Published

Volunteers spread local love at Day of Action

There’s always work to be done at local non-profits. That’s especially true in December! On Friday, December 4, United Way Halifax hosted a Day of Action at six locations across HRM. Volunteers from BMO, Choice Properties REIT, Department of Defence, IBM and the Progress Club were matched with six non-profits. Although the number of projects was smaller, due to changes in public health restrictions the small but mighty teams came out to show their local love. They gave up their afternoon to take on some projects for the non-profits and learn more about their importance in the community.

Because of COVID-19, many non-profits and community organizations are feeling the pinch of fewer volunteer hours and stricter restrictions. St. Paul’s Family Resource Institute was one of the non-profits who welcomed volunteers for the Day of Action. Volunteers from IBM helped to prepare hampers for 200 families that will be supported by the organization. “We’re excited that we’re still able to support people this year, and do as many hampers as we normally do,” said Kristen Hollery, the Executive Director for the organization. “It’s certainly been more of a challenge this year.” St. Paul’s Family Resource Institute is very fortunate to have great community support, but the extra hands on deck made sure that the hampers would be ready for curbside pick up this year.

Donations of time, talent and treasures

Volunteers carry a box of gift and bag of donated clothesOther projects focused on meeting more immediate needs in the community. Volunteers from BMO did an in-kind drive for winter clothing and gifts at their branch, and dropped off their donations to Stepping Stone. The gifts will make the holidays extra special for Stepping Stone’s program participants, and the winter clothing is always needed. Volunteers from The Progress Club put their love for community into making sandwiches for the folks who come to Soul’s Harbour for a meal. There were lots of smiles and appreciation behind each mask.

Woman painting a roomOver at Welcome Housing, IBM staff quickly got to work giving one of their units a fresh coat of paint. The unit will be home for a new tenant soon. United Way staff member Megan Jeffries volunteered alongside, and summed up the afternoon: “We are so proud to have put all our love into sprucing up someone’s home.” She said the neighbours were curious and inviting, and that she hopes the new tenant will enjoy their space. “I hope they feel the love.”

woman crafting at tableStaff from DND put their muscles to work, cleaning up the yard and gardens at Elizabeth Fry Society. Although they only had a small team, they managed to fill about 2 dozen bags of leaves! Choice Properties REIT got crafty, making pronoun buttons and affirmations for The Youth Project. Their creations will be mailed to youth across HRM.

We’re so proud of everyone who came out to lend a hand! Thank you so much, and thank you to the organizations who hosted them.

You can help too!

The Day of Action may be over, but there are still lots of ways you can give back to your community. Looking out for your neighbours, being kind to others, and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are easy ways to help. Some organizations still need volunteer support too – check out our DIY Volunteer from Home Guide for suggestions.

There are also a number of items in high demand by organizations across HRM. If you would like to start an in-kind drive or have items to donate from the list below, contact Kate Powe at kpowe@unitedwayhalifax.ca

Items in high demand right now:
– Grocery gift cards
– Bus passes
– Hand warmers
– New winter clothes (jackets, mitts, scarves, hats)
– Hygiene items: toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, deodorant
– New warm socks
– Toys, books, activities for children
– Adult or seniors’ activity kits
– Menstrual products
– Supplies to make a pasta dinner

Generally, new items are preferred. We recommend that people sanitize and wash items where possible and wear a face covering when collecting and delivering items.

Thanks for spreading kindness and local love!