OSKALOOSA — This year’s Day of Caring for the United Way of Mahaska County took place on Wednesday and was 140 volunteers strong.
Interim Director Michella Friesen said there were 15 individual projects that volunteers were helping with this year, including three Habitat for Humanity sites and two residential homes.
“We’ve enlisted the help of volunteers for the past 12 years, and it is still our mission to make this day a big success by empowering people through helping and education,” she said. “A lot of the volunteers are part of teams from area businesses, so we are excited to see groups of volunteers who are participating from places like Cargill and MidWest One.”
One group of four volunteers from CLOW visited the North Mahaska Early Childhood Education Center in New Sharon Wednesday morning and cleaned screens and interior and exterior windows.
Another group of five volunteers from MidWestOne did some interior and exterior painting at the Imagine the Possibilities
Mahaska County United Way President Dan Adams was on hand at the kickoff luncheon at the St. Mary’s Parish from 11:30 a.m. To 12:30 p.m. Adams has been involved with the United Way for the past four years, serving on the board and also as a vice-president.
“This is the kickoff for our annual fundraising campaign,” he said, “and our biggest priorities right now are to encourage as many people to give as possible, to empower the teams that are making the big decisions about our work, and to be a central resource for those in the community who want to get involved.”
Adams said they rely heavily on corporate donations and employee payroll deductions for the most part.
Oskaloosa Chamber and Development Group Executive Director Ann Frost helped coordinate the food servers at the opening luncheon. She and her volunteer team said they had already served roughly 100 volunteers by noon, and that they were prepared to serve another 40.
“I believe this is the most that we have ever served at this luncheon event in all the years we’ve been hosting it,” said Frost.
Julie Hyland serves as the accountant in the main United Way office in Oskaloosa, where 2800 pieces of mail were prepared for USPS mailing and 1400 interoffice mailings to go out to local schools, city and county offices, Musco and William Penn University.
“We are basically a staff of two people, so without our volunteers to help us this whole task would be very overwhelming,’ said Hyland.”