The annual United Way Day of Caring kicked off on Friday August 22 in Lake and Porter Counties. Volunteerism is celebrated on this day throughout Northwest Indiana and individual and groups of volunteers came out to give of their time to local nonprofits in the area to help them complete whatever projects they had ready.
The day started out with two large volunteer breakfasts, one held at Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso and the other at Avalon Manor in Merrillville. Here, volunteers geared up for the day with a hearty breakfast and pep talks from United Way members and sponsors.
Afterward, everyone dispersed to go take on their designated projects. In Lake County, some volunteered at Campagna Academy, Haven House, The Mary Lane Center, Humane Society of the Calumet Area, Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs unit in Gary, the Fuller Center and more.
Volunteers in Porter County headed out to places like: Housing Opportunities, VNA of Porter County, Salvation Army of South Haven, multiple Boys and Girls Clubs locations, the Valparaiso YMCA, Opportunity Enterprises, Lakeshore PAWS, A Positive Approach to Teen Health, Dunebrook, Dunes Learning Center, and more.
La Porte County also got involved with a food drive at the United Way of La Porte County location in Michigan City as well as some volunteering of their own at local initiatives.
On top of the out-and-about projects, hundreds of community members in Lake and Porter Counties took part in "Packapalooza". This was the 2nd year for Lake County and their "Packapalooza" took place at Avalon Manor where volunteers put together 66,000 meals that are to be distributed to local hunger relief organizations. This is Porter County's first ever "Packapalooza" and it was held at Porter Regional Hospital. Here the goal was to pack 500 backpacks with school supplies that were to be given to children to help stay well equipped for school.
If the volunteers didn't want to quit after their volunteering stints were done, then they were encouraged to donate blood at the American Red Cross of Porter County Blood Drive. This donation does three times the work because donating blood once can potentially save three lives.
Volunteerism deserves to have a light shined upon it. As any know, volunteers are at work all throughout the year, and the Day of Caring is a great way to highlight the benefits that affect everyone who gives and receives these charitable acts.
For more information on the Day of Caring visit http://www.nwivolunteer.org/
Businesses and Organizations Pictured:
Wolverine Pipeline, National Park Service, Boys and Girls Club of Porter County, McAfee Animal Hospital, Family & Youth Services Bureau, Century 21 Alliance Group, Rittenhouse Senior Living of Portage, 1st Source Bank, Tri Kappa, United Way of La Porte County, United Way of Porter County, Lake Area United Way, United Way of Lake County, Ameristar Casino, Healthy Paws, Pines Village Retirement Communities, Farrall Wealth, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Comforcare, First Merchant's Bank, Valparaiso University Law School, Computer Services Inc, Vendramini Construction, Prompt Ambulance, LNI 36, Porter-Starke Services, Inc., REGIONAL Federal Credit Union, NIPSCO, Valparaiso Swim Club, Opportunity Enterprises, CHASE Bank, Lake County Bar Association, Lakeshore Public TV, Steelworkers Union, South Shore Leadership Center, Family & Youth Services Bureau.
Farrall Wealth, South Shore Leadership Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Porter County, Kaye Frataccia, Family & Youth Services Bureau, Pines Village Retirement Communities, Lakeshore PAWS, Rittenhouse Senior Living of Portage, VNA of Porter County, Opportunity Enterprises, Danielle Eigenmann, Family House, Lake Area United Way, Campagna Academy, Ryan Smiley, Lisa Davenport, Dawn Noel Brown, Emily Chaples, Dunes Learning Center.