Time – the most precious gift you can give.

September 2018 Blog, Stephanie Bray 

The ancient storyteller Aesop once said, “What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” 

Aesop was on to something: at the very core of our humanity is a desire to help others. Isn’t that the true meaning of philanthropy? Our love for one another? What we give and to who is how we express that love. The gift of money is most certainly important. However, I believe that the gift of time—volunteerism– is infinitely precious and along with the dollars we give, is a force that can change the world.

At United Way, we believe that volunteers are the heart and soul of our communities. Without them, we could not fulfill our mission of mobilizing and integrating resources to improve people’s lives. United Way volunteers give thousands of hours to the community every year. Those precious hours are spent helping kids who are struggling to read, preparing tax returns for low-income families, serving on a Board or committee, or organizing an employee giving campaign. Every moment given has the power to change a life. This is why our United Way is making sure that anyone who wants to volunteer can do so. 

So, how can you help? Join us for United Way’s 6th Annual Day of Caring on September 21 and September 22 and be one of at least 1,000 volunteers that give their time to build community gardens, sort food, and beautify schools and neighborhoods. Since 2013, 3,692 volunteers have generously donated 18,054 hours on the Day of Caring.  That is the equivalent of thousands of dollars, but its value is priceless to the organizations we serve and the people we help. 

We are especially grateful to Nationwide for being the presenting sponsor for Day of Caring, and to the 100+ Nationwide employees who will be volunteering that day. 

This year, we will be taking our show on the road with the Care to Give bus tour. We’ll share stories about how volunteerism transforms communities and provide “pop-up” volunteer opportunities to make bookmarks or puppets for area children or to write an inspirational note to local teachers. I invite you to visit us on Wednesday, September 19th between 7:30 a.m – 10:30 a.m. at 10th and L street and or at 18th and L street between 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Or on Thursday, September 20th at the Capitol Mall Farmers Market between 10 a.m.– 1:30 p.m.   

I hope you will be inspired to lend a helping hand. Whether on the Day of Caring or throughout the year, we need as much help as you are willing to give. You can always visit our website to look for one-time projects or ongoing opportunities. Every moment counts. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Thank you, Aesop, for that powerful reminder.