Helping Senior Citizens in the Cass Clay Community
Students and businesses caring for the community
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 16:10
Student and community volunteers across North Dakota helped the elderly in community service projects in United Way’s annual Day of Caring event Thursday.
The purpose of the event is to serve senior citizens of the Cass and Clay counties that require assistance, Thomas Hill, community impact director of the United Way of Cass Clay County, said.
“We send out registration forms to over 800 seniors in the community and invite them to find projects they need help with,” Hill said.
Businesses, individuals, groups, high schools and colleges may all volunteer and are put on teams.
The service teams are matched up with senior citizens who need help with indoor and outdoor chores such as cleaning out gutters, raking leaves, painting and dusting.
The goal is to “get individuals and businesses involved with volunteer projects throughout the community,” Hill said.
Day of Caring started in 1991 with 150 volunteers in a few homes.
The event has expanded in 21 years to now serve over 410 seniors in the community and now organizes more than 2,000 student volunteers statewide and 1,365 local volunteers, Hill said.
Mark Staples, a student council representative from West Fargo High School and the vice president of North Dakota Association of Student Councils, volunteered last year at the United Way Day of Caring.
Staples thought more students could volunteer. He suggested the event be a statewide volunteer day instead of just a local one for the first time in 20 years.
According to Hill, Staples wanted a community project that would involve students across the state.
“Just the experience I had with that [Day of Caring] was just so cool. I thought everyone should be involved in something like that,” Staples said, reported in the Fargo Forum.
Students at NDSU are encouraged to come out and help. It can be a team building activity that builds friendships and bonds, Hill said.
“We value and encourage college students’ participation and involvement in our community,” he said. “We want to hear from college students and mobilize them around issues they are passionate about!”
The United Way Day of Caring took place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
There are over 75 programs United Way supports and many other ways to get involved, Hill said.
The United Way organization is unique to each community it serves. Each service project and program has specific needs to reach out to in the Cass Clay community.
“Please contact me directly… so we know how to assist you in mobilizing volunteer projects,” Hill said.
If students are interested in volunteering at another event, contact Thomas Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information visit www.unitedwaycassclay.org.