With support from the community, 429 care packages were distributed to local senior citizens

(Canton, OH) June 19, 2020 – Each year on and around June 21, tens of thousands of individuals and groups in hundreds of communities across the world engage with United Way to make their community a better place through service, collaboration and impact.

“Recognizing how the pandemic has changed volunteering, we planned something a little different for Day of Action,” says Laura Prengaman, Director of Corporate and Volunteer Engagement for United Way of Greater Stark County. “This year, we wanted seniors struggling with social isolation to know that we care about them, so we asked the community to assemble care packages to brighten their day. With their support, we were able to create 429 kits that were distributed through five programs supporting these individuals in our community.”

Approximately 19% of Stark County’s population is 65 and older, many of whom can live in their homes and stay connected to the community with the support of United Way funded programs such as Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties, JRC Adult Day Center, The Salvation Army of Canton, YWCA of Alliance Meals on Wheels and Westark Family Services.

United Way supplied the items needed to create the care packages, while volunteers used their creativity to decorate and add personality. Each kit included a flower in a decorated pot, activity book, pencil, sugar-free mints, information about community resources, and a handwritten note sharing hope and encouragement. Rice’s Landscapes Redefined generously provided flowers for the kits. More than 250 volunteers (individuals, family members and workplace groups) helped put together the care packages for local seniors.

Westark Family Service’s Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Hill said “Our elderly, homebound clients were thrilled to receive the kits and plants from United Way. Many said it made their day and was a wonderful surprise!”

In 2019, more than 570 United Ways in 17 countries participated in Day of Action with projects contributing to global sustainable development including book distribution, assembling financial literacy kits, welcome back-to-school kits for teachers, college supplies to first-generation college students, duffle bag kits for children living in the foster care system, vocational training sessions to empower youth to secure paid work, and more. 2.8 million volunteers engaged in this day and gave their time, talent and ideas to help build stronger communities where everyone can thrive.

Day of Action pictures are available here.

If you or your workplace would like to participate in the future with volunteer activities like Day of Action, please contact Laura at laura.prengaman@uwstark.org or 330-491-9953.

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.