Nearly 70 volunteers came together on Tuesday, September 11th for United Way of Greater New Bedford’s annual Day of Caring. This annual event meant more this year as it was held as part of the September 11th National Day of Service & Remembrance.
Volunteers donated over 235 hours to complete multiple projects at YMCA Southcoast Sharing the Harvest Community Farm in Dartmouth. These projects included cleaning seedling trays, weeding beds of sweet potatoes, packaging 4,100 pounds of butternut squash, pulling up over 3,000 feet of plastic and 500 feet of tomato stake used during the growing season. Many of these projects helped to prepare the farm for the next growing season.
“It was an incredible day,” said Maia Shwartz, Executive Director, YMCA Southcoast Dartmouth. “Day of Caring was a huge help since we were really struggling to keep up with these important tasks. It was extra special having the United Way of Greater New Bedford staff volunteer alongside their corporate supporters. We really couldn’t do what we do at the farm without United Way. They are the ones that ensure our produce makes it to those most in need.”
YMCA Southcoast and United Way have been partners for over 10 years with Sharing the Harvest. Each year, the farm produces nearly 100,000 pounds of fresh produce and eggs that are donated to United Way’s Hunger Commission and delivered to local food pantries for families and individuals in need.
The Day of Caring is an opportunity for United Way to leverage its relationships with its corporate partners and get them involved directly involved. Many local companies participated including: Bank of America, BankFive, BayCoast Bank, Bristol County Savings Bank, First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union, Southcoast Health, St. Anne’s Credit Union, Sylvia Group and The Nemasket Group. This year all of the United Way’s staff also participated in the event.
“Day of Caring has been a long-standing United Way tradition to bring the community together through volunteerism,” said Victoria Grasela, Director of Marketing & Community Relations. “Having all of our Day of Caring volunteers work at Sharing the Harvest this year allowed volunteers to see the full impact of what happens when we come together.”
The Day of Caring was generously sponsored by BayCoast Bank, Bristol County Savings Bank, and St. Anne’s Credit Union. Dominos and Stop & Shop donated lunch and water for all volunteers.
To find upcoming volunteer opportunities with United Way or other local organizations, visit www.volunteersouthcoast.org today.