Caring for the Community

    In early May, the United Way of Baldwin County held its annual Day of Caring, an opportunity in which volunteers throughout the community donated both their time and energy toward a total of nine service projects in Baldwin County.

    “The Day of Caring is actually a national event conducted through United Way in communities all over the country,” said Executive Director Marina Simpson. “While we host volunteer events throughout the year, the Day of Caring is designed for volunteers to join forces on one day and effectively complete a project to benefit one of our agencies.”

    This year, a total of 100 volunteers participated in Day of Caring and spent their time doing everything from reading to pre-school children, to sorting food, to planting flower beds, to building a wheelchair ramp…just to name a few.

    “Every year we try to identify projects all across the county, with some held indoors and some held outdoors, and which require a variety of different skill sets,” Simpson said. “That way, when we have an individual who wants to volunteer, we can pretty much guarantee we can find a project that’s a good fit for them.”

    Baldwin EMC had two employees participate in Day of Caring this year, including Member Service Representative Kim Williams, who spent her time at the Care House (Baldwin County Child Advocacy Center, a resource and referral source on child abuse) in Bay Minette.

    “The Care House is literally an old house, and the main hallway and waiting room area needed a little sprucing up,” Williams said. “We put a fresh coat of paint on the walls to try and make the space brighter and more inviting. We had a great group of volunteers and after we collected our supplies and came up with a game plan, the time went by quickly and it was actually a lot of fun.”

    While Williams said she enjoyed her time spent in service, she said it tugged on her heart, too.

    “There were moments, while I was painting, that I would start thinking about the children that come through those doors,” she said. “It makes me sad, but it also makes me thankful that the Care House exists to give them somewhere to go. And while I’m not equipped to help those kids physically or emotionally, if I can paint a cheerful color on the walls to make them just a little more comfortable when they arrive at the Care House, I am so grateful to be able to do that.”

    “As I like to say, if non-profits were not doing what they are doing, Baldwin County would not look like it does today,” Simpson said. “Our volunteers and our non-profit agencies are the unsung heroes. And if we don’t all do our part to better our community, we can’t expect to continue to live in the kind of community we know and love.”

    “Working on a service project to help someone else brings people together in a way that’s really indescribable,” Williams said. “In my case, I was working with other people I’d never met before and I didn’t know what to expect, but we all pitched in to complete this project. I am very encouraged to do it again.”