The 28th annual Days of Caring event hosted by the United Way of Hancock County in Ohio was a big success with 1,000 volunteers assigned to 130 community service projects. The week-long event held in early May had volunteers spread out across the City of Findlay and Hancock County supporting dozens of local nonprofits.
In the days leading up to the spring event, signups soared to 1,000. Marathon Petroleum employees accounted for about 800 of the total volunteers.
"I always find Days of Caring inspiring, but it was incredible this year to see a record turnout," said Sarah Mayle, volunteer coordinator for United Way of Hancock County. "A large portion of that number was made up of Marathon employees - your great work is appreciated and evident all throughout the county. You have made a tremendous impact."
United Way estimates volunteers logged a combined 4,000 community service hours, which is equivalent to about $120,000 in value to the local economy—despite some not-so-great weather conditions volunteers had to dodge throughout the week.
“As we’ve seen again and again, our people found a way to do what they could to help those in need and to make our shared community a better place to call home,” said Ashley Goecke, Community Investment Specialist at Marathon Petroleum.
Working in four-hour shifts, volunteers from Marathon Petroleum took on a variety of tasks from landscaping to cleaning. One of the more notable projects brought Marathon employees together with the Vietnam Memorial Fund and Owens Community College to assemble The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The mobile exhibit honoring veterans of the Vietnam War and a digital display featuring hometown heroes was set up at the Owens Community College campus and on display in Findlay from May 12-17.
This year, the United Way changed things up some to ensure the people who work and volunteer at these nonprofits throughout the year were also recognized.
"Through all of COVID-19, our frontline workers were feeding people, making sure people were housed, and making sure that others were safe this entire time," said United Way of Hancock County CEO Angela Debosky. "To show our appreciation, we had some volunteer teams go out and do special projects like bring the staffs’ cars in to get detailed. It was our way of saying 'We see you. We care. We're behind you.'"
The United Way is planning its Fall Days of Caring for Sept. 19-21.