Last Saturday, April 21, more than 1,100 volunteers joined efforts at nearly 80 project sites around Lebanon County for United Way of Lebanon County’s 22nd annual Day of Caring volunteer event – the largest one-day volunteer event in Lebanon County. Lebanon County residents came together to work on projects such as beautification, trash clean-up, and painting at various locations around the county.
Then, after the service projects, families enjoyed participating in two simultaneous free events in the afternoon: the Spring Into Reading Fest at the Lebanon Community Library, and Play 60 at the Lebanon Valley Family YMCA. Both events were open to the public and featured interactive activity stations for kids, music, food, and more. In addition, United Way held a ribbon cutting ceremony to launch the new Born Learning Trail, a resource for families and young children. More information can be found here.
Starting with a breakfast at Lebanon High School, the morning was filled with smiles and an energetic buzz as students, families, corporate teams, church groups, and nonprofit organizations prepared to step out of their comfort zones and (literally) get their hands dirty while volunteering together.
WellSpan Health, presenting sponsor of the Day of Caring, partnered with United Way to make the event possible, and Tom Harlow, President of WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, offered some inspiring words to kick off the day of giving back.
After a group photo, volunteers headed toward their project sites, including many trash clean-up areas around the City of Lebanon; mulching and beautification projects at Coleman Park, Quittie Park, and the grounds of several nonprofits; tree-planting at Stoever’s Dam Park; cleaning up the Quittie, and gardening outside the YMCA. Other volunteers participated in events at retirement communities, recycling projects, delivering donated personal care items to nonprofits and food pantries, or
Later that morning, the excitement was palpable along 7th street, as volunteer groups in their Live United t-shirts could be seen working left and right, and setup was underway for the Born Learning Trail ribbon cutting ceremony, the Spring Into Reading Fest, and Play 60. It was a great day to be in downtown Lebanon!
The afternoon events were well-attended by families, with more than 150 children and their families attending the 2nd annual Spring Into Reading Fest, where musician Steven Courtney provided children’s music, the library handed out free books, and kids could participate in activity stations that encourage learning and exploration. Fulton Bank and the Lebanon Elks provided food outside.
The first Play 60 event was high-energy and fun, with Lebanon Valley College students teaching kids how to do different exercises, plus featured classes and demos including topics like kids yoga, a parent-child partner workout, healthy cooking, and planting tomato plants to take home. Made possible by numerous volunteers, these two events made for a great addition to the day.
Photos from Day of Caring can be viewed at www.unitedwaylebco.org, and additional photos are continuing to be added. Volunteers are encouraged to continue posting pictures from the Day of Caring on social media using the hashtag #DayofCaring.
Article published April 27, 2018.