Last Saturday, the Santa Barbara community came together to perform simple but important acts of kindness during the 28th annual Day of Caring event, put on by nonprofit organization United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC).
All around the county, people volunteered for numerous neighborhood improvement tasks, such as landscaping, food bank organization, and painting. Over 1000 volunteers combined their efforts for three hours on the 14th to enact UWSBC’s vision that “in our community, everyone has a hopeful future.”
The organization, which has existed since 1923, believes in its core values of caring, innovation, trustworthiness, and leadership, providing support for the community through fundraising and volunteering.
Previous United Way initiatives have included Thomas Fire and flood relief efforts and fundraising, financial empowerment for low-income families and individuals, and literacy enhancement programs in local schools to inspire students for higher education and careers.
During the Day of Caring event on Saturday, Westmont’s Urban Initiative program volunteered to paint new murals for Washington Elementary School on the Mesa. From 9 in the morning to noon, Westmont students bonded with parents and faculty from the school as they helped paint the new art for Washington Elementary grade schoolers.
Though it was a hard day’s work, the group of student volunteers were all too happy to participate. “I enjoy getting off of campus and doing good for the broader community,” stated Westmont second-year Terrel Armstrong.
It wasn’t just the labor of painting that was donated to Washington, but the designs of the murals themselves. Kimberley Yaeger of Key Creative and mother of a Washington student donated her time towards designing the murals and leading the group of volunteers.
These community-fostering volunteers concluded the day with a barbeque lunch provided by United Way. The common theme of the day was community, demonstrated by this group of people having fun, sharing a hard day’s work, and breaking bread together.
United Way of Santa Barbara County offers continuous volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Visit unitedwaysb.org for more information.