More than 900 volunteers stepped up Saturday morning to weed, paint, mop floors and more during the 5th annual
Despite blazing temperatures and high humidity, the volunteers -- donning white T-shirts bearing the slogan “Live United” -- took on 26 community service projects across Southwest Riverside.
After a morning meetup and breakfast at , the volunteers departed to their respective project sites.
in Lake Elsinore saw nearly 100 volunteers turnout to help clean bathrooms, sweep floors, scrub walls, paint, install new furniture, plant new landscaping, and other projects.
“It’s well overdue,” said Chris Lara, director of the Alberhill Ranch club site.
Rolando Bowen of French Valley lent a helping hand to the club as part of a large contingency of congregation members who registered for the event.
Bowen said he heard about Day of Caring at church and, as a military veteran, put duty first.
“I’m used to doing community service and feel it’s good to show a presence,” he said, broom in hand.
The 5,500-square-foot Boys & Girls Club at Alberhill Ranch serves about 100 kids daily through its various programs.
During a recent Boy & Girls Club event, John Whann, director of operations for the non-profit organization, said local residents aren’t aware of all the services available at the Alberhill Ranch site.
“It’s so far north in the city. People just don’t know,” he said, noting that there are many misperceptions about Boys & Girls Club.
“It’s more than just a safe place for kids to hang out after school,” Whann explained.
Afterschool transportation, tutoring, career development, fine arts classes, and sports programs are just some of the many opportunities at the Alberhill site available to kids of all socioeconomic backgrounds across the Lake Elsinore Unified School District.
In addition to the Boys & Girls Club clean up on Saturday, other Day of Caring projects included work at local senior centers, park cleanups, as well as volunteer work that benefited military personnel, children and animals.
Linda Newman, United Way’s Southwest County region director, said the Day of Caring has a purpose, which is to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to serve their community.
“Everybody’s working together,” she said. “They get to see that they can help.”
Day of Caring is a nationwide United Way event, but locally Newman said it took 12 core volunteers to spearhead this year’s effort and all associated costs were donated.
“No United Way money is used for this event,” Newman explained. “Everything was paid for by the community.”
Along with residents, city and community leaders, several corporate sponsors joined in Saturday’s effort, including , , , , Sam’s Club, Abbott Technologies, and Southern California Edison, among others.