Community Gives Back on Day of Caring

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EUGENE, Ore. — United Way of Lane County held its annual Day of Caring event all over Lane County Wednesday.

More than 500 people took a break from their regular schedule to volunteer, including several 4J School Board members to do community service.

School board members worked on the garden at Art and Technology Academy, weeding, changing the compost and doing a lot of manual labor. Despite a full agenda for Wednesday night’s school board meeting, they say it was important for them to participate.

“I know other volunteers are out working at various nonprofit agencies, and we as a school board chose to be engaged in an activity at a school because I think it’s probably more meaningful that way,” said Mary Walston, 4J School Board Vice-Chair.

It means a lot to those involved, especially those getting the help.

More than 30 nonprofit agencies in Lane County got a hand. And while a good number of them help out folks in our local community, it’s not just people benefiting from the Day of Caring, but animals, too.

“I think that more and more people are realizing that we share this world with wildlife,” said Louise Shimmel, Executive Director of Cascades Raptor Center.

About 35 volunteers made the drive out to the Cascade Raptor Center to help build two new aviaries for the display birds.

“It really gives the organization a big boost on projects, on stuff sometimes their own volunteers who are so busy with day to day stuff can’t always get to,” Shimmel said.

But no matter what they were doing, everyone involved agreed, this was an easy way to make a difference.

“The Day of Caring is a great way for people to give back to the community, whether it’s at a garden like this or filing in a nonprofit organization, doing paperwork, it’s just a way to give back to the community and support a lot of great agencies,” Walston said.

You may have missed out on participating in this year’s Day of Caring event, but it’s never too late to lend a helping hand. To check out some volunteering opportunities near you, click here.

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