ESTEVAN - The United Way Estevan is looking for projects and volunteers for its upcoming Day of Caring.
The annual event, which sees people from the community volunteer to complete projects for local residents and organizations, is slated to take place May 25.
Wendy Gustafson, who is a co-chair for the Day of Caring committee, said they are excited to have the event return to normal. The event didn’t occur in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year it was modified to proceed amid COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’m not going to say that last year was not successful, because it was, and bless the people who stepped up to make it as good as we could with all of the restrictions we were under. We still had a good Day of Caring,” said Gustafson.
In 2021, the volunteers could complete outdoor projects, but they couldn’t venture into people’s homes. The annual Day of Caring barbecue also couldn’t happen.
“There are so many things about it that are just really exciting. And I guess you don’t realize how … valuable and how great it is, until it’s taken away from you. Then when you have the opportunity to go back to it again, it’s so exciting,” said Gustafson.
A lot of the tasks in previous years have been indoors, so Gustafson expects the number of projects will double. There might be projects that people are eager to do through the Day of Caring.
Last year saw 120 volunteers complete 22 projects.
During the 2019 Day of Caring, volunteers helped out with lawn raking, hedge trimming, eavestrough cleaning, window washing and flower planting. Oven cleaning was a popular activity for indoor projects.
Gustafson is looking forward to the barbecue returning this year.
“We’ve had people where we’ve worked on their projects, and they’ve come to the barbecue and had lunch. And we hope that people will do that this year. Even if they haven’t had their project done, if they are waiting for us to come and do it in the afternoon, to join us for lunch,” said Gustafson.
Last year fast food restaurants stepped forward with coupons for volunteers so they could have lunch.
The Day of Caring will typically start at 9 a.m. with a break at noon for the barbecue lunch. Projects are usually done between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Some will be done in the morning or the afternoon, while others will require volunteers all day.
Gustafson said the United Way asks for people to register to volunteer or to submit projects by May 11, but they won’t say no if somebody decides at the last minute they want to have a project completed.
“It does take a little bit of calculation, a little bit of work in advance, to match up the volunteers with the projects. Some can only come for the morning, some can only come for the afternoon, and some can come all day.”
The United Way is also asking for people to submit names for recipients of sunshine baskets that will be distributed during the Day of Caring. The baskets are for shut-ins, senior citizens and others who don’t have much contact with others, and contain gifts that will brighten somebody’s day.