Despite a chilly start to the day, lime green Day of Caring t-shirts could be seen across the Tri-County as more than 5,200 volunteers completed a total of 278 projects for Trident United Way's 18th annual Day of Caring, brought to you by Ingevity.
"Many companies want you to help the community, but the most they might do is collect donations," Chen Zhang, a first-time Day of Caring volunteer from Ingevity said as he painted the inside of an empty space on Reynolds Ave. in North Charleston. "It's so great to see so many employees out here volunteering today."
Nearly 70 Ingevity volunteers partnered with Metanoia to help paint indoor and outdoor walls on Reynolds Ave. or assist individual homeowners in the community with repairs and yardwork. It was one of 137 companies who chose to spend the day volunteering in the community.
"Our employees have always enjoyed participating in Day of Caring and we're excited to have a larger role this year as the presenting sponsor," Ingevity President & CEO Michael Wilson said. "Our mission is to purify, protect and enhance the world around us. This extends to the communities in which we operate and the Charleston area which we call home."
Volunteers invested 25,000 hours into their community painting, planting, landscaping and building at 139 different schools and nonprofit agencies. Trident United Way estimates that Day of Caring provided $277,750 in value to the community through volunteer time.* Without this, agencies and schools would have had to budget for these projects or leave them incomplete.
"It makes me happy to get out into the community to help others," Jasmine Jarvis of LS3P Associates said. She and her colleagues build buddy benches at Dr. Eugene Sires Elementary for students to sit with animals from the school farm yard. "It's not something typical, it's more creative. They'll sit on these and use them every day."
"I've been part of Trident United Way's Day of Caring since its very first one in 2000," Trident United Way CEO Chris Kerrigan said. "It's great to see how this day has grown over the past 18 years and how many people are involved year after year. It really does illustrate the capacity for change we can all have working together."
Trident United Way encouraged Day of Caring participants to upload their photos to Facebook and Twitter, tag Trident United Way and use the #DayOfCaring hashtag. The original post with the most likes won a catered lunch for 25 people from Covelli Enterprises and Panera Bread. Sand Hill Elementary School Assistant Principal Priscilla Johnson won the contest by showcasing the beautiful work that Publix volunteers and students from University School of the Lowcountry did putting positive messages on the doors of the bathrooms to increase students' self-esteem.