By Barb Arland-Fye
DAVENPORT — All five Catholic Messenger staffers were among more than 1,000 volunteers who assisted nonprofit organizations Sept. 1 with tasks those groups would not otherwise have been able to accomplish. Organized by United Way of the Quad Cities Area, the Day of Caring is an annual event that has become a tradition for the Messenger staff.
The event is described as a community wide day of hands-on volunteering in which United Way connects volunteers — businesses, corporations, union groups and donors — with nonprofit groups needing help with various projects. Volunteers sign up via the Internet, selecting from a menu of projects that best suit their interests, time and talents.
While the Catholic Messenger staffers had signed up to paint a porch, the threat of inclement weather resulted in an alternative assignment: cleaning a Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. apartment from top to bottom for a new tenant. Painting sounded like more fun, but Kate King, property manager of Humility of Mary Housing, Inc., explained the staff’s efforts would benefit a single parent striving to make a fresh start. The staff required no additional incentive and went to work washing walls, windows and blinds, cleaning out the refrigerator and the stove and scrubbing floors, cabinets and the bathroom. They removed discarded toys, trash and other debris from the yard as well.
Their white “Live United” T-shirts were soiled by the end of the morning, and they might have felt like taking a nap before tackling the rest of the work day. But the staffers felt great about what they had accomplished and anticipated the smile on the face of the tenant they’ll never meet.