WORCESTER – Whether it’s beautifying the grounds or applying a new coat of paint to spruce up the premises, about 500 volunteers joined forces on Friday for United Way’s annual Day of Caring.
Wearing matching black t-shirts with the mantra “Stronger Together”, 36 businesses and community partners were to participate in 44 community service projects in 34 partner agencies.
Using paint rollers and a little elbow grease, volunteers from Coghlin Companies applied a new coat of paint to a 300 foot retaining wall at the Lakeside Apartments of the Worcester Housing Authority, while The Worcester Leadership Class of 2022 dug holes and planted flower beds.
A total of 40 gallons of “grave gray” paint was to be used for the wall, while 100 new plants were placed in the ground, said Shaun Flynn, assistant maintenance supervisor for the WHA.
“I love working with volunteers,” Flynn said. “It’s great to bring people out of the community and help us a lot. “
Fallon Health representatives also volunteered at Lakeside Apartments and Friendly House, and participated in a neighborhood clean-up around Community Healthlink alongside volunteers from Community Healthlink.
Later that day, the WPI Alpha Xi Delta Fellowship and Community Legal Aid volunteered to help create new flower beds at the WHA.
“We are really excited,” said Erin Wilson, assistant vice president of resident services at the WHA. “We are really trying to beautify the property.
Wilson said she very much appreciated all of the groups that came to the apartment complex and put their efforts together.
“I like having volunteers on the property,” Wilson said. “I think our residents like to see someone come to do something good for their community. It is beautifying. It helps us to have a nice place for our residents. “
Virginia Conti, associate director of development at United Way of Central Massachusetts, said last year that it was difficult for her agency to have her day of care due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated by unpredictable New England weather conditions.
So last year United Way had volunteers who mostly did outdoor projects, a practice they continue to do this year, Conti said.
Alpha Xi Delta, alongside WPI Theta Nu Xi fraternity, also did some gardening work at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, while WPI Alpha Chi Rho fraternity did cleanup work at AIDS Project Worcester Inc. and Open Sky Community Service.
The College of the Holy Cross offered its services to clean the Cookson and Gateway parks.
Several groups from UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Medical School volunteered at Belmont Street School, City View School, Genesis Club, GHNA Grant Square Garden, St. Joan of Arc, Tot Lot Playground, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Worcester Community Refrigerator and YOU Inc. Teen Program.
Unum volunteers did the exterior beautification at Girls Inc. of Worcester and helped close Camp Blanchard at the YMCA of Central Massachusetts in Sutton.
Other volunteer groups and their places of work included Mastermans at Auburn Youth and Family Services in Auburn; Quinsigamond Community College at Belmont AME Zion Church; National Grid at the Boys & Girls Club in Worcester; CS Energy and ProVerde Labs at Habitat for Humanity – MetroWest / Greater Worcester; Ramp program at the Hector Reyes house; Slatwall Commerce at Jeremiah’s Inn; Hanover Insurance at Mission E4; MassEDCo and Worcester Red Sox at Net of Compassion; eighth grade class from the Nativity School at Pernet’s family health service; Worcester Green Corps at the Rainbow Child Development Center; LUK Inc., InHome Home Services and Elder Services of Worcester Area Inc. at the Regional Environmental Council; Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester at the Seven Hills Foundation in Holden; Worcester Railers and Worcester Renegades board members of Worcester Renegades Youth Street Hockey; Webster Five at the family branch of the Greendale YMCA; Justice Resources Institute at the YWCA Camp Wind in the Pines; Kayanna James and her friends at Abby’s,
On Saturday, volunteers from the Shrewsbury High School athletic team will rehabilitate the benches in the dining hall at Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts Camp Laurelwood in Spencer.