 hours to 65 projects at 51 nonprofit organizations. Each hour of volunteer work is currently considered worth $20.25. This amounts to over $80,394 worth of time donated to the community! In addition, thirteen companies are hosting a Jeans Day, and there are over 200 expected individual jeans-wearers.
Volunteer projects are wide in variety – some volunteers find themselves at the end of the day with paint in every wrinkle of the skin on their hands, others with blisters from garden tools, and still others with a simple feeling of accomplishment (and a few paper cuts!) after folding and stacking thousands of newsletters. These are projects that enrich our community by simplifying the workload of non-profit agencies that are otherwise unable to complete these important tasks – or might be forced to utilize scarce and precious resources. LIVE UNITED Day also provides important time to build relationships amongst for-profit and non-profit sectors.
Volunteers were able to sign up for projects using the United Way of Northwest Arkansas’ volunteer website – unitedwaynwa.org/ volunteer. This is a website that connects willing people with opportunities to give time to help others in their local community, and all not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to post projects year-round.
While LIVE UNITED Day is an annual event, it is also an important catalyst for promoting civic engagement year-round. Having one place for individuals and workplaces in the region to view volunteer opportunities at any time through unitedwaynwa.org/volunteer is an important resource.
Historically, Wal-mart and Sam’s Club associates make up more than half of the teams participating in LIVE UNITED Day. That is true again this year as they continue to be a corporate leader for community engagement in Northwest Arkansas.
Other companies who are participating by giving their employees time to volunteer as part of LIVE UNITED Day 2010 include: Anheuser-Busch (new!), Arvest Bank, Bank of America, Bekaert, Cobb-Vantress, Cryovac (new!), Ernst & Young, First Security Bank, GE Finance, Harps Food Stores, Inc., JV Manufacturing, Inc., La-Z-Boy Arkansas, Metropolitan Bank, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, Northwest Medical Center – Bentonville, Outdoor Cap Company, Prairie Grove Telephone Company, Pratt & Whitney PSD, Procter & Gamble, Sara Lee (new!), Simmons First Bank, Bank of Fayetteville, Troop 2144, UPS, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Companies hosting a Jeans Day as part of LIVE UNITED Day 2010 include: Arvest Bank, Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber, ConAgra Foods, Ernst & Young, JC Penney’s in Rogers, Kimberly Clark, Northwest Arkansas Community College, Signature Bank of Arkansas in Siloam Springs, and the University of Arkansas.
For more information on where volunteers will be spending their time, please contact Brooke Benoit at 479.750.1221 (work), 479.685.4930 (cell) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After April 15th, please visit unitedwaynwa.org/blog to see stories from staff and volunteers about their experiences on this day to LIVE UNITED as a community and give some sweat equity to advance the good of all.
About United Way of Northwest Arkansas
United Way is dedicated to helping advance the good of all in our community through focusing on the key issue areas of education, income and health to create lasting changes in our community. By engaging individuals and companies around giving, advocating and volunteering for these types of issues we can all work to Live United in Northwest Arkansas. For more information about how to Live United or about the work of United Way in Northwest Arkansas, please visit our website: unitedwaynwa.org.