The Porter County United Way Gets Ready for the Day of Caring

The banquet rooms of Strongbow Inn were abuzz on Friday morning as people excitedly talked and laughed and started the morning right with a great breakfast and great friends. It was a special day that brought all of these like-minded individuals together, as it was the annual United Way Day of Caring.

The Day of Caring is an annual event that celebrates volunteerism throughout the region. Teams from local businesses and organizations to tackle projects and help out with the local nonprofits.

“We decided that it would be great to have this regional initiative because volunteerism is a constant. So whatever the mission of a particular United Way is, we drive that mission by mobilizing volunteers.”Kathy Wojkovich, the Regional Volunteer Center Director for United Way, said excitedly. “Today is the kickoff breakfast for Porter County. Strongbow has been wonderful for the past eight years. This is their project. They play host to about 450 people and we get everyone fired up and give them a nice breakfast to fuel them up, then we send them out to their project sites.”

Nonprofit organizations post project needs on the United Way website and each group chooses a project that they would like to complete. Then everyone goes out on one day to finish their prospective projects. The range is wide with needs from spreading mulch and painting exteriors to walking dogs and reading to kids. There are also projects where groups host cookouts and bingo games. It’s really a mass effort of kindness.

“We have projects going on at two of our clubs this morning,”Cathie Dull, Assistant Director of Resource Development for the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County said. “And we are here this morning for United Way. They are our project. We are going to be out in the field taking photos of the project sites. This is a great way to give back. United Way does so much for [the Boys and Girls Club] and the volunteers from United Way do so much for us. This is a great way to say thanks and give back. We’re really grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that.”

The breakfast was a fun event not only because of the great food, but because of the speakers. Co-Campaign Chairs Greg and Liz Farrall were front and center along with Porter County United WayPresident Sharon Kish and Lakeshore Public Television anchor Jodi Juhl (and Porter County United Way board member) as they riled up the troops for the day ahead.

“Today we’re very excited to disclose our Be The One Campaign. It’s a great mantra and today you are the one,” Mr. Farrall said to the crowd. “…Today is a fantastic day throughout Porter County and you should be very proud of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.”

The new Be The One Campaign video was shown and everyone in the room reacted with enthusiastic applause. Juhl then took the floor and announced each group and the project that they were taking on that day. Each group jumped to their feet when their company name was announced and waved big blue foam fingers that matched with their blue shirts and cheered for the cause.

“You guys are the ones and you are all fantastic,” Juhl said excitedly. “I absolutely love the Porter County United Way! I’ve been a board member and I’ve learned so much by being on this board. The people here are so committed…they are so in tune with what they are doing. They are so careful with the money that is donated and they will spend hours in meetings. They take their jobs incredibly serious.”

After breakfast, everyone parted ready to take on the day and complete their chosen projects. So much good all happening at one time; it makes you proud to be from such great communities that Porter County holds.

{valpo}Click here to see more photos from the kickoff breakfast!{/valpo}{portage}Click here to see more photos from the kickoff breakfast!{/portage}

Click here to see the Porter County United Way's website and find them on Facebook!