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United Way Estevan seeking Day of Caring projects, volunteers

Annual initiative sees local volunteers helping residents and organizations.
United Way Day of Caring pic 3
The United Way Estevan is looking forward to its upcoming Day of Caring.

ESTEVAN - The United Way Estevan is encouraging the public to be part of the organization’s annual Day of Caring, which will take place on May 31.

Each year, the Day of Caring sees local volunteers – individuals, families, organizations and businesses – complete projects for local residents and organizations that wouldn’t be able to handle the work themselves.

“Some of those projects are outdoors and some are inside the home. Some of those outdoor projects enable seniors to still live in their own homes. We go in there every spring, we clean up their yards, we paint their fences and we do little projects here and there for them,” said Shelly Veroba, who co-chairs the Day of Caring committee alongside Wendy Gustafson. “They truly appreciate it.”

Yard work, cleaning windows, planting flowers, painting and helping out with interior projects are among the tasks completed during the Day of Caring.

Often people aren’t sure if they qualify or if they should apply, Veroba said.

“What we say is put your project in, and we will find a volunteer that will help you, because if you feel you have a need for Day of Caring, then we feel that we have a need to help you,” said Veroba.

The United Way has not turned away many projects in the past. If they do, Veroba said the reasons would be because it’s a dangerous project for the volunteers, it’s something that would require a specified skill set, such as a carpenter or an electrician, or it is too much to finish in a day.

“In the same breath, we may look at ways to make it a smaller project, or help in ways that we could,” said Veroba.

The United Way also completes sunshine baskets every year.  They were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, as a means to interact with people in the community who might not get a lot of social interaction.

“A lot of these people are individuals who have lived in our community for their entire lives, and now they’re retired, it’s just harder for them to get out,” said Veroba.

Approximately 20 sunshine baskets were completed last year, up from roughly 15 they did in 2021.

People can receive a sunshine basket and have a Day of Caring project completed, she said.

Veroba noted the United Way likes to see its member agencies and community partners submit projects, volunteer at the Day of Caring or be involved in some way.

“That’s very important to us, that our member agencies do that with us,” said Veroba.

A barbecue lunch will be served for the volunteers at 11:30 a.m. on the Day of Caring at the Estevan Alliance Church. Members of the St. Joseph’s Health Care Auxiliary help out at the luncheon, but Veroba said they can always use more volunteers.

The deadline to submit an application for a project is May 17. The projects will then be assigned to the volunteers. Applications are starting to come in.

“We always have our … regulars, but we would love to see new ones this year,” said Veroba.
Last year saw roughly 30 projects completed and approximately 150 volunteers. Veroba hopes better those numbers this year.

Forms can be found on the United Way’s website for those looking to volunteer or have a project completed.

There are people who need help throughout the year, she said, and while the United Way does its part one day a year, she believes it’s important to do a little bit to help those in need every day.