It’s all helping hands on deck

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United Way to marshal volunteer efforts for local Day of Action

United Way of Denton County is getting into action this month and hopes the community follows along.

Officials announced the agency’s first local Day of Action on June 21, a day set aside for residents to volunteer in a number of ways to help improve their community. This is the sixth year for the nationwide Day of Action but the first time it has been held locally.

“Its purpose is to give the community a day to rally around some of our local nonprofits who can be helped through some sweat equity projects or helping an organization drive for materials for their cause,” said Gary Henderson, president and CEO of the United Way of Denton County.

Starting June 16, people will have a chance to jump on community service projects and product drives to help local organizations. Among the beneficiaries of this year’s Day of Action are Denton County Friends of the Family, Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Denton Christian Preschool, Hope Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Denton County, The Arc of Denton County and Evers Park Elementary School.

The week’s activities will wrap up June 21 with a rally from noon to 3 p.m. at the Denton United Way office, 1314 Teasley Lane. The event will include children’s activities, live music, a blood drive for Carter BloodCare and a chance for people to learn more about continuing to volunteer with local organizations.

“I’m excited we have 11 distinct projects,” Henderson said. “We expect more companies to come on board, which will bring us volunteers in greater numbers. ... [We’re] working with some really cool nonprofits.”

Henderson said the agency is still looking for more volunteers, civic groups and faith-based organizations to participate.

The local participation was suggested by Awo Eni, a social media intern and now project coordinator for the Day of Action.

“I was looking through the calendar of events that could possibly benefit from social media,” she said. “I saw the World Wide Web site they had for the Day of Action and looked into further what it was about. I asked if this is something we could do and they gave me the go-ahead, so I started looking into how Denton County could execute it in a successful way.”

Eni said it’s taken a lot of work to bring together the organizations, volunteers and other resources for the day.

“It’s an opportunity for citizens to learn about the needs of the community through community service,” she said. “For me, success would be people living in Denton County will get the opportunity not just to serve their community on this one day but get the opportunity to find long-term service projects they can do throughout the year.”

For more information about the Day of Action, scheduled drives and projects, or to register an organization or group, visit www.unitedwaydenton.org.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.


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