In recognition of National Volunteer Week, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange region supported a number of events that brought together community volunteers with local not-profit agencies that needed a helping hand. Throughout the National Volunteer Week of April 6-13, business and service groups from across the two counties joined forces to do such things as paint, tutor, sort food donations, and collect personal hygiene products for those in need.
Employees from United Way's corporate partner, Metal Container, sorted food items into nutrition packages to support the work of the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley. “The group was instrumental in allowing thousands of pounds of donated product to stay in the Hudson Valley. They enthusiastically donated weekend time to serve their neighbors and community," said Steve Swyryt, Special Projects Coordinator of the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
Volunteer employees from Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union (HVFCU) coordinated with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County to provide one-on-one financial literacy mentoring to students at Horizons on the Hudson Elementary School in Newburgh. “My colleagues and I strive to create a culture of volunteerism at the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union. We’re pretty involved in a big spectrum of causes and always looking for new activities, " said Charles Walwyn, Business Development Officer at HVFCU.
Cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point joined with Elant staffers to paint and clean a senior residence at one of the senior health and wellness service provider's locations. "We are extremely grateful to the cadets who spent a Saturday with us sharing their labor, and more importantly, their time to help us beautify Elant for our senior residents," said Melissa McCoy, Director of Elant's Corporate Initiatives.
For a one month period, the community service honors society Eta Sigma Delta at the Culinary Institute of America and the Marist Campus Ministry of Marist College collected personal hygiene products for donation to The Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center. Hundreds of items were collected and donated for the GHVFHC to distribute to their clients in need. “As college students, we may not have a lot but there is always something we can do to give back to others," said Marist student Melissa Gray. " At Eta Sigma Delta, we believe and trust in each other and support each other’s community involvement passions while we’re away at school. As a result we help many local nonprofits.”
Eleven collection boxes were placed around the two college campuses in Dutchess County. More than 1,000 items, including toothbrushes, shampoo, soap and washcloths, were donated to the GHVFHC.
National Volunteer Week is a nationwide civic and volunteer initiative that promotes the spirit of volunteerism and supports the work of non-profits in our community. United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region support this recognition week each year as part of its annual Day of Caring initiative to promote volunteerism, increase awareness of the work done every day by non-profits throughout our region, and demonstrate what people working together for the community's good can accomplish. Volunteers received a Day of Caring t-shirt as a small token of appreciation for their time and commitment.
"We greatly appreciate the support from the schools, businesses, and volunteers who so generously gave of their time and talent to assist our area non-profits which goes a long way in helping them provide care and service to the residents of our communities," said Donald Hammond, president & CEO, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. "Volunteers are at the forefront of everything we do at United Way and volunteerism is core to our United Way mission. It's thanks to them that we are able to do what we do."
Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week draws the support and endorsement of the president and Congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country. National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change - discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.
Additional information about United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region is available online at www.uwdor.org.